Benched: Taking the Day Off for Rest (and Food)

It’s never easy to take a day off from running. Years ago, when I was running between three and five miles at a time, “rest” days weren’t even a part of my vocabulary. But over the past year, as my weekly milage has increased – and consequently, my injuries have increased – so have the number of days that I have to take off.

OK, so I could have spent Sunday doing yoga, strength training or partaking in some other form of physical activity. But instead, I took the opportunity to give my entire body a break. (Not my digestive system; that was hard at work breaking down a delicious brunch and lots of chocolate with my dad…

…and a healthy dinner of salad, spinach and shrimp salad, and a less healthy but completely worth it piece of three-berry pie with Noah.)

Last summer, right before I signed up for the Queens half marathon, I suffered the wrath of a faulty piriformis muscle.

I ignored it for quite some time, and ultimately, the pain benched me for a solid month while training for the race. I have no other way to describe it than this: It totally sucked. Not running made me crazy, and I started to hate all the happy runners out there just soaking in the summer sun. (Sorry, it was runner’s envy.)

So yea, if it means talking myself out of a jog – even on a beautiful 47 degree Sunday in January – so be it. Because by holding out for one day – a mere 24 hours – I can hope to run strong for the next five. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. Starting today. Here goes nothing.


2 thoughts on “Benched: Taking the Day Off for Rest (and Food)

  1. I’m just getting back to running after taking quite a few weeks off. Going slow and steady, is not always the easiest way to go. The past runner in you wants to push for better time, faster miles, yada, yada, yada… But the smart thing is to take the break, let your body heal.
    Good luck!!

    • Isn’t it tough? I always get yelled at because I claim I’m going out for a “slow 3 miler, I’ll be back in 30 minutes.” That, of course, turns to 5 miles and a consequent limp. It is so. incredibly. hard. But you’re right. Like a physical therapist told me, like a car, sometimes you need a tune-up. But because I disliked comparing my body to a motor vehicle, I kind of ignored him.

      Thank you for the luck! I did go for a 3 mile run this morning. (Seriously, 3 miles, that’s all.) I felt good. That’s a start.

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