The Art of Resting

Resting has never been one of my strong suits. I have fallen prey to the idea that time is only well spent if something productive occurs. My version of resting is sitting down and accomplishing something.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I am working to come out of a bit of a funk. One of the strategies my coach and I came up with was that I would try resting for an hour every day. For those of you that enjoy resting, you would probably love to have someone tell you to rest for an hour a day. But to me, this felt like a prison sentence. What about all those things on my to do list that I could get done?

Admittedly, the first few days of “resting,” I sucked. I would spend an hour laying in the dark thinking of all the things that needed to be done or strategizing about what I would do when I got up. I would lie there waiting for my alarm to go off so that I could get back to life. After about 3 days of this, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere by spending an hour dwelling on everything I needed to get done. I succumbed to the hour of rest and am trying to embrace it.

While I would in no way say I have mastered resting, over the last month, I am slowly getting better. There are still those days where my mind is running a mile a minute about everything I “need” to do, but they are becoming fewer and farther between. There have even been a few victorious days where I actually fell asleep….shocker! Now, whenever I think about resting, I hear Erin Taylor’s voice. It reminds me of what she often says in her yoga classes…that the hour I spend resting is equally as important and productive as anything else I do with my day.

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Funk Town

Lately I have been in a bit of a funk. Overall life is going well—I love Bend, my community here, and my teammates. I am enjoying and celebrating every day of healthy running and the small victories that accompany an injury comeback. But, in the last few weeks, as Lauren would say, I haven’t been “looking as poppy or springy in workouts.”

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Welcome to Funk Town. The first few reps of a workout go well and then my legs feel like they are filled with lead. At that point, the doubts flood in. I go from my legs feeling heavy to a comeback feeling seemingly impossible all over the course of 50 meters. And to make matters worse, I try to press reset before the next interval only to experience the same thing all over again. I finish workouts and chalk it up to a bad day, believing that the next workout will be better and hoping that I can just run through the funk.

I’ve found that being in a funk presents an interesting dichotomy. On one hand, if I recognize and believe that I am in a funk, then I will probably notice it more. Alternatively, if I try to pretend I am not in a funk, I won’t be able to extend myself the grace needed to get through it. I also may not do the little things that can help me get to the other side. So I wrestle…how do I acknowledge it enough to take the appropriate steps and make changes to get through it without experiencing it more than I need to?

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I am still working on figuring that out, but here’s what I have learned so far:

  • Be honest with your coaches and support team. No one wins if you struggle through something in silence.
  • Be open to making changes and shifting your weekly plan around. Maybe adjusting your daily mileage the days before workouts or reducing your rehab exercises a little can help recharge your batteries.
  • Rest is important, especially for the go-getter type personalities who tend to see rest as unproductive (like me).
  • Treat every day as a new day. Just because yesterday was rough, doesn’t necessarily mean today is going to be too.
  • Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged and believe that you will make it through.

With my first outdoor track race in almost 2 years on the horizon (3 days to be exact), the thought of racing becomes a bit more daunting. But then I remember that I can’t overcomplicate things. All I have to do is lace up my spikes, run around in circles and rip the racing Band-Aid off. It can only go upwards from here as the funk fades away and I get my racing legs back under me. Fly on!

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