Why we rest when we’d rather run

rest

Column Post by Laura Hyers

My goal for 2013 is to run a half-marathon. 13.1 miles in 2013. Catchy, right?

I tell people about this and I get mixed responses. There are those who are greatly encouraging, who get wide-eyed and excited and ask questions about how I’m preparing and how I feel.

And then there are those who are, well, not so encouraging. They also get wide-eyed and ask questions, but these are about if I’m okay in the head, if I know what I’m getting myself into, if I have a back-up plan.

Needless to say, I like talking to the encouraging people better.

My mom is my endless encouragement. When side pain sent me to the ER last Friday, my first question after I came home and slept was, “Mom, can I go running today?”

To which she said, “Of course not.”

My body needed rest. Even though I didn’t need to have my appendix removed or any of the other number of things they thought could have been wrong, my body had been poked (five times, to be exact, as I’m hard to get an IV into) and prodded and shoved full of antibiotics and painkillers and fancy fluids for my dehydration, and the last thing my body needed was for me to go force a few miles in.

But here’s the thing: I’m not as nice a person if I can’t run a few times a week. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to cope with my anxiety, and those endorphins do some ridiculously good things for my mood. Simply getting out the door and coming back 45 minutes later drenched in sweat makes me feel productive and alive.

So I pouted and whined all weekend and asked my husband if I could go out and he told me to stay in bed and I got crankier still. How can I run the half if I don’t train for it?

On Monday I went to work and came home feeling like I had been hit by a bus. Tuesday was just a repeat. That night I texted my mom in a fit of despair and told her I would probably never be able to run again and that I hated everything and had gained a million pounds. She “lol”d at me and told me that if I could rest until my body felt good, I would be able to run.

I woke up today and I felt normal. I felt good. I knew as soon as I got out of bed that my body could handle an easy run tonight, and a wave of realization crashed on stubborn me: had I not waited until I was ready, I would have set myself back even farther. It could have been weeks instead of days.

Maybe I’m not just training for a half marathon; maybe running–and these lessons–are life training. Words like “pacing” and “patience” mean just as much when my running shoes aren’t laced up.

. . . . . . . . . .

LauraHyersBioLaura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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