Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dear "Cut-Back Week," I Love You!

This past week was a cut-back week in terms of training and boy, did I enjoy it.  For once I wasn't antsy and I didn't attempt to sneak in extra miles.  I cut back like a good girl.

While our weekend started off extremely busy with the race and birthday parties, it quickly came to a halt.  On Sunday we did absolutely nothing.  That is no exaggeration.  I didn't leave the house until after 5 PM, and that was simply to pick up food from Amarin Thai.  We lounged on the couch reading the latest issue of Runner's World which features pregnant beauties Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe.  After eating our Thai take-out in its entirety we could identify with their round bellies.  Our theme of the night was: No tofu left behind

This is how we felt

I enjoyed the laziness and the gorging, especially since most of our time spent together involves working out, running or sleeping.  Our physical activity that day consisted only of the bicep curls required to put a fork in our mouths.  I didn't recognize us, but I liked us.

The next day we went to Torrey Pines for a run, because let's face it, I miss running after one day off.   We ran on the trails and in the sand along the ocean.  Holy cow, it was challenging!  I finished 7.25 miles and Ang ran about 10.  It's funny how one day of nothing makes the next day of activity feel tragically hard. 

I took pics while running which drove Ang nuts.
Blogs needs pictures, right?

I snuck this one of Angela stretching
Beach running kicked my a** that day.  End of story.

Instead of getting in the car and heading home like we usually do, we planned on staying and enjoying.  Everything we see, we see while running.  We run past here and run past there but we don't ever enjoy a destination without... moving! But after this run, we stopped.  We stopped and enjoyed.  We spread out our towels and just laid there.  I brought along Veg News magazine, my latest book and of course Runner's World but we didn't need any of them. We didn't say very much to one another, instead we focused our attention on the sound of the waves. 

Taking in sights and sounds on foot is one of my favorite things about running.  It is wonderful and exhilarating, but there is something to be said about enjoying the earth's beauty in stillness.  Staring at the ocean can be awe-inspiring and on this particular day it left us speechless.  I don't know what it is about the ocean, maybe its vastness or its powerful energy, but I feel a sense of peace and fullness in its presence that I don't find anywhere else. 

It will probably be quite some time before I see such a lazy weekend again.  I have an 18 mile run on the agenda next weekend, a baby shower and family visiting all the way from sweet home Chicago. 

When it's your turn for a cut-back week or taper time I hope you appreciate and enjoy the stillness.  Get rid of those ants in your pants and relax.  You will feel refreshed and ready to push it come the next week.  Cutting back can be surprisingly nice, if you let it.