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.
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.
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?