Notes on a rest day.

When I was plateaued, I took far too many rest days and sat on my butt, eating carbs and watching TV.  Granted, I still do that.  A lot.  But for 6 days of the working week, I make it a point to set my alarm, roll out of bed, and get that workout out ofthe way.  Now that I’m training for the Hartford Half Marathon, I need those days more than ever to get my body in gear for the 13.1 miles of hell awesome that await me in October.  So I drew up a training plan that looks a little sumpin’ like this (and note: I would do much more yoga but the days I usually do yoga are now rehearsal days as well, so I can’t be waltzing into dance rehearsal on legs that are deadened from 3-minute Warrior holds!)

Monday: Pace work on the treadmill in the morning (aka THE WORST), then a Power Vinyasa class at night.  I absolutely adore the class on Mondays because it’s brutal but enlightening, so this is non-negotiable.  Plus, I need yoga in my life.  As for the pace work on the treadmill, no more than 3 miles.  Any more than that and I’ll be a zombie.  I hate the treadmill.
Tuesday: Weights day, or another yoga class if I can roll myself out of bed to hit up the 6 AM Workout Flow class.  Also, light cardio, no more than 20-25 minutes perhaps on the elliptical to keep my legs warm but not wear them out in preparation for…
Wednesday: My first of two outdoor runs for the week!  Every other week I’ll be running this with my friend Lauren who’s also training for Hartford.  She just ran the Iron Horse 1/2 last month so she’s got a lot of training tips for me.  This week was also the first week I tried Clif Shot Block Gels, the Mocha one.  It was REALLY good but I only ate 1/2 of it at one time so I probably didn’t eat enough to get sick of the flavor.  This week Lauren and I met in a parking lot near our houses and ran 5 miles of hills before work.  It was brutal, cold, and on the highest hill we got caught in a rainshower but we did it!
Thursday: Either yoga if I don’t have rehearsal that night (or if I can hit up the Power Flow in the morning) or another weights/light cardio day.  Perhaps this is the day I work on my abs? *DEAD*
Friday: Optional cardio day! This week I did a Tae-Bo tape and elliptical.
Saturday: Long run day.  This week I did about 5.3 miles and thanks to new running shoes (thanks Dad for getting them for me as a 1/2 Marathon present) I felt like I was walking on air afterwards! They’re a little bit bigger than my previous running shoes and that little extra room was the key.  My feet didn’t feel crunched so my calves weren’t tight at all afterwards.  I also wore knee-high tight Dri-Fit socks that felt like compression legwarmers and it did wonders for my legs! Then last night I had dance rehearsal and felt AWESOME during it.  I feel like I’m finally starting to respect my body.  Hell, if I’m going to run a half-marathon, I want to run it right.

It’s hard for me to say this but sometimes the thoughts DO creep into my head of “Oh boy, you’re going to have to eat a TON in order to fuel this marathon.” This voice likes to tell me that if I do that, I’ll gain weight.  I know that isn’t going to happen because I don’t plan on fueling myself with ice cream and French fries (plus, what awful training food that would make! I would be a zombie with GI issues on race day!).  If anything, I must be careful I don’t lose weight, considering I don’t want to get any thinner than I am right now.  So I’ve been taking steps to loosen up my food plan and just eat when I know I need to eat.  Yesterday I broke my ‘no snacking until lunch’ rule and ate half a LunaBar while grocery shopping around 11AM.  It was the perfect snack size and kept me going until 1PM when I could come home and eat a proper lunch.  Then in the afternoon I ate a protein bar at rehearsal, and then came home and had a gigantic sweet potato (covered in coconut butter and tahini, natch) along with salmon from a packet, sauteed with swiss chard, spinach, and roasted red peppers, along with asparagus. Perfect, yet again.  And today I had waffles and eggwhites for breakfast along with blueberries and a peach.  YUM.

Today is Sunday. The REST day.  Usually coming after the longest run of the week, the rest day can be turned into an ‘active’ rest day if so desired.  You can maybe hit up a yoga class to stretch out those hips and quads, or go for a long walk, or perhaps even roll around on the ground with your nephew.  But no structured exercise, in order to give your body time to heal and repair for the long, long training schedule ahead.  Today I have rehearsal but it’s a ‘blocking’ rehearsal, so I’ll probably just be standing around and walking from Point A to Point B the entire time, so today I’ll either go to an all-Levels yoga class at 10:30 or I’ll just take a long walk with my book (I’m currently reading A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin.  Anyone read Game of Thrones? I finished it on my walk last week and it was AWESOME).  As far as food, my eats generally go down a lot on rest days, so I’ll probably have a salad or something light before rehearsal (i generally don’t like to eat a ton before I go onstage as it makes me sluggish) and then recoup with dinner tonight.  We’re having people over and I plan to dominate the roasted eggplant.  Last week on my rest day I ended up having a TON of rhubarb pie and I felt pretty sick the next day, so I’m going to try NOT to do that!

That being said, I know I’m not invincible.  I have had problems with shin splints in the past.  When I was sixteen I was attending a basketball camp and in the middle of drills I felt as if my legs were going to snap in half.  The physical trainer told me I was in danger of developing stress fractures and if I wanted to save my athletic career (HAH) I’d have to stop all physical activity for a few weeks.  I ended up sitting out of our championship game with my legs wrapped from ankle to knee, ice jammed on my shins, wishing like hell I was out there playing.  But I’m so glad I didn’t because it saved me from years of damage I could have done to my legs.  And plus, my Dad called me Secretariat for three weeks due to the shin wraps, so that was hilarious.
I want to finish this marathon strong.  But I don’t want to do anything that could cost me my physical health.  If I get the barest inkling that either an old injury or my disordered thoughts want to come out and party in my brain or in my legs, I will stop, re-assess, and then continue.  If I truly feel an injury is going to hamper my performance or threaten me with long-term consequences, I ain’t running the race, peeps.  No marathon is worth that.
Pictures of FOOD, because that’s what you all came for.
Random local peanut butter I found at my grocery store.  Tastes like Trader Joe’s Crunchy Flaxseed PB but more honey.

operation ‘finish jar of coconut butter in less than 2 weeks’…done.  

I kind of have a thing for Stonewall Kitchen unique jams.  This one is Peach Apricot Cherry.

I believe this jam is Strawberry, but I also have a delish Blueberry Peach one.  Clever people, the Stonewallers.
Off to lay out in the sun, work on my tan, drink an exorbitant amount of coffee, and enjoy my day off before my third (!!!) summer job begins tomorrow at the children’s theatre!!!! Have a BEAUTIFUL Sunday!!!!
Also, congratulations to Ashley on her beautiful wedding yesterday! The pictures are amazing and you looked stunning 🙂
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