Running Slow and Smelling Roses

18 Sep

“Sometime you just have to stop and smell the roses.”

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard my mother say this throughout my lifetime.

At first, I was very averse to having to slow down my running. I like the pride (and sweat) that comes along with pushing my body, stretching my legs, and feeling the wind in my face. But you know what? Now that I have HAD to slow down, I have actually grown to enjoy it a little.

I spent the two years before finding out we were expecting on rigorous training plans. Daily mileage, cross-training days, and strength training exercises were meticulously planned out on a calendar, weeks in advance, so I never had an excuse of not knowing what to do on a certain day. Post-workout comments and actual times were recorded in a notebook for later review. Every calorie was counted (thank you, MyFitnessPal) in order for me to stay at my optimum racing weight. There was never a Saturday morning that I allowed myself to sleep in or linger long enough to hear the birds chirping outside of my window. They were always spent gearing up for long runs or getting ready for a race.

Mike the Tiger statue. Its HUGE!


Slowing down has given me the chance to “stop and smell the roses” again. Last Friday, on my VERY leisurely run/walk around the LSU campus, I feel like I got to see so much that I had not seen in so long. Normal runs are spent constantly glancing down at my Garmin, making sure I am hitting my target speed goals or to see how far I have gone. Sometimes, I almost make myself stressed out about it…always pushing, pushing, pushing. But, I do have to say, just going out and running has been really nice. I still go out with some sort of goal in mind, but if I do not hit it or if I do not feel up to it, I just say to myself, “Well, it is what it is today. And that’s okay!”

Friday’s leisurely run around LSU campus led me past some familiar sites, places I had not really taken the time to notice in years. And it was nice. It was nice to slow down and let my mind remember fun times I have had at football games or funny things my friends and I did in our college years. The more and more I go out on my pregnant lady slow runs/shuffles, the more appreciative I am. Looking back, if not for getting pregnant, I would probably still be on some ridiculous training plan, never giving myself a break or a solid chance to rest, and I know I would have ended up burning myself out. The very best part about my break from training has been the chance to spend more quality time at home with my husband. Refocusing on my family has been needed.

Mike the Tiger VI...Cat Napping


My collegiate home away from home...


I have no doubt that when I am able to get back to hard training that I will be both physically and mentally prepared to do so. My body will be ready to move and work in ways it has not been able to in months and my mind will be refreshed. The ability to approach the sport with a whole new energy will be exciting! While on one hand I know it will feel like I am starting over, the break has been needed and refreshing and I am definitely thankful for it.

How do you feel about taking breaks from training? What percentage of the year would you say you spend on a training plan? How do you allow yourself to “relax” when not on a plan?

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2 Responses to “Running Slow and Smelling Roses”

  1. Megan September 18, 2011 at 7:03 PM #

    I miss LSU! I haven’t been there in a few years, and only for a few minutes stopping in for something. I have so many memories there as well.

  2. Adrienne Osuna September 20, 2011 at 10:22 PM #

    I’m so glad you are seeing the brighter side! Your right, you will be refreshed & ready when time comes. This post helped me as I am in the same boat. But let it be a comfort to you, you are still running more than me & faster than me & your about a month ahead if Lenin pregnancy! Your still a star! 🙂

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