maybe you did too much too soon
maybe your mileage increased too quickly
maybe your long runs took a toll on your body
maybe aches and pains are always there
maybe running isn't fun anymore
maybe you are running faster than you ever did before.
Whatever it is, sometimes rest is better. Sometimes running would hurt you more than taking a few days off. I got ambitious at the end of December and signed up for a 1/2 marathon that is next week. And as you may know, I dealt with injuries most of January and February. And when I did start running again, I couldn't just jump back in, I had to ease into it. I decided that the 1/2 was not worth it at all costs, but my goal was to be able to get to the start line and complete it. No time goals. Just for fun. For awhile it didn't look like I would be able to make it. However, I have persevered and I have been able to mostly complete my training. I won't be able to run it well, but since my goal is just to run it...that's okay.
That being said, I haven't run since last Saturday. I had my longest run last Saturday of 10 miles and it was awful. I was fighting the wind the first 5 miles and a very angry tummy the last 5 miles. I walked the last 3/4 of a mile because I couldn't run from my stomach cramps. My IT Bands were getting temperamental.
So I decided that rest was better. I was going to run yesterday, but I'm fighting a cold and decided that a nap was more important than running during nap time and I could feel a twinge in my hip. I'm running later today and it's going to be warm and windy, but that's okay. I'm not going to time it, just run and see how my body responds. My IT Bands are feeling better and if I didn't have this race, I'd probably take a couple of more days off. Part of me was freaking out that I am 2 weeks out from the race and I'm not running. But I realized that at this point these runs wouldn't help me more than rest would. By running my tired and breaking down body, I'd probably get injured. By resting, I'm hoping that I am able to get through the race.
I am proud that I didn't give up even when it didn't look like I would be able to make it to the start line. I am trying to have faith that resting was the right decision and it will see me through.
How do you decide when rest is needed?
Have you ever run a race undertrained...how did you make it fun?