Wow, two lingos I never use all in one greeting.
Call it an off day, I don’t know. Except it’s not an off day—today’s very on! Complete with a 10 mile (!!!) run, oatmeal, and too much coffee. It doesn’t take much to make this bird a happy camper.
I’d like to talk today about being lazy. Interesting, I know, with this being a running blog and all…but stick with me. You see, I am someone who really has a hard time being lazy. I don’t like rest days, I like bulking my schedule up with things to do, and I generally get hard on myself when I’m somewhat less than productive.
Call it Type A, call it crazy, whatever—I actually think many runners are the same way.
However, I’m starting to realize that there is a big difference between the runner definition of laziness and actual laziness. You see, as runners—we tend to get down on ourselves for every day off and every workout that feels lackluster. It’s in our nature, because for better or for worse, we expect ourselves to perform with a certain caliber. This is part of the reason runners end up burned out and injured (yours truly included). And all for the sake of not feeling lazy or less-than-perfect or whatever other super logical reason we come up with to feel at the top of our game.
Recently, I’ve been learning to embrace my off days—and in fact, I’ve been looking forward to them. I know to some of you, this might sound really ridiculous, because duh—who doesn’t like a day off from exercise? But honestly, it took me a while to get to this point…but slowly but surely, I’m accepting that rest is equally as important in a training regimen as the actual training itself.
So, as someone who’s just now getting used to the off days and the designated rest—how do I differentiate between runner laziness and actual laziness? Because despite my preference for hard workouts and miles—goodness knows I can rock the couch and seasons of shows on Netflix like it’s my job. Which can definitely be a good thing, but it can also be just regular ole sloth like behavior.
Take yesterday. I was planning on swimming after the work day—but as the end of the day drew nearer, I was feeling less and less inclined to go. Ordinarily, I would decide that this meant it was time for a rest day (because that’s normally what it means), but I had one last Friday. No, after some scrutiny, I realized that my distaste for going was due more so to my aversion to getting wet and the call of the unopened, neglected jar of PB sitting in my fridge.
The reason I didn’t want to go was just good old fashioned laziness, and I kind of loved it. I liked the feeling of just not wanting to workout, it felt normal, and I thought it was a good indication of my ability to embrace how necessary rest really is for athletes.
That might sound twisted, and it might not completely make sense, but it really made me glad to feel my reigns loosening a bit. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned from how strict I’ve been in the past, and events such as the Tacoma Marathon, it’s that taking this whole running thing so seriously is the surest way to take the fun out of it.
I’m realizing that being lazy doesn’t make me, or anyone, less of a runner—and it’s runners who should probably learn to embrace laziness more than anyone else. Sure, you should probably not derail too heavily from your marathon training program during peak weeks, but if you miss a speed workout because you’d rather watch Friends reruns and spoon feed yourself Nutella, then it’s okay.
I know, I know…easier said than done. And I’m still figuring it all out myself, but I think I’m finally coming to a happy place in my approach to running. I’m going to embrace that lazy is acceptable, even encouraged, from time to time—and in that regard, taking running less seriously may just be the best way to get the absolute most out of it.
Can you embrace laziness? Have you had to differentiate between regular laziness and “runner laziness”? Can you watch 5 episodes of Gossip Girl in a row as joyfully as I can? I’ll answer that last one—no one can.