I feel so out of shape and that is basically because I am. In a matter of 2½ years, from Nov. 2009 to May 2011, I raced in three marathons and seven half marathons (plus a few triathlons). So why do I feel so out of shape? After the last half marathon in May of this year (up in Boston), I decided to take it easy so I spent the next 11 weeks more or less resting my mind and my body from the stresses of running. I ran 2-3x a week and no more than nine miles total in one week. While that may seem like a lot to some people, for me that was nothing, as doing a nine-mile run in one day is one of my favorite things to do. However I decided I really needed a rest, to let my body recover from all those miles, and give me time to focus on other things. I told myself I’d take three months off ….. and well, 11 weeks is close enough.
Just about two weeks ago I decided to start back and am going to slowly (yes, smart and slow) increase my distances. I do want to do one more marathon next year (that probably is news to my husband, hopefully he is not cursing me out as he reads this).I just love being in marathon shape, there’s nothing like saying you are headed out to do “just” a 10-mile run. I feel healthier and happier when I’m running.
Taking time off is not new to me; it’s something I do every few years. I took time off when I was in Chiropractic College, then raced hard for several years, and in 2006 when I had a bad bike crash, I was forced to rest for a few months. After breaking three bones, I had to; I had no choice. Then I came back and raced marathons & triathlons again. In 2009 when I spent 5 weeks in Russia, I didn’t run and only did one race that entire year (half marathon in November). So here I am, three years later taking another rest.
While I’m a huge advocate of working out, I think resting the body is important as well and not overdoing it. Our bodies were designed to move, but not in excess, and knowing what you can handle and what you can’t handle is important. And the older I’ve got, I’ve realized that more rest is important, and that’s a harsh reality. However, movement is what keeps people young!
Movement – that includes exercise, chiropractic care and massage. You can’t move your legs and think your spine is going to be fine. You can’t move your arms and think everything is going to be fine. You need to take care of your entire body, all the time. Every once and a while, listen to your body, let it rest, but make movement part of your lifestyle and you will be happier, healthier and pain free.