It has been eight days since I’ve run. That is the longest running break I’ve had since January 2020.
You know what? It feels okay. Sure, I feel a bit antsy to get more exercise in. But my wife and I have been going swimming at the gym, and I’m starting to get the feel for that. I’ve noticed myself consuming fewer carbs and not being as diligent about drinking electrolyte drinks. Absent a 25-40 mile running week, I suppose there’s less need. Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying sleep, which following my 26 miler in October increased from perhaps 6 hours a night to about 7 on average, according to my Fitbit.
In other areas I’m experiencing an expanded sense of choice and flexibility. After a three year hiatus, I’m taking a comedy improv class again. I booked a Holiday party for later this month, and for the first time in a long time I wasn’t concerned about how my running would affect my energy level (imagine that!). On the athletic side, not only am I swimming, I’m also working with a sports chiropractor and getting some physical therapy to align my body for better health as a runner and overall.
Ever since CIM came and went, it feels like I’ve awoken from a dream… a dream in which I was running and running and running, with no let up. And that is basically what I did to myself these past few years. To be sure, running has been an incredible source of growth and joy, from leaning on it in the early days of the Pandemic to embarking on my first marathon. But for everything there is a season, and I feel like now is a season to make sensible shifts that feel right for me.
There’s no doubt that running will be a part of that picture. There will be more marathons in my future. However, I am appreciating that for the first time in two years I am giving myself space for something besides preparing for the next marathon. This fall I really tried to find a marathon/life balance while marathon training. But it was only when I decided not to do CIM that I started to feel that balance truly emerging.
It is a welcome relief.