The benefit of taking a few days off vs. the cost of taking a few days off. While probably not advisable all the time, I didn't run the past four days. Blame it on mild injuries or hormones or just plain laziness, but there it is. The cost - I ate too much and felt guilty every day that I didn't run. Today, however, I was mentally and physically ready to go out and run. It helped that it was sunny and something like 40 degrees outside. So I stepped out my door and plugged through 6.5 miles. (!) That's the farthest I've run since before Christmas. The benefit - Having been given a bit of a break, my body was healed and ready to go for a longer run, even though I haven't logged a long run in quite a few weeks. In this instance, the benefit of my lassitude outweighed the cost. I don't feel broken or winded or that I overdid it today either.
There is a couple in our little town who runs every day. Or 6 days a week, at the least. I'm not sure if they are any more, but I know they used to be relatively competitive, running Boston a few times. I have nearly limitless admiration for these two, partly because of their dedication, but also because they're really nice people. Nothing gets in the way of their morning runs. Even last week, when the morning's temperatures were somewhere around 0 degrees (yes, Zero), they were out. Although, on Thursday she qualified, "We only did about four miles this morning." Right. No big deal.
Perhaps their bodies are so finely tuned that they don't need to take any stretches of time off or only rarely. Their morning runs are just a thing like any other thing they do during their day. Wake up, run, breakfast, work, etc. It is their routine. So what am I missing that I can't incorporate running into my daily routine? I suppose part of my problem is that my days are not routine. My work schedule changes almost weekly, and I work funky hours: 4:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 1-9:30 p.m. Certainly no 9-5, certainly not "routine" in the traditional sense of the word.
At least I do run. The weather is slowly turning around; I will be running more and soon. Today's run was heartening because it means that I'm not as much of a slouch as I feared. I've shaken off my January sinus infection, and I'm beating my IT band pain. Let's see if I can squeeze in another bit of a run tomorrow... Thinking less, running more. Loving it.