When Coach Says “Don’t Run”

It’s Monday…again.

I swear, lately I blink and the weekend is over. Not cool. Not cool at all.

If you’re catching up from the weekend, you didn’t miss much blogging on my end:

Now that you’re caught up, let’s talk about a little something I like to call “My coach said no running today and now I’m angry” syndrome.

It’s true.

Last night I checked my training plan for the weekend. It wasn’t updated fully yet, but there was one thing that Coach Cane made clear…

No running on Monday. Cross training only.

Uhhhh what?!

I always run on Mondays. It’s how I start my week.

And then I got mad. I got real mad.

I run on Monday mornings so that I can clear my head before the inevitable madness of the work week begins. I run on Monday mornings so I can enjoy the shift in seasons that we’re in the midst of (Helloooooo, Spring!) and I run on Monday mornings so that I can feel just a little bit better about my gluttonous weekend of birthday cakes and pad thai.

So when Coach Cane declared today a cross training day, I wasn’t so cool with that.

But then I realized… I have a coach for a reason.

My workouts are no longer done on a whim. I don’t get to make all the calls all the time anymore.

And that’s a good thing.

Because if I made all the calls all the time leading up to the marathon, I’d be running constantly and would probably be injured just a few weeks into training.

So it’s a good thing I have Coach Cane. It took me a few minutes last night to realize that me not running today is a smart decision. He’s not out to get me — he’s here to help me! Telling me not to run isn’t a punishment (at least I don’t think it is) — it’s a strategic move.

Smart guy. I like him.

I got to bed around 10:30 last night and had my alarm set for 5:30 am. I was planning to do some sort of workout DVD in my apartment so that I could still break a non-running sweat before heading to the office.

But at 5:30 am, that was not happening.

I reset the alarm for 5:40. Ten more minutes and I’d feel fine.

Nope. The 5:40 alarm became a 6:30 alarm, and I’m so glad it did. I was totally exhausted this morning and to be honest, I didn’t really need the morning workout. I definitely needed the extra sleep, though.

When I got up at 6:30 I felt way more refreshed than I did at 5:30.

Coach Cane was right. He’s so wise. He’s like my Running Buddha (not to be confused with Running Zack — I hope you get the reference).

Now I’m at the office feeling rested and already super excited to get back to running tomorrow. I do plan to go to the gym tonight to get my recommended cross training in (I’m thinking a Chisel class and maybe some spinning or kick boxing).

If I haven’t said it enough times already, I feel so grateful and appreciative to have a coach guiding me through my first marathon experience. I am a lucky girl.

You know what I’m not grateful for? My crappy closet these days.

I haven’t had much energy to put together cute outfits and I’ve gotten extremely lazy about the “getting dressed for work” process.

This was the best I could do today:

The fact that I’m wearing white before Memorial Day makes me cringe. I hate myself for caring about such a silly “rule,” but I’m pretty sure my sweet grandmother wouldn’t approve of this ensemble on May 9.

I tried to make the outfit a little more exciting with big shoes and bold accessories.

Holy closeup. Sorry about that.

I’ve got a busy week coming up, plus it’s a race weekend! Saturday is the Healthy Kidney 10K, which I’m looking forward to (even though 10K isn’t my favorite distance).

Have a great Monday!

NOW TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS: Running rest days — forced torture or a welcome break? I obviously hate them initially, but typically appreciate them after the fact. I did not want to take this morning off, but I know today’s break will make tomorrow’s run so much stronger and more effective.

AND A RANDOM BONUS QUESTION: I want to buy fun stuff to hang on the walls in my apartment. Any fun, not major chain stores you love with cool art or decorations?



0 Responses

  1. Running rest days make such a huge difference! You can always get your workout fix with some cross training, but even a complete day off feels good sometimes…. or so I hear.

    I love those shoes!

  2. When I first started running, I always wanted to run because I was just so happy that I could. Training plans were really helpful in showing me how to build mileage smartly without over training. Coach Cane knows what’s up. You are a great student!

    1. I think maybe I don’t like 10Ks because they’re always so brutal in Central Park. One big loop? Blech. No thank you!

      So far I think my favorite distance is the half marathon. It’s so challenging and exhausting and I get such a feeling of accomplishment at the finish. (Though check back after next weekend’s Brooklyn Half — that could change pretty quickly!)

  3. Sometimes I need them and sometimes I dread them. Running is my ultimate outlet and way to get away. Perfect way to start off the week.

  4. I love rest days. Full rest after a well deserved few hard days. I have been pushing so hard this weekend, I am looking forward to a break tomorrow, and it always makes the runs back that much better!

  5. Love the accessories. Sometimes old outfits can be a great source of comfort on a Monday. Love your coach’s tweet- so fabulous, and way to listen to him, despite not wanting to. Hope your monday is a great one!

