After each season, athletes (or at least runners)
usually take some kind of break.
This break ranges in length - Some runners prefer to take three weeks off from running to recover both mentally and physically. Others feel like they only need a week before they get back to training.
Either way, it is a necessary time for the body to repair all of its damaged muscles and joints and fill up its glycogen stores. We are more vulnerable to injury if we do not ever take breaks. Likewise, it is a time for the mind to reset and rest from the intensity of constant competition.
Basically, runners are forced to get out of shape after each season.
This brings about mixed feelings, and I know I can speak for pretty much all competitive runners when I say this.
While we love the idea of not having to run for a week or two, it is so difficult in practice. We end the season being the fittest of our lives, and during our week or two off we see our muscles diminishing, our flab increasing, and our speed leaving. We remember how hard it is to start up again after a break, and, though we are excited to finally be active again, we dread those first few miles of heavy breathing.
It's also a time where one feels incredibly lazy.
I have done pretty much nothing active all week - except for eat my weight in ice cream- and it's simultaneously wonderful and terrifying.
I have so much pinned up energy.
And it messes with you. My sleep patterns are completely off...
I woke up at four in the morning after going to bed at midnight
and couldn't go back to sleep.
I also miss the endorphins that running/working out give me.
I know that many runners get depressed during
breaks as a result of missing these.
Ultimately, however, the break is necessary and nice. I know that, soon enough, I will have to get up early in the morning to go do a 75 minute tempo run, and I'll wish I were on a break. So for right now, I'm trying to enjoy this. I can see myself loosing tone, and that's okay. I'm an athlete, and we bounce back into competition shape in no time!
So here's to being lazy!