“What’s crazier than running? NOT running.”
Well, it’s happening. Something so crazy, so nutso, so out of character for me, I’m not sure whether to be scared, nervous, stressed – so I’m going to be all of them.
Starting today, I’m taking a full four weeks off from running.
No running for four weeks.
No running for almost an entire month.
You might be asking, would I do this? First off, I can’t remember the last time I took more than a few days off from running. Other than a 6-week bout with plantar fasciitis more than 5 years ago, I can’t remember ever taking off more than a week from running ever. Even after running full marathons, I’d be hitting the pavement the next week.
p.s. That 6 weeks I had plantar fasciitis and couldn’t run was awful. So, yeah.
But that’s not the reason I’m taking this hiatus. Honestly, my body has been struggling since my peak Boston Marathon training last spring and I just haven’t given it the break that I think it desperately needs. My hamstrings keep taking turns on which one decides to be a problem child. My arches need more massaging than ever. And I’m getting so sick of foam rolling, I keep “forgetting” to do it.
Yes, it’s time to take a break. This will allow me time to focus on strengthening my legs back to normal squatting, deadlifting and other fun PRs I had last year. It will also force me to change up workouts in general. It will give me a chance to focus on growing upper body lifting by not erasing my work or flat-out exhausting my endurance from all the running.
And, it will be an interesting experiment – The Great Experiment – as to how my body feels, how it reacts, if my appetite changes, what I’m going to do with that time, all of it. I’m also very interested in how it’s going to go when I start up again in December, and ramp up soon after for my annual tradition of running the Fargo Marathon in May. My hope is the break will allow my legs to recharge and reenergize, and I’ll be stronger.
While my body is onboard with this experiment, my mind is not. It’s not even close. I’m borderline scared for my mental health and that’s not a joke or me being a drama queen. So much in fact I’ve warned my husband multiple times that I might be cranky, mopey or just downright unbearable some days or for the entire month.
That’s the thing about running for me. It’s so much more than cardio, physical exercise and a means to eat a lot of food (I love food). It’s my sanity. It’s my meditation time. It’s my stress relief. It’s like food (yes, we’re back to food THAT quickly), I crave it. Running is just as much a mental need as it is a physical one.
It’s going to be a tough few weeks. And just as people use social media to hold themselves accountable for doing their workouts, I’m using mine, and the blog, to hold myself accountable for NOT running. You won’t catch me trying to sneak in, “just one” run. Or rationalize, “I’ll only do one mile.” None of those shenanigans. This is all in!
So that brings in more help I need from you. In addition to sharing a few woes about my non-running status, what should I blog about in November; new topics I haven’t yet explored? Or are there any great workouts, lifting routines or unique types of cardio I should try? This is my time to grow and expand my fitness life so all ideas are welcome! Comment below or tweet me, @runlikeagirl311.