How to Survive a Run-less Week

One week down.

At least two to go.

Good news? My leg doesn’t ache all the time (woot!)

Bad news? My leg doesn’t ache all the time. Soooo…resisting the urge to do something – like, I don’t know, hook up the dog leash and take Runner Pup for a spin – is much more difficult.

All in all, it’s been an interesting week of introspection and self discovery. Here are a few key findings.

Training vs Exercising

There is a distinct difference between exercising and training. And in its own right, each is great. I’ve worked up a sweat doing some form of XT, core, free weights or (careful) yoga every day except Rest Sunday, and have really enjoyed it. (FYI, gals, Women’s Health Magazine has some fabulous workouts on their site.) I’ve used some familiar muscles and found some new ones – always fun! All of it has been in the name of exercise, which doesn’t come with the pressure of training (though I suspect that it may actually have a positive impact in the long run). There are lots of muscles I’ve ignored in the name of laying down miles – this hiatus may end up being a really positive thing for whole-body fitness.

NOT Running Takes Confidence

For those who enjoy running to race (and racing to win), running well can bring a great confidence boost. I had the great good fortune to get to cheer on my stud-muffin husband in a solid triathlon performance this weekend, and I have yet to see the shine of accomplishment diminish to normal levels. How fantastic! It’s such a joy to behold (and support) someone in an activity that challenges, pushes limits and builds such strength of self in them.

It’s tough knowing that you can’t do that thing that you love. It’s tough knowing that – adding insult to injury – you might come back from the hiatus slower and less competitive. But there’s where finding a new kind of confidence comes into play. Instead of that voice in your head saying “keep going, you’ve got this, push a little harder, leave nothing behind’ this one coaches, “hang on, be kind to yourself, you only do this for the joy of it, this is only temporary.” (Maybe things got a bit out of hand.) Enjoying the run is enough – pushing limits are good for sometimes, but maybe not all the time.

Most importantly, you get to remember that self worth isn’t the same as self confidence. It’s much easier to build self confidence through the little details. Self worth is found in your character and that doesn’t go on hiatus.

There’s something to be said for anticipation

One of my favorite races of the year is in mid-October. It is a muddy, challenging, butt-kicking trail race called Frogtown. It was a tough mudder before tough mudders got popular. It’s hard core, with army dudes yelling at you, icy river crossings, log crossings, jet-fast flats and some of the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet. For me, it marks AUTUMN – the best of the four seasons, hands down. I love this race, and have been signed up for months already. Now, besides being reason to hit the trail a few times a week, it’s my patience carrot. If I’m good, I should be healed, maybe even stronger, and very, very ready to run. Anticipation is sweet.

What do you love enough to want to do it every day, and love enough to hold off from doing for a short time for the sake of the long term?

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