Friday, February 1, 2013

Sometimes You Just Need a Day Off

Happy Groundhog Day!

Feb. 1, 2013

“For me, a day without running is like a day without eating. It's like going without food.”

Samuel Bueno, Runner's World Challenger of the Week

OK, Sammy, pass the plate I’m hungry.

Yesterday turned out to be an unexpected rest day. Yep, took the whole day off. Didn’t run. Didn’t walk. Didn’t spin. Didn’t pass go and collect $200.

So I guess it was a day without eating. Well I really did eat, but I didn’t feel good about it.

If I miss a day or two of working out it makes me kind of cranky. I need that feeling of getting my heart rate elevated and sweat pouring down my brow. I need to know that I’ve done something healthy for my body.

But experts tell us rest days are good. They help your body heal and keep you mentally fresh.

Yesterday’s was totally unplanned. I’d been working a 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift for a couple of days, so my body was telling me sleep might be nice. Plus 10-degree weather and gusty winds gave me every excuse to stay in and be warm.

But it didn’t give me an excuse to not go down and ride the bike. Indoor riding is great cross-training. It works many of the muscle groups that are used in running as well as others that you don’t hit while you’re out pounding the pavement.

But indoor riding can become tedious if you’re not in the right frame of mind. There are times when I’ll just power through by flipping on the TV and riding for 45 minutes or an hour.

Yesterday, however, I did not eat. I didn’t run, I rested. I let my mind and body catch up – at least that’s how I’m getting past the guilt.

When I opened my eyes today, the TV weatherman said it was 9 degrees outside. But I’m ready to eat. I’m going to dine on the food provided by my stationary bike and hope that tomorrow brings warmer temps.

Be safe out there today if you brave the cold.

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