Rest

Last week, I posted about how I had decided to take a (mini) break from running, and not run the Stockade-athon like I had originally planned.  Since making that decision, I immediately felt better about running in general.  I am still not terribly psyched about running alone, but between my SUNY loop with some folks from the Albany Running Exchange, and my pre-dawn short runs with my dog park friends, I haven’t had to worry about running without friends.  This weekend, I have the Squirrelly Six Miler, which I am running with friends and am planning on enjoying the post-peak scenery at Thacher Park and what I understand to be one of the best themed races around.  This isn’t one I plan to run for speed (which, on trails, is not usually the goal anyway).  This will likely be my last run in the woods until next year, so I really just want to enjoy it and not speed through it in a competitive trance.

I mentioned in my last post that I was starting Tabata classes on Wednesday.  Lately, I’ve found that the next morning after a tough workout I might be a little sore but feel fine, but it is usually the second morning that my DOMS kicks in.  This is exactly what happened with Tabata.  I went to Empower Yoga with my mother on Thursday after work, which I struggled a bit through as my lower body was sore (but those hip openers were awesome – Lauren is such a great yoga instructor!), and then a 3 mile pre-dawn run with the dog park crew on Friday morning.  I woke up this morning and my legs were still very sore.  Not so much when walking, for example (I’m not hobbling by any means), but when sitting down, for example, I feel it in my thighs.  Even though it is “for fun,” I am running 6 miles on trails tomorrow, and Indian Ladder is not exactly known for being an easy path, at least not for running.  So, therefore, I decided to take a full rest day today and not work out this morning like I had originally planned. 

Except, a part of me keeps saying, “Your legs don’t hurt that much, you should have worked out today, lazybones!” I know that rest days are as important for muscle recovery, but that competitive drive in me is hard to talk down sometimes, and as I get older and more disciplined (and, also, in better shape), the more determined and competitive I get.  I’m only competing with myself, but that seems to be enough.

So, instead of going to the gym today, I went to the Troy Farmer’s Market with some friends, stocked up on the late fall harvest vegetables, and had a delicious cider donut from Our Daily Bread.  I’m thinking a walk with Finnegan may be in order later this afternoon. 🙂  Then, my muscles will be well rested for a fun and challenging trail run tomorrow.  Telling my brain to let my body take a rest takes almost as much willpower as convincing myself to get up for a morning workout.  Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

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