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On Rest

January 1, 2012

It’s been a while, but I don’t care. This blog is pretty much just for me, but others can read it too.

Since we last spoke (ha), I ran a shitty marathon. I ran the New York City Marathon this year, and had a horrible race, due to an injury that showed up two months pre-race, which lead to me being completely undertrained. Fast forward to race day, which was a bad one. The only good thing about that day was that my parents were in town to watch, and I got to see them twice along the course, which was one of the only things that kept my spirits above clinically-depressing levels.

I still don’t know my official time. And I don’t ever want to know.

The second I crossed that finish line, I put myself on a mandatory rest from running. My goal was to take a solid two-month break—no running whatsoever. I needed my body to heal from the stress I put on it in the previous few months. Because I want to be a lifelong runner. And being a lifelong runner requires a little rest & relaxation.

I just came back from pancakes with possibly-my-running-solemate Susan (yeah—I spelled solemate that way on purpose), and I talked about rest. We are not runners who want to run one marathon, call it a day and hang up our Ravennas for something else. We are not runners who run because we feel like we should, or from pressure from others. We run because we love it, and it affects our lives in an incredibly positive manner. It makes us better people. And to maintain that, we’re allowing our bodies to run throughout our lives, with periods of rest when our legs (and hearts) require it. We rest because we know there is always more running in the future.

Because running is such an important part of my life, a two-month rest could have had disastrous results, saddening me and leaving a void (as it has in the past). But, while preparing for NYCM this fall, knowing my injury was leading me to a prolonged rest period, I made the connection that in order to be a lifelong runner, this was necessary and was par for the course. Rest is part of being a runner. Part of being a good runner. Part of being a smart runner.

I just finished 2011 running. It was not two months of rest, but close enough. I ran the Bridgerunners NYE Flash Run through downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. Bridgerunners is a group I’ve run with a few times before, and is quite unorthodox compared to other running groups and clubs in NYC, but effortlessly the coolest. I ran the entire thing with a giant grin plastered on my face, with my running bestie Megan, and a bunch of people I’d never met. My legs felt like they could have run 50 miles without fatigue, and my heart swelled to hold levels of happiness I haven’t felt in a very long time. It was one of my favorite nights of my life. And why? Because I had allowed my legs to rest. And ran when I was ready.

And now, 2012…my legs are ready. Let’s run.

Now that's a happy runner

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 1:17 pm

    YES for rest! I recently had an epiphany that not everything needs to be hardcore/all-out/the best, too, and now I am really excited to see where my running goes. I spent 2011 resting up but now it’s time to rock 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    • Betsy permalink*
      January 2, 2012 3:27 pm

      I feel like sometimes being surrounded by runners, we have this urge to keep pushing. But we have to remember to take a step back to retain perspective that that constant push is impossible to maintain. So we’re rested…and ready to run all over 2012.

  2. January 2, 2012 3:48 pm

    Great post Betsy! Its true lady…Rest is such an important part of training and a being a runner. I have recently been reminded of this. I will spare you ALL the details but my ferratin levels are quite low so my naturopath has prescribed yoga once a week and pulling back and taking some rest days, among other things. Its hard and I feel guilty…like I am letting running down or something! ha! I love running as much as you. It makes me and my world a better place. Sometimes my friends joke that running is my boyfriend. haha. I am excited to rest and fall in love with running all over again when I kill my 2012 running goals in a few months! 🙂 Good luck with training and PLS keep sharing your experiences! Happy New Year! xo vingoe

    • Betsy permalink*
      January 4, 2012 1:03 am

      Thanks Vingoe! We’re all in the same place, and need to realize rest really is necessary. 🙂

      Way to kill it at NYCM, this year! I’m so glad you got to run! Come back and run another race down here! I’m not going anywhere… 🙂

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