The Week of Rest

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I think it's safe to say, I'm not the only person that gets too wrapped up in running.

In checking blogs.
Checking times.
Drooling over new gear.
Reading articles from Runner's World on How to Run Faster.
Google'ing races. Reading recaps.
Constantly thinking and dreaming about running.

It can be consuming, but we must realize that REST is so important; it's such an important piece to the running puzzle. It's OKAY to take time off.

I came across this article The Importance of Rest for Runners and I think it pretty much sums it up perfectly:

Many runners have Type-A personalities. Taking an unncessary day off--or worse yet a full week off--is about as enjoyable as a trip to the dentist for a root canal. Some runners have an irrational fear that missing a few runs will dramatically diminish their fitness and taking five to seven days off will completely ruin the hard work they've put in over the previous months.

Unfortunately, it's the mistake of not resting enough after a big race or a long training segment that can ultimately lead to plateaus in training and stagnant race results. Not only does resting for seven to 10 days have little negative impact on your current fitness, the long-term gains you will be able to make will enable you to continue to make consistent progress, year after year without overtraining. 

The article goes on to describe scientifically why your body needs to have down time and what elite runners do. Read it in its entirety here.

After running back-to-back half marathons to celebrate my birthday, I didn't take any time off and of course my knee injury slowly but surely came crawling back. This week (and with the guidance of my awesome friend, Amy) I put on my big girl pants and realized I needed to take a week off and despite being on a waiting list to see my doc, I called back to at least make a legit appointment with his assistant.

As I'm writing this on Sunday, I can already tell you the week of rest has paid off. Although I still have a dull pain that needs to be addressed, the mobility/range of my knee has increased. Prior to this week I could not sit on my knees with my bum to my heels. Today, I can. It may not be the most comfortable, but it's better than nothing and let me tell you that's definitely something in my book.

This seven day breakup with running has given my knee some much needed space/rest and I'm looking forward to rekindling that spark (SLOWLY) next week.

WEEK OF RELAXATION

So what do you do when you take a week off from running? Here's what I did:

I'm having Francis Underwood withdrawals already.
MONDAY-THURSDAY

-Binged on House of Cards Season 2. We were lucky enough to cross paths with my brother on the road (he travels full-time too) so he stayed with Casey and I, and the three of us finished House of Cards Season 2 AND watched this incredibly interesting documentary (also on Netflix).

-Killed a pizza from our favorite place in Atlanta, Fellini's.

-Then demolished a veggie burger. Nestled in one of our favorite ATL neighborhoods, Yeah! Burger HIT THE SPOT. Build your own burger or order one of their tasty concoctions. Plenty of vegan, vegetarian, organic and gluten-free options. Plus, a great selection of beer. Win-win.



-Checked out Atlanta's popular running store, Phidippides, which claims it's the longest standing specialty running store in the world. Cool place. Definitely worth the trip if you're in ATL. Like a library with shelves crammed with books, Phidippides has shelves stocked from floor to ceiling with shoes. It's heavenly. They also carry running brands like Oiselle, Janji, Brooks, Nike, Asics, Saucony, etc...etc...
Bird watch.
Heaven. 
-Had dinner with our amazing friend, Mary Beth. Another rad spot this time in Decatur (Virginia Highlands and Decatur are our fave ATL 'hoods). Beer list was long and impressive, but they were out of many of their selections or too lazy to check the downstairs bar. The service was pretty terrible, but the actual place/structure was awesome. Plus, we're always guaranteed a good time with MB. I would definitely return, but I'd skip the eats and stick to drinks. For an appetizer, order the pretzels.

Brick Store Pub

-Registered for a mid-summer marathon. Hey, just because you're taking time off of running doesn't mean you have to stop thinking about running all together. I attempted to register for a certain marathon on Sunday, but lost out as it reached capacity. They reopened registration on Wednesday and with better preparation I got in before it sold out (in minutes!).

The catch?

I'm not sure if I can actually run this race until we get our hands on a detailed schedule for our upcoming tour. I know that we'll be in the area of this marathon a couple of weeks prior and after the race. So, I'm hoping we'll be in the area the entire time in between. I also need to keep my fingers crossed that IF we are in this certain city, that we have an event with a late start time on race day (we work weekends).

Basically, the stars need to align to make this happen. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I'm really excited (too late) for the opportunity to run this race. It's technically considered a trail marathon as it's mostly on gravel, but it's a FAST course. It's no frills. It has no pre-race expo (packets/info are picked up on race day). It caps at 400. It's a very scenic course. It's a hard race to get into. It offers a partial refund if you can't make it or if you're injured. It's cheap ($90 for the marathon/$129 if you want the long sleeve Columbia race shirt featuring zero sponsors). There are hardly any spectators. There's a tunnel that lasts for 2-miles. It's unique and I love everything about it! 

Spent some time in the office. I swear we work.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

Drove to D.C. After our truck broke down three times from Atlanta to D.C. we finally made it! We had three Ryder reps try to fix it, but it was Johnnie from Henderson, North Carolina that did the trick. Third time's a charm. Thanks, Johnnie!


Also on Saturday, my friend Taylor, annihilated the Tom King Classic half marathon in Nashville, TN. Shaving off nearly five minutes from her PR! She is a STUD!

Check out her blog: Chords and Cadence

SUNDAY

CREEPING, EATING, READING. Capped off this week by following two of my best friends, Amie and Savannah, in the San Diego Half Marathon. Congratulations to the two of them on a great race and safe travels back to Vegas! Plus, followed some bloggers tweets/photos from the LA Marathon. Congrats to everyone who ran this steamy 26.2!

Then Casey and I went to Wegman's. When you're in the Northeast, screw Whole Foods (screw WFs anyways). Wegman's is where it's at! I picked up some essentials: this ridiculous butternut squash/cranberry/amazingness and the new issue of Runner's World. We watched the end of Bulls/Heat  (Go Bulls!) and now we're watching golf. I think Tiger might want to peep this post on REST.


A strenuous Sunday. ;) 
The perfect ending to a week devoted to R&R. 

HOW MANY REST DAYS DO YOU TAKE PER WEEK? 

HOW MUCH TIME (IF ANY) DO YOU TAKE OFF AFTER A RACE? 

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