A funny thing happened this past weekend. I didn’t run for three days straight. Even though I could have. And the world didn’t end.
I’m in week 2 of training for the Boston Marathon, and while I was not feeling well, I didn’t have a fever, or strep, or bronchitis, or an injury, or anything else serious enough to make running impossible.
I was tired, had a scratchy throat and felt achy. And went with it and hung up my shoes for three days. During marathon training. Even though I definitely could have pushed myself for at least a short run each day.
And the world didn’t end. The sun continued to rise in the east, the world kept spinning and I saw no signs of locusts.
On Friday, I sat on the couch next to my dad for over 3 hours watching bad TV and making fun of it together, and capped it off with an evening of more TV (this time, sports), wine and pizza.
On Saturday, I did a 20 minute yoga video with my youngest, which, had we YouTube’d it, would have gone viral. He is probably the only person in the world who is less flexible than I am. It was quite a sight and no, it did not qualify as a workout. My oldest, who is actually good at yoga, couldn’t even bear to watch. I spent the rest of the day driving through crappy winter weather to get back to CT. Running was so far from my mind, I almost forgot to pack my running shoes before heading home.
On Sunday, I took down Christmas decorations and napped like a newborn. The closest I came to running was when I bought a new pair of running shoes, which I tried on and promptly put back in the box. Even though it was 50 degrees outside and I saw people running outside in shorts, I took a second nap instead of lacing up and heading out.
And the world didn’t end. Heck, it didn’t even slow down.
This morning, I woke up, felt more like myself and went out for a great 12 mile run. I was rested and felt good. I had not forgotten how to run. My muscles still worked. I had not magically fallen out of shape.
It was good to be back.
It was also good to take a break.
Everything written on marathon training makes it pretty clear that much success in training and racing comes from getting out there and running even – maybe especially – when you don’t want to. I completely agree.
But I also think that much success in life comes from listening to yourself when you really just don’t feel up for something. Even –maybe especially – during marathon training.
If I fall apart during the Boston Marathon, I highly doubt it will be because I took 3 days off in January. And if it does, well, then, I guess I can serve as a cautionary tale for the rest of you. You can thank me then.
Either way, though, I can say one thing with certainty – I took 3 days off from running. And the world didn’t end.