Today’s Reason: (In)Consistency

It happened again… I fell off the running wagon.  Yesterday was the first time my sneakers hit the pavement in 9 days.  9 whole days. Wow.  I’m sure that begs the question, “Why?” and I can answer that in just one word: vacation.

Even though I was leaving for Utah on a Thursday, I started celebrating my impending 4-blissful-days-in-the-snow-no-hubby-no-kids-adventure that Tuesday.  Somewhat akin to “senioritis” my mind was mentally already on the trip, already in Utah, happily relaxing by the fire.  So no, I did not go to the gym on Wednesday nor did I go to track that Thursday before my departure.  Figured I “needed” the rest.  Figured I earned that “down time”. Figured packing for the snow was “hard” enough.  (And I don’t even ski!)

I'm a pro at resting!

When I finally returned, I took another handful of days off.  Figured I needed to “recover”. Figured I needed to “make-up” the sleep I lost in Utah.  Figured I needed a few days to really “re-hydrate” before hitting the pavement again.

Whatever it takes, right?

Superman Ryan Hall says, "I constantly remind myself that resting takes confidence. Anyone can train like a mad man but to embrace rest and to allow all the hard training to come out takes mental strength."

You’re funny, Ryan Hall… it’s not that hard to rest, trust me!  Being confident enough to not feel guilty about it, therein lies the rub!

When I first started exercising, I would beat myself up mentally if I missed a planned work out or took a sabbatical from running.  I would feel guilty and angry at myself that I didn’t follow-through, knowing that every day off results in waning motivation.  Obviously, in the 5 years I have been exercising and running, I’ve never completely stopped but I take time off, most definitely, when I need to… or really, when I WANT to.

This time around, I don’t feel bad about being MIA for 9 days at all. I no longer beat myself up about it, instead, I congratulate myself for resting and simply move on knowing tomorrow is another opportunity. I don’t know if that’s because having completed my first marathon this past October, I feel totally invincible or due to the fact that I have my Team in Training group and training plan to get right back to or just because I know I am stronger now than I ever have been- mentally and physically.  So, for whatever reason, I just don’t allow time off to get me down anymore.

Not to say that I did absolutely nothing while in Utah but as I mentioned, I do not ski, so I exercised my right to eat…

One of many family meals! (yours truly in the middle)

… drink…

24 ounce glass of champagne- yes please!

…go to the spa…

This is not me but see- it's hard work soaking, then getting a massage and facial!

… shop…

Shopping burns calories, you know... (that's me on the very right)

… and be merry!

Wrestling your friends to the ground is considered exercise... right?

When people ask me about running I always say, “Consistency begets consistency” and I do really mean it- if you run on a consistent basis, not only will you get better at it, but it becomes easier.  If you are inconsistent with running and lack focus, well, you downright suffer!

I believe that running is hard no matter what, yet my life is certainly easier because of it.  I admit I make it harder on myself when I am inconsistent with my training, yes, but I know that my body remembers and knows what those miles feel like so a week or so off really won’t do too much damage.  You do get stronger when you rest– okay 9 days may be pushing it, but when I finally went to track yesterday and we worked on hill repeats, I really felt great.  Those 12 rainy, muddy, hilly miles planned for tomorrow… well… we’ll see…

Do you plan your rest days?  How do you feel when you take a little too much time off?  Is it hard to get back to it?  What do you tell yourself in order to stay motivated?

And don’t forget that my Auction for a Cure benefiting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society starts at 9am PST on Monday!  Subscribe, and/or “like” Running 4 the Reason on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the bidding and be sure tell your friends!!!

2 thoughts on “Today’s Reason: (In)Consistency

  1. aewills

    Aww…that all looks like so much fun! I still feel guilty when I miss scheduled workout, and very guilty when I miss or cut back a long run. But that in turn leads to the next workout being more of a struggle if I didn’t get the rest I needed. I try to allow myself rest when it’s really needed, but it can sometimes be hard to tell if I’m really broken-down tired or just a little under-rested and lazy.

    Reply
    1. Laura

      Yes, it’s hard for me to distinguish between sheer laziness and fatigue too… in this case, a little from column A and a little from column B…

      Reply

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