I recently took 10 days off from running and working out. I had a good reason to relax and take it easy, and surprisingly did not feel guilty for being inactive. I enjoyed every minute of laying on the couch and watching terrible movies, and although I didn’t want to face reality and go back to work and get back into my routine, I knew this isn’t how I could really function in everyday life. I’m pretty sure this is the longest I have gone without working out since I starting running in high school.
On top of taking those 10 days off, I also haven’t been to the gym since July. I have been an outside only runner…. sometimes I lunge my way back to the house once I turn on Guilford and do about 25 sit ups and 10 push ups, but that is rare… it’s almost always just a run. So, after my 10 day break, I gave in to the cold this past Monday. I walked into the gym and made my way up to the treadmill where I ran a measly three miles. It wasn’t really hard, but it was really uncomfortable. My body felt different. I didn’t feel like the runner I always have been… I felt like someone trying it out and couldn’t wait until the distance hit 3.0 and I could stop.
So, I go back to the gym on Wednesday and decide I am going to jump on the elliptical because Monday’s run gave me some sweet blood blisters under my callouses. I do 30 minutes on that and go down to the weight room for some muscle action. I did two sets of 12 on two different machines and shortly after that I started feeling intimidated and wasn’t quite sure what machine to go to next and so I left. I totally felt like an outsider at the stupid gym. I can only imagine how someone who is completely new to exercise feels when they walk in the weight room. The meat head guys kind of make me feel like my workout couldn’t possibly be as important as theirs, so I better move along my way if I am on a machine or area they want. I am sure most don’t actually feel like that, but I of course read into things.
On Thursday, I thought about doing some exercise T.V. to avoid feeling uncomfortable, but I made it over to the gym instead. Determined to have a good workout and not be intimidated. I pulled off a pretty good speed/hill five mile run and then did the stair stepper for ten minutes and some weights. I’m not going to lie, I still felt intimidated when I was doing the weights, but I did feel really good about the rest of it. I still left before I wanted, due to the fact that I wasn’t quite sure what to do next, but it was a much better effort than Monday and Tuesday!
I have always known that my workouts and or runs are better when I have a plan and know what i am doing, but lately (even before my 10 day break) I have been too lazy to make the plan. I mostly just make sure to get a good 4-5 days in with some sort of goal in mind. Even for the last two marathons we didn’t follow a real plan, just kind of made sure to get some long runs once a week.
I am putting together a plan for the next few months. I don’t want to feel intimidated or cut my workouts short. If you have a plan, for the most part you will be more successful. I don’t really want to completely commit to a plan, but I know I will continue to be 75% satisfied with my workouts if I don’t change something. I do promise myself to cancel my workout though if something I just can’t miss comes up…. that or actually get my butt up before work and get it done.