Rest Days Are Magical

Once upon a time I used to hate Rest Days. Prior to delving into the marathon distance, I was a group fitness junkie. I loved to take as many Group X a week as I could possibly fit into my schedule. So along with running, I would have “two-a-days” Monday through Friday and my "Rest Days" were single workout days on weekends. In hindsight, I regret this and attribute some of my physical breakdowns to this period of overuse.

Since then, and especially over the past few months of working with my physical therapist, I have learned to appreciate Rest Days, and view them as an integral part of the training cycle.

However, I think I may have taken this newfound guiding principle to the extreme this past week as I ended up with a total of three Rest Days - 1 planned, 2 unplanned:

Sun, 9/9 Planned Rest Day

Mon, 9/10 Unplanned Rest Day

There was supposed to have been a 6 am Swim workout here, but I fell asleep on Sunday night before setting my alarm and "slept in" till well past 7 am! Normally I would have rescheduled it for the evening, but I had my regularly scheduled bi-weekly massage. Nothing interferes with that! :)

Tues, 9/11 6.04-mile Run (yes, the .04 counts)

Returned to the track for the first time in possibly a year. My favorite old people were still there walking in the slow lanes completely oblivious to track etiquette. My workout was to run 800's. Have I ever told you how much I hate 800’s? During the tortuous workout I found myself muttering how much I hated running, wondering why I do this crap, etc, etc, etc. But the funny thing is, when it was all over, I felt pretty darn good.

Wed, 9/12 5-mile Easy, Garmin-Free Run where I again felt great! It was a miracle considering how sore I was after Tuesday's run.

1-hr Strength & Conditioning session of the usual TRX circuit and more of those darn burpees.

Thus, 9/13 6.11 miles of 3 2-mile Intervals

You know what's funny about this run? The workout read to run the 2-mile intervals at a certain pace. So during each one I concentrated so much and felt like I was working really, really hard to hold that pace. When it was all over, as I ran easy in the cool down mile, I realized I was running the same pace without any effort.

Fri, 9/14 Unplanned Rest Day

What was to have been a Spin/Yoga then Personal Training session day turned out to be an unplanned Rest Day.

I made the mistake of logging into my work email before leaving for the gym and found that all hell had broken loose. I ended up spending my entire morning putting out fires missing both Spin and Yoga classes.

Then Trainer Dave fell under the weather and had to cancel the afternoon Strength Training session. I could have worked out on my own but I decided to buy a new TV instead (yes, I finally said goodbye to my old tube TV).

Sat, 9/15 12.30-mile Run

A planned 16-mile run that turned out to be a 12.30-mile run.

With all of the Rest Days I had over the past week, my legs felt so good from the get-go. Unfortunately my gut didn't.

I had to hightail it to the restroom just 1.30 miles into the run. After that I knew the rest of the miles were not going to be easy. I struggled the entire time taking a total of 5 bathroom stops over a 10-mile distance. When I got to Mile 10 I debated whether or not I should push myself for the last 6-miles but decided that it just wasn't worth more suffering.

I was feeling very frustrated. The one time that both my legs and lungs felt so good my tummy had to go and screw things up. But then I (literally) ran into my friend Renee and that picked up my spirits! She got my mind off of the situation and we ran together for a mile or so before heading in opposite directions. It was just a short distance but it made all the difference in ending a miserable run on a positive note.

Sun, 9/16 4-mile Run

Today was a scheduled Rest Day, but since I took a few extra ones over the past week decided to I make up the miles I wasn't able to finish yesterday.

My body felt a little stiff at the get-go, but once I was adequately warmed up, I felt great. Except for my stomach - still. It continued to plague me all day after yesterday's run and it carried over to this morning. Although I didn't have to make any bathroom stops today it is still bothersome.

Despite the resurgence of GI issues, I had a chafe-free week of running (improvement from last week!) and I'm feeling stronger with a shorter need for recovery time. I’m confident I can get the GI issues worked out with some likely unfortunate dietary changes. I’m just glad that the rest of my body seems to finally be cooperating.