For the first time in almost eight months, I took a solid week off. I didn’t think about my diet, a training plan, or my assortment of running apps. I needed to find some balance after months of strict training. And I couldn’t be happier about this choice.
My week consisted of lots of candy, alcohol, and even Taco Bell. I was able to spend quality time with my friends and family after basically being a hermit since I started training hard last August. I saw some close friends and their families that I hadn’t seen in years. We graduated high school together, and since then my clique has spread around the country, so it’s rare that we get to spend time together anymore. It’s amazing to me that we graduated high school ten years ago, yet we can still stand around Lauren’s kitchen island and pig out like we did when we were sixteen. It’s like no time had passed since graduating. I was glad that Lauren’s weekend in town coincided with the end of my training so I could spend a good amount of time with her.
My weekend actually lasted a full 48 hours, since I didn’t have to cut out Saturday night so I could get to bed early, two hours Sunday morning so i could run, and another few hours of post-run rest. It was great to turn off the alarm clock (who am I kidding, I was still up at seven) and take time to do what I wanted to do. I haven’t even had to do laundry since the half marathon!
My weight increased four pounds this past week, albeit only temporarily. I made a deal with myself to stay mindful of my calorie intake but not to worry about it. I have paid really close attention to my diet for a long time and I needed a reminder that it’s ok to stray every once in awhile. My body has gone through some pretty awesome changes and I knew all of that work wouldn’t go to waste in seven days. And I was right – this morning I was three pounds lighter than I was yesterday morning. When you have a weekend full of eating out, Easter meals, and happy hours you have to give your body a couple days to detox all that junk out. With a solid foundation of healthy eating I’m hoping it doesn’t take me more than another day or two to get my weight back down to where it was.
And as far as running? I finally laced up the Vomeros today, for the first time in nine days. I was almost nervous about it for some reason. It was like seeing your best friend from high school and hoping you still have the same relationship with her that you used to. But as with Lauren, as soon as I hit the pavement for my run, it was like no time had passed at all. With fresh legs and a fresh mind, I even ran my fifth fastest pace for that distance. I didn’t check my Runkeeper app too closely during the run, mainly just to see where the out-and-back point was. It was just me and the music.
So what next? The beautiful thing is, I don’t have an answer to that question. There is a ten mile race in May that I’m contemplating. I’ll put in the training for it whether I do the race or not. I found a beginner training plan, and the longest run during training is eight miles. The plan consists of running three days per week, plus cross training and strength training. I’m excited to switch things up for a little while, to add some balance to my workout routine. The Dallas Marathon is calling my name, but training for that won’t start until July. In the meantime, I want to enjoy running for a little while, like I did today. I want to run with my group through Life Time Fitness. I may volunteer for a couple races. I may do a color run or a foam run. The possibilities are endless.
I just know that running will always be there for me, like an old friend. I don’t have to be a slave to my various running apps and training plans, nor do I need to sacrifice my time and my weekends to be successful; I can simply run as I please. I’m excited to see what these next few months hold for me.