When to Give In and Rest

I mentioned in my last Training Log post that I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. Last Tuesday, I started feeling a little run down, which turned into a sore throat and then turned into congestion and a cough, and occasionally an elevated temperature (not quite a fever, just a degree or two higher than normal for me).

It’s been a week, and I’m still coughing and congested and feeling a little bit run down. I was able to get out for a few runs at first (including running 9 miles in the rain on Saturday, which in hindsight probably wasn’t the best idea, nor was following the run by sitting outside in 50-degree temps for most of the afternoon and evening at the Cinco de Mayo party). By Monday night, I resorted to just going for a walk, but now as much as I want to run, my head is telling me no. Even though I really want to run. Just not like this. (This being feeling like crap.)

I’m getting a little stir-crazy. I’ve been working from home these past few days. As great as it is to be able to work from home, in my pajamas, with my cat, and avoid the hell that is my commute, I’m honestly tired of feeling cooped up and stationary. Plus the VPN I’m connecting through is slooooow. (First world problem if I’ve ever heard one.)

Anyway. Tonight (I’m writing this on Tuesday night) I’m just not feeling it. So I will be smart. I will not run. Even though I want to. And not just because I’m training for a half marathon. But because I enjoy it. And I’ve been sitting on my butt all day and my body wants to run. But it would be stupid.

This is a clear example of how I’ve changed as a runner. In the past, I would look for any excuse to skip a run. (Which is why my first half marathon sucked so bad.) Now, I look for any way to get my run in anyway.

Old me: Oh, I got home late. Guess I can’t run. (Late was a relative term. 6:30pm was late when I normally got home by 5:20.)
New me: It’s not 8pm yet. I can run. (My bedtime is 9:30-10pm … ish.)

Old me: I’m tired. End of story.
New me: It’s all in your head. You can run. You’ll feel energized when you’re done. 

Old me: I have a [slight] pain/soreness.
New me: Just stretch better (which actually has been helping a lot). 

Old me: Oh, The Sailor isn’t going to the gym tonight. Guess I’m not either.
New me: We haven’t gone to the gym / run together in months. It’s much easier for us to get our workouts in when we each worry about our own schedule.

Old me: The weather looks slightly threatening. I should continue surfing the internet inside, where it is warm and dry.
New me: There is no bad weather. Just bad gear. 

Old me: I think I might be getting sick … better rest just to be sure. (Usually I wasn’t sick or getting sick.)
New me: Crap, I might actually be sick. The Sailor would get mad at me if I went for a run. 

How have you changed as a runner? And where do you draw the line and “give in” and skip a run/workout?


daily running tip

This has nothing to do with my post, but everything to do with my current activity on ebay.

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9 Comments on “When to Give In and Rest”

  1. Feel better soon! I tend to push it with work-outs for awhile when I feel like crap then eventually the rational side kicks in and makes me realize I need to just rest and get over whatever I have.

  2. I can relate to this post so much. Lately I’ve been dealing with injuries as well as work exhaustion, thus severely limiting my half marathon training. I’ve quickly learned that so much has to do with your mentality with regards to getting a run in. I’ve been having issues “convincing” myself to run and have used every excuse you listed. I really do like running a lot but have been having a rough time with my training (mentally). Any tips?

    1. A lot of times, when I have a crappy day and am tired/exhausted, I find that running almost always turns my mood around, especially running with friends or a group. If I drive to the run sleeping or pissed off, I’m driving home singing along with the radio. It’s kind of awesome. So, my advice, if you haven’t already, hook up with a local running club or a local running store that has group runs. It will give you something to look forward to and keep you accountable. And it’s always fun to make new running friends!

  3. I’ve noticed this change in me too! It feels good when skipping a workout and you feel like something’s missing. I took a rest night last night because I had a migraine. If I’m in pain, I skip. Otherwise, I make myself do something so I don’t lose the habit!

  4. Hope you feel better soon so you can get out on the skreets for a run.

    We decided in high school soccer that if we matched we would definitely play better, so I’ve used that rule ever since.

  5. I love the old me/new me comparisons. I hope hope hope you are feeling better today and working from home and enjoying the nice breeze (that is how it is up here anyway).

    I have been lucky not to get sick for a long time but when I am I feel the worst about NOT working out. I usually only skip a workout if I have the flu, bad chest congestion or an injury that affects my gait. Oh! Or a migraine.

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