Many thanks to those who commented on my “time out” post. Indeed, there is much wisdom in honoring the body’s signals, and my recent short break from running just underscored that message (a good thing, because I can have amnesia about these things).
What’s interesting is how naturally the red carpet unraveled for my resumed running. No formal plans, no strategies, no pressure. It was as simple as, hmmm, nice weather, I think I might go for a run. And that was it. I had a nice, easy outing (really, all of my post-break runs thus far have been on the “easy” end of the scale), followed a couple of days later by a 4-miler on the treadmill (due to rain), and a few days after that, another treadmill trot, this time in Las Vegas, as I was competing in the Fitness America competition there and needed to get the blood flowing. A few days later — Thanksgiving week — I was out for a long walk and decided to throw in about 10-12 jog intervals, admittedly with some Christmas tunes ringing in my ear from my ipod.
It was as delightfully nonchalant as can be, and so totally different from the manner in which I usually approach my fitness training. I’m normally very much a list person, charting out in advance where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing at which time. This was a gift, a chance to experience running as spontaneous play, not unlike the glee of being released for recess on an astonishingly summery day.
Ah, but short-lived, or so it appears. Although my go-with-the-flow approach continued through the Thanksgiving weekend (due in part to an unforseen bout of laryngitis — ever hear a runner with no voice try to give you the time? That’s right, no you haven’t!), I can feel my factory-installed default settings slowly re-emerging. Right now it’s “just” in the form of tearing out interesting plans and exercises I’ve stumbled upon in magazines, and a little more attention paid to articles divulging the latest research on various training trends, but I know what that means. My days of unscripted outings are coming to a close. Soon there will be graphs and charts, sunrise/sunset checks, schedule shuffles and calendar coordinations where there is currently just “workout on a whim” improvisation. It’s okay. It’s been nice to see that underlying those fancy-shmancy plans and designs is still that organic love of movement that inspired me to fitness in the first place!