It has been an incredible indulgence to have taken this time off from running. While my legs are feeling jittery and I'm restless and ready to run again, it's been nice to "sleep in" until 6am. It's been nice to give my legs time to heal; the twinges in my hip flexor, knee, and foot (all on my left leg) are growing faint. I've spent this time getting back to work, coaching volleyball, and relaxing. It's funny how, right after traveling for the holidays, I'm always in desperate need of relaxation.
This week off hasn't left me feeling awful or depressed, as I wrote about feeling on unplanned days off. In fact, I feel whole and sound in my body, mind, and spirit...as corny as it sounds.
I've kept myself in the running loop, though. The three or four Facebook running groups that I follow are alive with chatter as fellow runners gear up for their big races. Mine has passed and I'm in a moment of suspension, but it's cool to sit back and watch the training go on around me. Goals are being met, feedback is being requested, advice being doled out, and I am happily finishing the last of the cranberry sauce and pie and just...taking a break.
It's nice, too, to know that this break isn't indefinite. There have been times in the past when taking a week off quickly rolls into months of inactivity; that's what started this 2012 resolution in the first place. But I know this time that this year has changed me. Running has become too important to me; I will not fall idle again.
I'm not ready to ruminate on the year. It's an upcoming post which will be more appropriately timed, but even the thought of sitting down to write it is daunting. For now, I'll leave it at that.
I am so excited to run this weekend. My plan is to have no plan. Ah, freedom! I just want to stretch my legs, take it easy, and start at square one. This weekend's run won't be about training. I'm not even quite sure which race I'm gearing up for next, so I guess the answer to that question would be "none". There are a few left on the list for this race season, but they're in the back of my mind.
I'm reliving fond memories of breaking out of two-milers at the end of the summer and consistently adding distance and weekly mileage, rocking our first long-run, shocking ourselves at how far we could really go, and how easily! It's exciting to know I'll be starting back there soon, and that the increase and skill will come back faster this time around. It's exciting, too, to know that I'll be able to add longer tempo runs, more long-runs...that basically this was my first round of training in a lifetime of training cycles, and this next cycle will give me the opportunity to climb up to the next level. Maybe I'll push my distance. Maybe I'll push my pace. Maybe my new goals will be ones that were previously unfathomable. Who knows? The running world lays open wide with possibilities before me!
I feel weirdly...fresh. A chapter is closed - the Half is finished. A new chapter begins.
On my time off, I've been collecting the quotes I get from RunnersWorld.com. I feel like it would be lazy to just post a bunch of them and call it a blog entry, but I want to keep them somewhere that's easy to access and available to others in need of inspiration. I think I'll create a new tab for quotes sometime this week. It will be good mental prep that I know will get me revved up and ready to rejoin the running world.