Goal Oriented Rest Days

A friend of mine recently proclaimed his pride in my fitness accomplishments. I’ve gotten this a few times recently as I’ve been talking more and more about my training. I shrug it off – for one, I’m a bit self-conscious, and for two – my accomplishments are often a benefit of my neurosis.

A few years ago, my doctor told me that I was “goal oriented.” She’s a rare physician that actually takes time to talk and listen to me, and frankly, this was the first time I realized that my compulsive need to finish what I start, when I have a goal in mind, could work to my benefit. I was over a hundred pounds over weight at the time, and I had a specific goal in mind (it was not scale related, but health related). I joined Weight Watchers that weekend with the goal being to just try it, and not to expect any other results but to just add some accountability to my life.

My inability to give up on a goal has led me to lose almost 100 lbs through Weight Watchers over the past two years. I’ve had some bumps and setbacks, but my compulsion to do it right (track what I eat, make the right choices for the given day/week, not over-do it) has paid off.

Now I have a new goal – to run a distance that in my whole life, I never thought I’d do. Frankly, even running a 5K or a mile seemed crazy. My current weight is what it was at age 13 (and I’m still overweight.) I’ve never had this skill until now. I’m shooting for my goal – and frankly, I’ve been training too hard the past couple weeks.

I know this because I ache all the time. I was jumping up to running for over an hour before I got really comfortable with just running 30 minutes regularly. I was excited. I realized, “hey, I can do it! It didn’t kill me!” But that’s not a measure for success.

Despite the fact that I want to run today – and tomorrow, I’m taking a couple days off before I start up with my official Team in Training schedule. I’m considering taking a yoga-for-runners class. I know I’ve mentioned it before – but being still is just as important as running, and is probably harder for me to do.

So this is a reminder to myself – and to those out there that are like me – rest days are important, and are goal oriented. You can’t train if you don’t let your body recuperate. Your body will fail you.