  6. Print out your own pictures on canvas at Kinkos or you can do it online at chiccanvas.com. It looks cool on the canvas and you’ll be sure to have a one of a kind piece of art! 🙂

  7. That is an awesome tweet he sent you, and SO true! You’re right, you have a coach for a reason and that reason is to help you workout smarter and keep you injury-free while training for your first marathon. I think especially for your first, when you’re still teaching you body to run a lot and seeing what it’s capable of, it’s crucial to stick to a smart plan. My first 2 marathons I ran just with the goal of finishing, and what kept me from running too much was sticking to my plan which incorporated cross-training and strength training, which I knew were so important. I’ve learned over the years that just running as much as I possibly can is not going to get me where I want to be as a runner – it’s necessary to work other muscles and strengthen things that running doesn’t get at, and of course it’s also best to give my body a break from the pounding and let my muscles rebuild themselves instead of get worn down.
    Great post, I think you are doing awesome, and I think your coach is a very smart man!

  8. It’s REALLY hard for me to take rest days, but I always remind myself that injuries suck…and then I’d have to take like a million rest days. My dad likes to remind me of this, too! And I actually love the white skirt. I look like an Easter egg in a lavender dress, white ruffled cardigan and sparkly turquoise headband today, no big…

  9. rest days are a blessing and a curse on the balance I love them. For the past 3 years I’ve set Monday as a rest day I love having the extra time on the first day of the week to ease into the week. I understand the other way of thinking but for me it works well. That said because of a Saturday race and traveling yesterday I took yesterday off and will be trying to get myself out there today. After so many years of not running on Monday it feels strange to do…

  10. Right now, I hate rest days. I’m going on almost 4 wks of rest days from running.

    However, when I’m not injured and running, I welcome rest days. You have to give your body time to recover. You will be glad for those rest days when you cross the finish line injury free. Your Coach knows what he’s doing.

    Those shoes are supah cute!

  11. I think I love Coach Cane. Hehe. Even though I knowwww you realllly wanted to run this morning, I’m glad you listened. And it sounds like you’re glad too! Running rest days are hard to swallow ESPECIALLY this time of year but totally necessary in my book, especially on the joints. They thank me when I take a running rest day and/or do some cross training instead. I hope your workout tonight is a good one! And PS. I still love your outfit, I think you’re crazy for hating your closet lately!

  12. 1. I think it’s really good to have running rest days. It gives my legs a chance to be fresh so that the workouts I do are quality. In fact, in 2010, I trained to run a half by just running. Any day a week, I would try to run, anywhere from 3-4 miles on short days and increase mileage every week for long runs. In 2011, I trained by only running 3 days a week, but each run was a specific workout, either tempo, speed or long run and I PR’ed by 9 minutes.

    2. cross training is my friend because I can work on increasing my cardiovascular strength without destroying my legs. Does your coach specificy what needs to be a proper cross training workout? Can it be anything? I’ve heard it needs to be bike, swim or elliptical but was just wondering if he counted weight training… I’m always curious on what other runners do for cross training

    3. I can’t help with the question about the art because I dont’ live in NYC 🙂

    Love your blog!!

    1. So far he hasn’t specified what he deems “acceptable cross training,” though at our first meeting I did tell Coach Cane that I usually do strength training, spinning and yoga. He gave those workouts the OK, and if I do anything different I plan to check in with him first.

  13. When your marathon mileage gets to 50/60 miles a week, you will be welcoming rest days… I currently am! I love them! Marathon training takes it’s toll… Enjoy it now!!!!!!! lol


  14. Aw I’m glad you’re learning to accept the ol’ rest days. Having trained for a few marathons, I know they REALLY are important. That being said, when I’m in my running groove (like when each run is perfect), I curse the rest day! Plus, I totally agree about Mondays – I like to start my week off with a good run as well. Maybe next time, go to a really fun class instead. You’ll still feel like you’re starting the week off strong. Kickboxing always gets me goin!

  15. I like those shoes!

    I have a love-hate relationship with rest days. While I do end up embracing the fact I don’t have to crank out mileage that day, I still sort of feel like I’m missing out. Plus, my Daily Mile count for the week doesn’t go up, and that’s a bummer. Today is a cross-training day for me, too, which admittedly hold less anxiety for me than resting completely and doing nothing.

    As far as decorative stuff, I know they’re chain stores, but I ALWAYS find cool things at Pier1 and Ikea. If you have a Kirklands up there, same deal.

  16. I’m with Brandi. You don’t understand the importance of rest days until you find yourself in physical therapy with an overuse injury. As mad as you are to not run on Monday, you’d be so much more angry when you are told you can’t run for 8 weeks (I speak from experience!).

  17. I was like you at first, I hated rest days and I wanted to run more. Unfortunately my body didnt like that and I ended up with stress fractures in both legs. HUGE wake up call. Now I welcome them especially when my weekly mileage got higher and I’m walking around like a hungry sleep deprived zombie.

    I like http://whatisblik.com for wall stickers. You can find pretty much any kind of wall sticker you might want there!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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