Put Your Feet Up

By: Laura Mitchell 

I wanted to race at one last track meet before calling the season. I have extended my 5K training through June.  I have been working on speed for most of July. My goal was to race one 3K which was right in the middle of the distances I trained for. Seemed like a good plan. Unfortunately my body decided getting sick would be a better one. I have been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and was told to lay off the running until it had run its course. With mixed emotions, I decided to end my season. It made sense, as I was so close to the end anyway, and I didn’t want to feel even worse.

Once that was decided, I put all thoughts of frustration aside and started to think about the all the opportunities that being on break has to offer! I’ve heard many stories on how runners feel about taking a break from running. Many runners are OCD about it; are compulsive and just have to run every day. I like to just plain take a break! Like a smoker quitting “cold turkey.”

When I’m on break, I like to live a little. For most of us runners, running is our passion. We love to do it. But, that love for running can be a strict road at times. We cut out a lot of things in our lives to continue to do what ultimately makes us happy, but when you are on break, you have a chance to experience those things that you normally sacrifice. Plus it’s FUN.

I feel like a kid that just finished his last day of school for the year. I think What can I get into? Well first thing that comes to mind is Cinnamon Rolls and “I’m gonna eat a bunch of them.”  Or I tell myself This time on my way to work, I’m gonna get that scone with my coffee this time.

You might stay up later to watch your favorite movie or TV program, because you don’t have the morning run or group training at the “crack of dawn” like you usually do. You may go hit the town with your friends and have a late night out. You could go to a concert where you stand the whole time, because, hey, it’s not like you have a race or a hard track session the next day. Maybe you enjoy a few adult beverages where when in-season you might decide against it. Oh and don’t forget about queso. Everyone in Austin, TX has to love queso. On break? Gorge yourself on queso one day. Yum!

Do things that make you happy. Do the activities you normally hold back on when you are in-season or training for that big race. Treat yourself; if you have trained hard then you deserve it.

Now it doesn’t have to be only indulging in just food that you limit yourself to. Don’t just take my word for it. Check out my favourite day of the year:    

The main reason for taking a break is to let your body recover. You put it to the test several times as you transition from each phase of your training. It has taken all the pounding on various surfaces for all those miles without complaining. So all fun indulgences aside, make sure you treat your body well for it is the only one we have, and giving it time to heal periodically can really extend the longevity of your ability to run and live healthy.

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