The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. We got back to New York City, we moved into a cozy (aka tiny) apartment, and we started back into our classes with our students. I may not have mentioned before but my husband and I run a sports program in NYC. During the course of most days we teach sports and crafts classes to preschool students and finish the after school hours with lacrosse, football, rollerblading, rollerhockey and various other sports classes. It is so much fun and also exhausting.
Like most runners, I took on all of this but didn’t really change up my running schedule. I still did a few two a days and logged A LOT of miles. They never seem to be that much until I am deep into a long run and start adding up the miles. “You mean I ran 50 miles last week?!” Then I realize why I am so tired. New York is also a walking city. I love walking. But when you add all those miles to the running miles, your body is going to start to cry for help.
Lately Tuesday has been my day off from running. Usually I am all about Sundays off so I can sleep in and laze about and get back to training on Monday. But right now I am enjoying having the weekends to run and explore the city again. I am taking my tour guide responsibilities seriously with Flat Stanley and the weekends have been great for this. So Tuesday it is.
Over the past week I was having some major cramping in my calves. I am talking about cramping to the point that I would have stop running a few times and stretch my calves. This is never a good situation and is always a precursor for foot injuries for me.
So when Tuesday came along, I gladly hung up my running shoes….and went shopping! Ok not a lot of shopping but I did find two second hand stores on Madison Avenue and I did have to go and “explore.” In case you were wondering I did bring home a few souvenirs.
I also made sure to drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fresh food full of antioxidants. Fortunately for me salads can be found everywhere around here. Actually it is easier to find a salad shop than it is to find fast food. Hello runners heaven!
So what’s the point? We runners are creatures of habit. Sometimes it is hard for us to stop, relax, and refuel. In fact, sometimes I will admit I fear a day off because it might even add a pound or two to the scale (I know, I know…pretty dumb). But our bodies need some time to recharge, eat some good food and our mind needs that break too.
If you can’t completely give it up, get on the bike, go for a swim, do some yoga. But let your running legs have a day off. Most of our bosses give us two days off a week from our job. The least you can do is give your running legs a day off.
When I got back on the road yesterday my legs felt surprisingly like new. I couldn’t believe what a change a day off made in my routine. Do it for your legs, trust me they will thank you.