It’s Friday morning and I don’t have to run today. Well, I used to think about a rest day as not ‘having’ to run. But this morning it’s not like that at all. I have enjoyed my three sessions in Perth this week and am excited about heading to Victoria Point tomorrow morning for the club run. Not to mention the awesome 22km trail run that I’ve entered on Sunday.
But I know I need some rest. Over the past 8 months I’ve run about 500km, with about 200km of that being in the past month. So I’m quite obviously starting to really increase the mileage in my legs. I felt it yesterday afternoon while walking around Perth; my shins and calves are a little tight. It’s nothing that’s causing me concern; the muscles and tendons are just adapting to my switch from non-athlete to very low-key triathlete to long-distance runner. It’s a big shift for them to make in the space of a year but one that I know my body can handle because I’ve got the right attitude.
My body will certainly have some rest today because I’m about to step on a plane for the long flight home from Perth. I’ll be sitting in my seat for about six hours with little chance of distraction or temptation to wander around. It will be a good chance for my legs to recover. For people who usually train longer and harder than I do, it might seem slack that I need some rest after the training I’ve been doing. But focusing on running instead of breaking my training up over three disciplines like I did last year is a big step for me. It’s one I’ve been anxious about taking.
My biggest anxiety about becoming a runner instead of a multi-sport athlete is the tendency for runners to take things very seriously. I noticed it last week when I was at the Brisbane Marathon. The other volunteers in my area were all comparing split times and weekly mileage and how many speed / hill sessions they were doing. I don’t know my split times, I only keep track of my weekly mileage out of curiosity, and I don’t do hill or speed sessions.
I run for pleasure. I run to explore new places. I run to discover more about who I really am. And I run to learn to appreciate the simple things in life. There’s something simple and pure about putting one foot in front of the other. I like long distances because they are simply about exploration, not speed.
I keep track of my finish times and mileage on my blog out of curiosity and also to show that I don’t do big miles and fast times. I do it to show others that you don’t have to be some super athlete to enjoy fitness and sport.
So today is a rest day. I better leave because my flight is boarding.