Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Being okay with down time

As much as I love running, for me it's critical to know when to force myself to get up and go for a run and when to rearrange the schedule to allow for some down time. This summer has been a little difficult for me with my hip issues (I'm still in PT) and the humidity. I've taken more down time than I have the last few years, and I have to keep reminding myself that it's okay.

Other than the LL Bean 10k I ran nearly a month ago, I haven't run more than four miles at a time since the Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon the first of June. I've been babying my hip injuries hoping they'll heal and also in hopes that my physical therapist won't kill me for pushing it too hard while I'm injured. It's been odd to have all of these weekends without a long run. I've even rearranged my schedule several times to take a few weekends off entirely. It's weird, but I've discovered it's important.

This past weekend I intended to do a long run on Friday, but the humidity kept me at about 4½ miles.  Instead of beating myself up, I just went with it.  On Saturday I was a bridesmaid in a really good friend's wedding, and I enjoyed way too much champagne to run on Sunday. This morning's run was the first one since Friday, and it felt good. The air is a little cooler, and my legs felt great. 

Me as a bridesmaid, prior to drinking copious amounts of champagne
I'm an extremely goal-oriented person, and I tend to push myself 100 percent of the time. It's always hard for me to be okay with taking it easy and giving my body (and my mind) a break. I'm still running four days a week. The mileage isn't as high, but I have to recognize that my hips aren't going to heal unless I take it a little easier. 

On Saturday I'm running the Mint City 10-miler in St. John's, Michigan. I obviously have not been training for it, but I'm not concerned with my ability to eek out 10 miles. I think that will officially mark the end of my "taking it easier" summer. 

I have to keep reminding myself that it's okay to not have everything planned out. I don't have to have my next vacation booked or have already registered for my next race. As much as I needed some physical down time, I needed some emotional down time too. Now will someone please pass me a mimosa? 

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