Friday, October 1, 2010

A little slacking is good for the soul (and body)

(I wrote this yesterday evening.)

I was going to run tonight, but I'm going to skip it. Not reschedule it, not shorten it--SKIP it. I haven't done that in months.

The ragweed levels today are the highest they've been since a local TV station started measuring them in 1997...something I could have (hoarsely) told them. I'm not sick, but I'm hoarse and my energy isn't the greatest. I could totally run, but I'm not going to.

The main reason is because I think I need to prove to myself that the universe won't implode if I skip a run. I've gotten compulsive about not skipping runs. I have a strict schedule to get myself to my first half marathon on 12/5, and I've considered each run to be too important to skip.

But you know what? That's really not a healthy way to think. My running schedule is conservative enough that if I skip today and go back to my normal schedule afterward, I'm not going to suddenly get injured because my mileage jumps too much next week. It might even help me because I'll be giving my joints, muscles, tendons, and bones a longer break than they've had in a long time (no runs between my Tuesday run and upcoming Saturday run.)

I've been afraid that if I skipped once it would become too easy to do it later. But I've got to find a balance. I need to be able to listen to my body enough that I can be flexible...that's how injury and sickness are prevented. I don't think that slacking off tonight will make me want to start skipping runs every week; I love running too much. But maybe slacking off tonight will make my whole body healthier, and that's one of the purposes of this running thing anyway.

Exercise is addictive, in a good way. At least when you find a form of exercise that you love. It took me over 30 years to find running, and once I did...and fell in love with it...I realized I didn't want to stop. The endorphins are fantastic! But I've got to be balanced. If "taking care of my body" becomes such a compulsion that it's bad for my body, that sorta misses the point! So tonight I'll "take care of my body" by sitting on my butt. And I'll enjoy it!


Lara said...

A little slacking is a good thing....a lot of slacking is not!! Unfortunately, I usually find myself stuck slacking!

Traci said...

I totally agree. Sometimes you just need to skip it. It's good for ya once in a while.

Karen Fields said...

It's good that you are very deliberate in this decision. You will be better for it tomorrow! Good for you.