An open letter to rest days

Dear Rest Days,

It’s me again. I know, I know – we often meet up at the most inopportune times. I’m usually cranky and not in the mood to see you.

I feel that I need to explain my actions, though. I usually dislike seeing you for one reason: I love to work. I love to sweat. I love to *not* rest.

I know that might sound a little bit harsh, but I promise, I mean no harm. In fact, I’m coming to you today with a refreshed perspective.

I’ve actually been looking forward to seeing you today.

It’s been a long week:
6 hours worth of barre n9ne classes
17 miles (and 11 more to come tomorrow) spent running
– No less than 9 hours spent commuting
= aching, sore, worked (but somehow still happy) muscles.

I know it’s time for a rest day meet-up and today’s the day. I’m embracing you!

And here’s why:
– There is no room for ‘junk miles’ with just about three weeks until race day
– After all that I learned in the intensive on Sunday, I don’t ever want my form to suffer due to a serious lack of rest days
– My body will never recover from all the work I throw at it if I never rest.
– I do not want to face an injury again. Ever (if I can help it).
– Rest days can be fun.

Yes, FUN, and here’s how:  
– I have time to clean the house. From top to bottom. It’ll be shiny, sparkly and clean-smelling (my favorite scent), in no time. Yes, I heart sweat. But I also heart cleaning. Fact.
– I am working from home which means peace, quiet, and lots of progress made on the good ‘ol to-do list.
– I can plan a carb-y fun dinner for two for tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s planned 11 miles <—any ideas on this one, I could use some! 
– I can daydream about how good all 11 miles will feel because my legs will be happy and rested. Oh yes they will.

So yes, I usually face you with annoyance. I don’t always love seeing your face. But today is not that day.

Today, rest day: I embrace you. 



34 thoughts on “An open letter to rest days

  1. As for your carby dinner – be sure to add protein!! It’s actually really good pre-long run fuel! We used to eat spaghetti with grilled chicken, broccoli & marinara sauce…or grilled chicken, cous cous and a veggie…or baked potatoes…but usually pasta. 🙂

    And I’m totally with you on having a difficult relationship with rest days…

    • Since I’m apparently addicted to spaghetti squash, I’ve decided we’ll be having our homemade sauce over spaghetti squash (pasta for Scott) with chicken sausage on the side. I’m like drooling just thinking about it. LOVE!!

  2. I am usually with you on rest days but I am actually thinking about taking two this weekend…OK maybe I will do some yoga tomorrow.

    • I’ve actually gotten into the habit of two rest days when my body is yelling at me from the increased half marathon mileage and the barre n9ne classes. This week I only felt like I needed one rest day but other weeks I’ve taken two and actually been a-ok with that, who knew?!

  3. Ahhh, today is my rest day too. I was a little sad about it, but now that it’s finally here, I’m fully embracing it. Have fun on your 11 tomorrow. I have 10 on my schedule – we can virtually run together!

    • I know, right?? I’m sad that it’s a rest day because its GORGEOUS out and tomorrow won’t be nearly as great for running buuuut then I look down at my tired, sore body and I know the rest is much much needed and my legs will be WAY happier during that 11-miler tomorrow. 😉

      YES – virtual #rundates rock!!

  4. You NEED today sis! it feels good after a long worked hard week! Impressive stats! I am glad I got 5 classes in in three days, lol, since I missed a few while away! Feels good to hurt today 😉

    • YES. It’s so so so needed – been quite the week. 🙂

      Love that hurt-so-good feeling, but that doesn’t mean we all don’t need that break in the action to regroup, refresh and charge forward the next day, right?

  5. I have learned to love rest days…Fridays are the day when I get a little extra sleep in preparation for weekend running and my legs get the much needed rest they deserve. And today for example, they get the time they need to de-bloat after traveling for 16 hours yesterday.

    You have been a barre n9ne and running champ…enjoy today!! I love cleaning as well – it’s so satisfying!

  6. I used to be like you, but now I embrace my rest days. In fact, I’m pretty much in love with them.
    Oh, and since you love cleaning so much, wanna come clean my house??? It needs it BADLY. 🙂

    • Totally with you on that – used to feel like I didn’t “need” them or something – now I know how vital they are to recovery and to remaining injury-free which is a huge “must” in my book!

  7. I’m having a rest day today, too, and while I have felt lazy all day, it has been very nice just lounging around and sleeping in! I’m also going to play some volleyball with my girls tonight, so I will get my heart pumping a little bit…
    …wait, does that mean I’m ignoring the rest day? I don’t think so…just actively coaching!

    • I’ve started going by hours of workouts vs. “days” of workouts because I started getting a little hung up on things like two rest days in a week (which now I fully appreciate those weeks when I take two rests!). But when I added up how many hours of workouts I’d done? It was a sobering reminder that I was indeed working quite hard and deserved that rest (or two!)

  8. this is cute 🙂

    and i agree! i am a big believer in never running JUNK miles. though i could run every day, i know my legs love rest & after a few days of straight rest, it just makes me more excited to get to that start line!

    • Right – like I could have run this morning but I knew it would either end up in junk miles today OR it would result in junk miles during my planned 7 miler and I don’t want ANY junk miles. Not now, not ever – and definitely not three weeks before the race! Happy legs makes for the best runs around, fo sho!

  9. It’s all on how you view rest days. When you rest, this is when adaptation happens. Your muscles have a chance to fix themselves, and you have a chance to rest. Rest days should be approached with the same kind of vigor and attitude as any of your runs. 🙂 good luck on your 11 miler.

  10. I had a big argument with myself over taking a rest day this week. I rationalized my way out of it until I woke up Thursday morning feeling like I got run over by a garbage truck. I was like, ‘OK, let’s not do this again…’ I looked back at my training schedule and realized that since I’d discovered some new classes I had exercised 10 days in a row, some days being a double, so I took Thursday off. Friday I was saddened to discover that my bod was still sore, but at least I could run and take core fusion without having that guilty “i think i am overdoing it” pang lurking in the back of my mind. I am always on the edge of overdoing it because I love it and because that’s sort of always been my MO – “MORE IS MORE!”

    • I have that tendency sometimes too – I’ve really reigned it in recently and gotten over the fact that rest days are needed, and work so well at repairing the body from all the work we put it through. BUT there are times (like this AM) when all I wanted to do was run – even though I have two barre n9ne classes on the schedule tonight and even though I ran the past two days and even though I know I have four runs planned this week. I did NOT run but the urge to do so even though I know it’s not the best idea, is always lurking in the back of my mind. Mostly because I just LOVE a good workout, sweatfest, etc. And not so much because I don’t feel like I worked hard enough the day before or something. And that’s a big shift for me…to not feel guilty.

  11. I love scheduled rest days, I do NOT love impromptu rest days. Today I was supposed to run but it’s raining and I can’t bear to face the treadmill (not until it snows!) AND tomorrow is supposed to be nice so I’m not running, a little grumpy, but cleaning and trying not to think about not getting my sweat on.

    Hope you have a great 11 miler!

  12. Pingback: 11 miles on rested legs | EatDrinkBreatheSweat

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