Using Your Homework Pass For Running


My brain clearly works through the use of analogies.

Remember when your teacher would give out a special “homework pass” that allowed you to skip your homework assignment on a day of your choice without any reason whatsoever?

I thought about this the other morning when I debated taking a completely random day off from running.

topic tuesday running

It was last Monday to be exact. I woke up with the odd-for-me thought of I am not going to run today.

I didn’t particularly feel like running my usual routine loop or any route at all.

I just didn’t.

But I wasn’t tired. And nothing in particular was wrong.

In fact, as the early morning moments went on from the time of the I am not going to run today thinking, I was wide awake, not lagging, nothing bothering me—actually in a really good mood with super loose and limber body parts.

So why exactly was I going to take off?

Of course I deserve a day off if I want one and I do not need to have a reason.

There’s no denying my dedication and I put in more than enough miles all of the time that taking off unplanned without reason would mean very little to my running routine.

workout summary 2014

The crazy part to this workout summary is that it doesn’t include most treadmill miles. I rarely bothered to log them.

I thought about using my  “homework pass” though when it would matter more, just like I tell my son when he receives one.

Save it for when you are super busy after school! Use it when you are too tired! Skip your assignment when you have Hebrew school! Don’t use it today! Today you have the time to do it! You will thank me, I swear!

I thought about the week ahead.

Frigid temperatures, blowing snow. Ice.

I had no real reason to skip Monday’s run but felt I may have good reason later on in the week so I decided to get dressed, throw on my running shoes and just head out to do something a little bit different.

Instead of my routine six-mile loop, I scaled it back to a 5k distance with the intention of pushing my pace and seeing what I had to give for those 3.1 miles.

I had such an endorphin high in just under 24 minutes –and it was really fun too since it was different from what I normally do!

I went home fresh and ready for the day, super glad I saved my pass for another time.

Now listen, there are true times where you need a day off. When that is the case, you take it.

But when you are on the fence about it and unsure as to what to do, ask yourself the following questions before making your decision:

Did I get enough sleep last night?

Am I recovering from an injury and feel like I could really benefit from the day off?

Do I have a nagging pain anywhere?

Do I feel sick? Am I getting over an illness? They say you can run with a cold when symptoms are above the chest; symptoms below the chest no. If you have a fever, please stay home and feel better soon.

What is my schedule like the rest of the week? Is there a better day to skip rather than today when I have the time?

How is the weather looking for the upcoming week? Am I better off outside today or a different day?

What can I do that I maybe didn’t plan on doing as my workout that I would prefer at the moment instead?

If you conclude that today is your day to run yet your brain still doesn’t feel like it, sometimes just telling yourself that you will stop running after ten minutes if you still aren’t in the mood is all you need to do.

Trust me, once you are ten minutes into your run, you will feel great, in your groove and really happy that you saved your homework pass for a more deserving day.


Do you remember receiving those special homework passes? Did you use it right away or save it? I totally saved it!

What time do you normally go to bed?

Favorite pre-run meal?


Follow on Bloglovin


  1. says

    This is a great way to think about it! Usually when I’m on the fence I end up going running so its actually much harder for me to give myself a day off. Im one to save things like homework passes and days off for as long as possible:) Every night I am in bed by 9 and if I don’t sleep well I feel even more motivated to run because I feel more tired when I don’t work out!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…2015 Tentative Race Schedule + Inspiration BoardMy Profile

  2. says

    I love this analogy and it makes so much sense to me! I don’t think I got homework passes, but, my daughter started getting them this year and she’s very strategic in how she uses them. I think all the same applies to running. There are random days when it just feels like the “right” time to use that pass, but I always think ahead to what’s coming up (how can you not with kids!) and save it for when I know I’ll be weaker and needing it more. Or for when someone is randomly sick of course!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Why Race?My Profile

  3. says

    I love a good analogy! When I dont feel like going for a run I tell myself how much better I will feel after I do it. I like the 10 minute rule because I know 10 minutes I would never go back home right away and keep with the run.

    **I go to bed around 10:30. Nights I have school it is a bit later. I like to get into bed as early as possible. I am a grandma! And I like to wake up at 5**
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…Tried it Tuesday #9: Wine Tasting & SouthWest Michigan WineriesMy Profile

  4. says

    YES! So so SO true about how we tell ourselves to just head out for 10 minutes and if we don’t feel it we can turn around. I think in all my years of running, I have only turned around once. And I love analogies too. I’m a metaphor whore. 🙂
    Suzy recently posted…The FrayingMy Profile

  5. Frank says

    If I ever received homework passes, I probably either forgot about or lost them. I wasn’t a very organized or diligent student and often just took a “homework pass” whether I had been given one or not.

    I don’t normally have a normal bedtime …

    Favorite pre-run meal for a daytime run is oatmeal, coffee, banana, sometimes with a Power/Cliff/Nature Valley bar if I feel I didn’t fuel well enough the day/night before.

    6 degrees up here as I type. Headed to the Y today for a 75 minute run. Probably split between the indoor track and the treadmill . . . .

  6. says

    Whaaaaat!? I never got homework passes! Between that and never getting any Snow Days, I feel like I was totally short-changed as a kid. Pft. But I know what you mean about getting hit with those random “I don’t want to do anything” kind of days. I usually get them when I haven’t slept well, but I’ll also get hit with random bouts of laziness that I have to try to overcome. The worst part is usually getting started. Once I get my butt moving, I always enjoy it.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. cereal milk protein smoothie .My Profile

  7. says

    I never got homework passes back in school, but I certainly take my share of them now. In fact, I plan them into my schedule. I’m good health wise, so I figure I can take my fair share now. If I get in three workouts a week, I’m good, four and I’m thrilled.