Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rest days and best days

The early start of the work week caught up to me last night. After two weeks off from my 4:00 AM rise time I was exhausted. My wife (and chief Emerging Runner adviser) suggested that I take a rest day today since I've made it a goal to do that once a week. I decided to wait and see how I felt when I got up this morning after a (hopefully) good night's sleep. This morning, after some coffee, I still felt a little tired but I just couldn't put off my run. I've been at this long enough to know that sometimes the worst starts result in the best finishes. One thing I've learned over the past few months is that no matter how good I feel in the afternoon it rarely translates into a good running experience. Conversely I have experienced great runs when I felt like going back to bed and sleeping six more hours.

This morning was one of those times. I started at a moderate pace but felt energized so I stepped it up and ran a little over two miles in about 17 minutes. It was one of those rare runs where I finished much stronger than I started and I really wished I had another half hour so I could keep going. So today's lesson is that while you should listen to your body you should also follow your instincts and push it at times. Not to the point of injury, but certainly out of your comfort zone. Mornings work for me and that's good because my two upcoming races both start fairly early.

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