This week ended up being an unplanned rest week of sorts. K and I ran Monday morning, the first of a week of 4-milers. The run went well, and if not for the insistent humidity of Florida (it's September already, cut it out!), I think we wouldn't have needed the short walk break we took. Still, the plan was to run Monday and Tuesday with a walk break, take Wednesday off, then run Thursday and Friday without breaks.
I woke up an hour before my alarm Tuesday, covered in sweat and suffering from sharp stomach pangs. My first thought was food poisoning of some sort, and I texted K that I was too sick to run. By 6:00am, when I got up for work, my symptoms were gone. Still, I figured we'd run Wednesday through Friday and just use Tuesday as our day off.
The week ended up being one of those where, for some reason, I just couldn't get a handle on my exhaustion. Part of this was that I wasn't running, and running gives me the energy I need for the day. But we also had benchmark testing in school, so I had no planning periods for two days. "Planning", for you non-teachers, is 45 minutes allotted time for paperwork, calling parents, putting in grades, collaborating with fellow teachers/writing lesson plans, making copies, having a snack (lunch is at 12:50 for me, and breakfast is at 6:30...you do the math), using the bathroom, and taking a mental break between blocks. Without planning, I'm going straight through the day from 8:00 - when students first arrive - til 3:00, with a 27-minute lunch in the middle.
I was at school late every day catching up on the things I couldn't do during my non-existent planning time, so by the time I got home I was just done. On K's end, she had a sick baby and all the difficulties that come with that. So really, we were both okay with missing some running days. Neither of us asked the other if we'd be up for a run in the morning. We just let the days off happen.
I went to the gym Thursday and planned to do just two miles (still nursing my toe, which is still a little puffy and tender), but ended up doing four. It was a hard slog. Without K, it's hard to motivate myself to keep going, and the treadmill and I aren't bosom buddies by any means. (I mean to say, I hate the treadmill, but like a two-faced middle school girl, I will continue to use it as it suits my needs.) I took two walk breaks, did the four miles, and did some much-needed weight training.
Everything was back to normal Saturday, and our families got together for dinner and a movie (we watched Mulan, at the request of K's two-year-old) with a plan to run in the evening, but by the time we had eaten it was just too late. So we got up this morning and did our four miles.
If we were on track, this would be our 5-miler week, but we're thinking instead of sticking with four and adding in a long run with some fartleks this weekend instead. We don't have a work Monday (just another reason to enjoy Rosh Hashanah), so I think that will help us in our recovery and getting back on track, too.
Physically, the light load this week was nice. It allowed my toe to rest, allowed me to catch up on some sleep, and re-energized me. Mentally, it allowed me to step back from the stress of being so disciplined with our runs, while still seeing that we can pick up where we left off without difficulty, which really boosted my morale.
All in all, I think taking a few days off was really helpful. And now this week, we're back into it. I am feeling incredibly more motivated and confident. Routine is good, but sometimes a break is better.