Bodies tell us so much. And those of us who like to pretend we’re Cheetahs, Kenyans, or small monkeys on bicycles are great at ignoring our screaming limbs and brains.
Yesterday should have been a rest day for me. But I couldn’t help myself. I beat myself up for not doing enough strength work recently, so I headed in for a weights session. Afterwards, I jumped on the elliptical, and the 60 minute session fast became 10 minutes as my groaning body refused to harden up.
Normally, I’m all like -
- but yesterday was different. My body was shaky, I felt exhausted, and, most importantly, I didn’t want to work out.
So how do you tell the difference between being just a little bit pathetic (and man, we are ALL guilty of that from time to time) and really needing to stop?
Honestly, I don’t really know for sure. But I do know, from bitter experience, that not stopping leads to complete burnout, and potentially a long-standing relationship with a chiropractor.
When in doubt, I turn to Runners World, and today, it informed me that some of the signs are an elevated resting heart rate, feeling run down, being cranky, and having a sluggish workout. Based on their charts, I was hitting the ‘warning zone’, so cranky, irritable me sat on the couch and got out one of the OCD anonymous favourite apps – the heart-rate monitor. Normally, my pulse is 58-60bpm. This morning it was 78.
I had a rest day. I hated every bit of it.
But now I’m glad I did. And with a nice big pad thai under my tank top, I’m so very ready to tackle a nice 20km loop with Superwoman tomorrow morning.
Running is amazing, and exercise can be the most rewarding thing in the world. But we can’t do it all the time. Personally, I can’t go more than 6 days without a break. I know others who have to have 2 rest days a week. Others work on an 8 or 10 day cycle. Still others have an extremely light day instead – but they have a designated day that is ridiculously easy.
My angst over rest day was met with some words of wisdom from Phaedra, at Blisters and Black Toenails -
At the end of the day, Phaedra has it – rest days make us better.
So harden the f*ck up and take ‘em.
Adding insult to injury, I received my Lorna Jane delivery.
How often do you need a rest day?
Love or loathe rest days?
Have you ever felt completely burnt out?