Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Knowing when to take a rest day

Rest days are a big feature of my workout plan. You might not guess it from reading all my crazy workout spotlight posts, but I love my days off working out too, and they usually leave me feeling energized and ready to get back with it.

Yesterday was my rest day and I thought I'd be pumped up to run today. Not so much. I woke up feeling achy in weird places, like my back and my left hamstring and the backs of my arms. I just couldn't seem to get it together. I felt completely lethargic. I decided to take a walk instead and did OK with that, getting in 40 minutes at 3.1 mph, according to RunKeeper. Not super speedy but not a lazy stroll, either. My eyes were feeling itchy and dry and my lips were chapped.

This afternoon I was so tired I was having trouble working up the ambition to leave work. And then my throat started to hurt and it all made sense. I had felt mildly crummy Sunday night and Monday too. My mood was really low and I had no energy. My husband had an ear infection last week and it wouldn't be surprising if I got some of those germs.

Even before I felt like I might be getting sick, I knew that it would be a bad idea to push it and go running. Normally even when I feel lazy there is a strong part of me that knows I'll feel better later if I "Just Do It." But today, it felt like going to run would be an act of violence against myself, and I am glad I listened to it. Even if I had managed to get out there and run, I would have felt terrible and it would have been that much harder to do it the next time.

The tricky part is knowing when it's one of those days when it's better to go even when I don't want to, and when it's one of those days when I really need to rest. After all, I don't want to talk myself out of every workout just because it's getting colder outside and I would rather watch TV or play with my new iPhone. But sometimes I just know, and today was one of those days.


  1. I hope you feel better jen!

  2. 5,000-10,000 IUs of D3 for the next couple days should speed it through you and revive your immune system! Get well soon. 'Tis the season, huh?

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  4. Feel better!

    I have a hard time deciding when to not exercise (based on how my body feels - I know when it's just my mind). I actually remember reading somewhere a list of when you should and should not exercise based on how sick you are. I think it's just best to learn to listen to your body like you have :)


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07