Running. What a roller coaster.
(I always want roller coaster to be one word.)
(I also always want to ride roller coasters when I should be doing work.)
(I also also sometimes worry that roller coasters are not safe at all, and think that people should definitely not ride them.)
(And amusement parks are too expensive.)
Super quick backtrack recap: I went into two fall marathons feeling over-trained and crappy. Then I ran two spring half-marathons, still feeling over-trained and slightly more crappy. I never felt fast or fit or light or speedy. I just felt frustrated. But I never did much about it. Finally, after a disappointing Brooklyn Half, I took 10 days off running. No November Project, no “brisk walks that may turn into a run,” and lots of full, real rest days.
Last Tuesday, I put my pretty HOKAs back on and hit the Bridle Path with the Tuesday morning interval group for my first run back!
Unsurprisingly, I felt amazing. I felt bouncy and refreshed and so happy I had taken some time off.
I went to November Project Wednesday and without looking at my watch or pushing myself, I ended up running slightly quicker and feeling slightly better than usual.
And then, while I was in Vermont this weekend for a wedding, I found myself [lost, because running on trails is impossible and I tried to run on the “Valley Trail” but found myself in a very developed cul-de-sac, WTF?] suddenly feeling motivated and excited. I decided to sprint every time the song I was listening to reached its chorus. It was a fun, unintentional workout.
The important (and yeah, obvious) lessons I’ve learned here…
Rest is so so so important. I’ve learned this the hard way time and time again. But rest — real, honest don’t-move-at-all rest — works wonders on the body. And sometimes you don’t just need a “Rest Day.” You might need two rest days or three rest days or two weeks of legitimate rest. Refusing to listen to your body and push through pain or fatigue isn’t cute. Beasting your next race, though, because you’re super rested and feel amazing? Totally adorable.
Rest is not yoga. Especially not the yoga we do at Lyons Den. Rest is nothing. Rest, for me, isn’t even a walk around the Reservoir. If I want to achieve maximum recovery, I need to be horizontal. Obviously all bodies are different, and maybe for some people a rest day is best served by doing a yoga class or going for a walk. That’s not the case for me.
I would rather work out at a high intensity than for a really really long time. For the past few years, I’ve told myself I thrive on endurance activity. Think two-hour long runs on Saturday mornings even when I’m not training for anything, or adding three-mile warm-up or cool-down miles to my workouts just to hit a certain number of mileage during training. Last week, my daily mileage was way lower than it ever is when I’m training for a big race, but all my workouts went so much better. I had so much more fun just going out and doing five miles with pickups or fartleks or whatever than slogging a bunch of junk miles for no good reason.
Turns out, running this way is far more fun for me. And as a very recreational, definitely not getting paid for this runner, that’s my goal: keeping it fun.
I want to do other stuff now, too. With no races on the horizon, I want to run and I want to do yoga and I want to spin. I also have a whole huge list of NYC workouts and studios I want to finally try. I want to get stronger and feel better, and running a million miles a week does not, in fact, make me feel that way. It makes me feel tired and achy and jiggly. And hungry. But I always feel hungry.
And so, in the spirit of being a smarter, better recovered fun (and, fine, sometimes competitive) runner, I would like to offer up a giveaway!
You know I love a little knee-high action, be it legwarmers or compression socks.
I even wore compression socks on my first date with Brian (and it worked out fine, so shut up).
Of all the compression brands out there, I like PRO Compression the best. (They didn’t even pay me to say that! But yo, PRO, do you want to?) The socks are nice and tight without being impossible to pull on and remove. And they’re made in the USA, which is always cool.
I run in compression socks sometimes, but I usually wear them for recovery. And for fashion.
You should have a pair of compression socks, too. PRO Compression socks, in fact. Up for grabs today is a pair of PRO Compression socks or sleeves for one lucky runner, nurse, doctor, elderly person, on-your-feet-all-day human, cyclist, CrossFitter, or aggressive outlet shopper (or however else you identify yourself).
As always, entering the giveaway is easy and free and joyful. All you have to do is comment on this post answering one of the following:
- What’s your favorite, most indulgent way to spend a rest day?
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? (This is my very favorite question to ask people.)
- If Brian and I invite Celine Dion to our wedding, do you think she will attend? Do you know if she is busy that day? Do you have her direct contact information?
The giveaway is open until Friday, June 19, at 5 PM EST. I’ll email and announce the winner after that. (The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry, I love you.)
If you don’t win or don’t want to wait to find out if you’ve won, PRO is currently offering up 40% off Marathon Socks and Sleeves (that’s a lot of percent off). Use the code PRO15 to snag yours.
Happy running, resting, recovering, and raging!
All good things.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.