I have been on a running hiatus since November 23, thanks to a freak accident and some bad luck. Since I started running seven years ago, I have not taken any kind of extended break. There may have been a rest period of a week or two, here and there, but that was about it. Now that I’m unable to run and have lost months of miles, the only thing on my mind is getting back to it.
Breaks and rest are incredibly important for the body, and I don’t want to discount that. We need to use other muscles and make use of other skill sets in order to be well-rounded and stay healthy. It’s just fact. However, when you really love something, it’s hard to let it go.
A forced hiatus definitely changes the perception of the rest period. This break is to heal, quite literally, a break (two, actually). While my body is spending pretty much all its time and energy on that pursuit, I suppose the rest of my muscles are benefitting from the R&R. I wish I was cleared for things like yoga or barre, but my right leg isn’t ready for the twisting or flexibility required at even the most beginner level.
On the positive side, not running means more time dedicated to other activities. I’m reading more, crafting more, sleeping more, and spending more time on this blog. I have pushed myself to cross train and strength train in different ways, and fill the void with low-impact cardio. My PT told me that my hips will be so much better off when this is over, and I will admit I am excited about that.
I’m not sure what I’m expecting once I get the all clear. There will surely be some self-doubt and anxiety about my abilities. However, there will also be a newfound appreciation for my favorite sport.
Clearly, I’m not on board with this running hiatus. I worked hard to get to a certain level of fitness and “expertise” and losing that stings. Bad runs aside, I love running. I miss getting up first thing in the morning and joining a friend (or not) for some miles and conversation. This isn’t for everyone, I know, but I really thrived on that routine: it was like my coffee.
Like all challenges, however, the goal is to overcome and learn some lessons. The best thing to come of this hiatus is the perseverance and dedication to get it all back. And, one way or the other, I will be back.
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Have you ever taken a break from running?
How do you fill your time during that break?