Must. Run. Daily. That’s the mantra. At some point during the day, maybe before breakfast or maybe after work, there’s going to be a run. The distance may vary, but those running shoes will be put to the test. There are days that the string bag of shorts, shoes, and Garmin waiting in my car is the only thing that gets me through the grind. It doesn’t matter if I do it alone, with running buddies, or in a race, going for a run adds a little fun and a lot of energy to the day.
But, today was not one of those days. I woke up slowly and sauntered straight to the coffee pot. I allowed myself a cup, thought I’d catch up online, then be ready for my run. Nope, still not feeling it. Maybe it was hunger that was to blame for my lack of desire. Time for a strawberry Pop-tart. (Don’t judge. It was a Sunday morning, after all.) Eating that sweet little treat just made me want to stay on the couch a little longer, so there was another article on my iPad to read and another cup of coffee to drink. Finally, I forced myself to get up. There was no reason to be dragging my feet. The weather was perfect, not too hot for a summer day. No schedule before me. I could go as far as I pleased, just the road and me. If I put on my running shoes to stretch, surely I would feel that urge to hit the pavement. Just get moving. I knew I’d feel better, energized. Just do it, right?
Maybe it was a way to prolong my time on the floor, but I did more pre-running stretches than usual. I was limber and ready to hit it physically, but not mentally. In my mind, I was still back on that couch with another Pop-tart in my hand. I can’t really explain why, but I just didn’t feel it. None of the usual routines for running pulled me out of it. I knew I could do it. I knew I should do it. It might even turn this funk around. We’ve all had those runs where nothing felt right and every step seemed like an injury waiting to happen. We’ve also had those runs that seemed to spin a bad day on its ear, to clear the head, to surge the adrenaline. No matter what I did, though, I could tell that this was not going to be one of those days.
So, I did the next best thing. I strapped on my helmet and hopped on my bike. The sunshine and fresh air helped my laissez-faire attitude as my muscles worked the turns of the pedals. There was the whir of the tires as they curved around the path. My surroundings cruised by at a quicker pace than during a run. I even doubled the distance that I planned to run that morning.
When I pulled up in the driveway, the energy was back. Muscles felt strong. I was sweaty and hot and thirsty. I just cheated on my running shoes and felt great about it. Lesson learned: it’s perfectly okay to shake things up from time to time. Jumping on my bike turned out to be a refreshing way to rejuvenate my morning. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Even a rest day from running can be good for the body and the soul. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow? Yeah, you already know.
I was a writer for RunHaven website, which no longer produces new content and cannot be accessed. This piece was originally shared through that site.