Going Easy on Yourself

This topic came to me this week as I was thinking about none other than workouts. Workouts I "should" be doing (to get faster, stronger, more flexible), workouts I want to be doing, and the rest that should happen amongst these workouts.

I was thinking about how often, it takes others to allow us to go easy on ourselves once in a while.

For example, one of my running buddies was complaining of a headache and an overly increased heart rate as we did hill repeats one Thursday and I asked if she'd taken a rest day in the last week or so, to which she said not really unless you count her swim day as rest. I do not, for the record.

And after I told her that she should probably take a rest day, she said she finally allowed herself to take one.

 A pretty sunrise because who doesn't like them? 
Plus, we've been seeing a lot of them lately.

The same kind of thing happens for me. I'll try to schedule hard workouts six days in a week and then realize that some of the fittest people I know (in person and in blog land) take sometimes two to three rest or easy days per week! All of a sudden, I find myself feeling "allowed" to take a rest day or cut my run mileage in half one day because my body just isn't feeling it.

The same can be applied to work and other areas of life. I feel guilty taking any vacation time, but then the second a coworker schedules their vacation I realize hey, we've earned this. I have just as much right to take vacation as him/her.

Anyway, I just find it crazy that again and again, despite knowing what is right in our heads, we often need permission from someone else to give ourselves a break.

Last week's workouts
No surprise here, they were pretty light and modified, but here it is. Luckily, I had just come off a pretty strong week of running and cycling, so my body probably appreciated a bit of down time to only have to deal with healing my knee.

Monday - 10 min upper body via Sarah Fit

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - 15 min upper body + core

Thursday - 20 min upper body + core

Friday - 25 min easy spinning on the trainer

Honestly, I was going a bit bonkers not having got my heart rate up in 6 days (just ask the manfriend), so I NEEDED this. I wrapped an Ace bandage around my knee pretty tight as to give the knee extra support and was very careful. Spinning hurt a bit, but felt good at the same time to get my knee moving in a circular direction.

Saturday - 4 mile run/walk with Laurel on the bark

It was slow and likely awkward looking, but man it felt good to run! Ace bandage saved my sanity again!

6 a.m. runs are always worth it

Sunday - 3 miles easy + 20 min spinning + relax & restore yoga

This class at Mudra Yoga, the new studio in town, was just what I needed after these first few runs back. It was not a flow class at all, which was perfect for me. It was more of a hold this pose for a minute or two kind of class, without being so gentle you feel like you didn't do anything for an hour. I've never taken anything like it, but I can see it being a great part of recovery after a hard weekend of running.

To 50K or not?
So, you may know I'm signed up to run the MRTR 50K again on September 6. Where does this whole knee injury thing put me with the whole racing thing? Well, I'm not exactly sure. I'm trying to take it one day or week at a time. Currently, I'm planning on still racing/running it, but allowing myself to walk as needed and just do what my body tells me. If my body says at mile 20, "you've gotta bail," I just might. What would you do?

When's the last time you gave yourself a break (on anything, doesn't have to be workouts)? 


Great post. It's interesting how unreasonable be can be towards ourselves. I'm terrible at this, especially as it related to work/my career. I am always berating myself for not doing enough/not being smart enough/not contributing enough. And I feel really guilt about taking rest days. But last week I took 2, and I skipped my long run. I felt a little lazy but I think it was also good for me to have a little break and lay in bed a bit in the mornings.

As far as what to do regarding the 50k, I think the approach you are planning to take sounds good. I'd just listen to your body!
Amber said…
Such a good post and something I've been thinking about lately. Peanut Butter Runner's blog post on quality over quantity really opened my eyes. She is probably the fittest person I "know" (in blog land or real life) and when you look at her weekly workout recaps she almost always only does one workout per day. So why am I killing myself trying to fit in doubles and triples some days to just get the right mix of strength + running + yoga. Lately I've cut way back on running and upped the strength but also upped the rest day and started doing one a day workouts way more. I'm feeling pretty good so far!

As for the race, I would give it one more week but if my knee was still off I'd probably pull the plug or try to drop down to a lower distance. I hope you get better soon -- keep listening to your body and you'll be fine!

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