Monday, July 8, 2013

Even God Rested

After shin splits, tendinitis, and strep throat this year, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to beat my mileage from last year.  Even my attempt at a month-long run streak was cut short (Thanks, tonsils.  Jerks).
In an attempt to make sure I don't fail my body (and vice versa), I'm trying a little something new this month.  I'm calling it the "Even God Rested" plan.  If all goes well, I'll be running 2-4 miles Monday through Saturday.  Sundays will be reserved for sleeping in and resting.
Note to self: spending all day cleaning and de-cluttering a bedroom does not count as "rest."  Plan for a nap in that case.
Before I decide on my miles/route for the day, I have to take into consideration the following:

  • how much sleep I got that night
  • quality of said sleep
  • temperature outside

If I didn't sleep well or much, or if the temps are too hot, I'll stick to the shorter quantity.  If I slept well and the temperatures are tolerable, Zooey and I will trek out for a bit longer.  I'm hoping to keep my weekly mileage between 15 and 20 miles.
In some ways, that doesn't seem like very many miles.  I see people on Twitter who post that mileage on practically a daily basis, and here I am hoping for that much in a week.  But at the same time, it's hot, I refuse to put my dog in danger, and I'm not training for anything at the moment, so my miles are to keep me in shape (especially after that milkshake I just had - shhhhhh!) so that when I do start training again, I'm not starting from scratch.  Heaven knows I don't want to get hurt again this year.
Of course, I don't want Zooey to get hurt or sick, either.  In order to make sure that we avoid heatstroke for her, I take quite a few precautions.  Naturally, the shorter miles are a part of it.  If it's really hot, I hose her down before we leave, making sure to get her chest.  We take frequent water breaks (two of my four water bottles are reserved for her until I can find her doggie backpack again, at which time she'll carry her own water), during which time I try to check her tongue and nose (if her gums and mouth are red, or if her nose is hot and dry, she's getting heat exhaustion) .  We run more slowly than we do during the cooler seasons.  When we get home, I take a cloth that I've wet and left in the fridge while we were gone and apply it to her chest and belly while she lays down under a fan (I have a cloth for myself, too).  Once she's cooled a bit this way, I offer her an ice cube or two, which she generally takes.
When we do head out for 4 miles, I will even let her splash in the canal for a minute.  This is not something I will do on a regular basis, as who knows what sorts of disgusting things live in those canals, especially around all the duck poop.  But if it cools Zooey's paws off a little bit, I'm willing to let her get in for a minute before we shove off again.
My mileage for June was 52.5 miles.  I'm hoping to get over 60 this month.  Hopefully resting more will end up adding more miles to my tally.

What's your running/resting schedule?  Have you found that resting more helped you physically (or mentally)?


  1. I used to have a set schedule with a monthly mileage goal. Although I still have a somewhat "set" schedule still, I rarely use my garmin and never log my miles. (especially since I'm not training for anything) Early on I got into comparing my mileage with others and was only disheartened every time my monthly mileage was just mediocre or plain out sucked. Ha! Now I just run to run basically for enjoyment and to stay active. More than anything I listen to my body. When it says rest, I do =)

    1. It's very easy to get disheartened and to not feel like a "real" runner when I have certain limitations that other people seemingly don't (mile-wise and pace-wise). I'm working hard to remember that running is for me, not for any of those other runners. I do like logging my miles because I feel a sense of accomplishment when I know I've followed through on going another month and another, etc. But yes, I need to do a better job of listening to my body. Going to the chiropractor has helped a great deal for that! :)