Two weeks ago, I took a week off running. I wasn’t injured and I wasn’t recovering from a race. Instead, I had been gradually been building mileage and was running well, but I was losing motivation. Perhaps it was the end-of-winter fatigue that comes with fighting the cold, the wind, and mounds of snow. Or maybe it was the result of having a lot on my plate at work. Whatever the reason, I just wasn’t feeling it. So I made my big girl move and put away from running shoes for seven days.
At first, it was easy. I was still riding on my smart trainer, I had the pool to swim in and I booked a few yoga classes. My walk to and from school removed the void of wanting to do anything outdoors; so did the chilly outdoor supervision duties that come with my job. But by Friday, with two days to go, I was ready to give in. “Just an easy 5K,” I told myself. “If you are going to rest for a week, take the whole 7 days,” I argued. I settled with a long ride on my trainer instead.
Saturday was my last day off. After swimming and doing some chores, the outdoors started calling me. “I can’t,” I sighed. “I’ve come this far. I’m almost there.” That’s when it hit me. I had evolved. All week long, there were no tears over not running. Not one. Sure, there were some mind chats back and forth telling me why I should or should not, but I had generally accepted the decision to take a break.
Deep down, I guess I wanted a week of rest even if I didn’t need it. What I did need was to miss running, which I did, and find the spark that normally sends me flying out the door. And while that spark was back and lighting the fire, I stayed true to my goal: 7 days.
On Sunday afternoon, I laced up again. Spring was visiting and temperatures soared to 13C. I spent 45 minutes running on roads and mucky trails and felt amazing. The combination of time off and spring weather worked. I am excited about running again.