I've had many call me, email me regarding the holiday "break"....the low mileage, low energy weeks, afraid they have lost a bit of fitness, lost a bit of motivation. Well....I joined the crowd for a little bit...and let me remind you, the benefits are WONDERFUL to take that break (whatever break is to you). Don't analyze it too much (as a wonderful friend reminded me..and you know who you are!), just go with it. Do the best you can, that day. If you can, try to get out for a little bit...if it is not in you, then set a goal for the following week and do what you can the current week. Then when you do get back, be consistent. Don't be so caught up on the miles, the time...just get out. And then one day (and it will feel like it happened all in one day) - it just CLICKS.
For me, click means, I have the spring back in my step, I add on the extra loop because I want to, I enjoy the feeling of the pick me ups during my run, I crank the incline up, I jump out of bed at 4am looking forward to that morning run, I feel stronger moving about with my regular activities, etc etc. And those couple of weeks of down time felt like just a small cliche of time.
After going through the "down time" I realize how much better I am all around when I am running and I realize how much I love it. But, I know....that time will come again...and I hope that I can actually enjoy the break more - put it as a "mental" recharge, a "building up my body again" "analyzing my year, my training, my motives"....
We all go through it...and it is OK....just go with the motions. Below is one of my favorite articles and unfortunately I have no idea who wrote it. I've also added my own input within article. It sums it up Why I Run.
WHY I RUN
It is a fair question, particularly if it comes up that you run long distances at obscene hours of the morning, even in cold weather. Why? It was posed most recently at work, when I didn't have a chance to answer. So here is my shot:
I run to avoid a mid-life crisis. I run for the perspective that only comes on the other side, or inside a space created by several miles, a floating stride (when it does) and distance from daily responsibilities. I run for both a sense of peace and turmoil created by self-inflicted pain that is earned and somehow cleansing.
I run because we are what we do with our lives and how we act and I choose not to be someone who sits on their ass in front of a screen all the time in a flat screen reality. I run to connect places on foot, in sight, smells, sounds, and experience that deepens my connection to the world when I next drive by that same spot.
I run to experience life on my own terms, if only for a little while at the beginning of a day. I run early in the morning because I have to if I want to run and because I like how it distinguishes me from those sleeping in, and shows me a part of a town, a road, a trail, the landscape, that I'd have never seen otherwise. I run early for sunrises or to see what the sun sees as it just begins to peak over the horizon.
I run for stories, I run for camaraderie and shared experiences. I run because you know someone differently after you've run 10 or 20 miles with them than you could ever have known them otherwise. I run to be different and at the same time to have a shared bond with those who run.
I run because there are some things that I use (and other people too) to define myself and I enjoy the label of being a runner, with whatever that means. I run, at times, to cross a finish line and know that I have accomplished something through will, effort, fun, lows and highs, that is one of those things that can't be handed to you.
I run to be outside. To feel or crunch the snow. To catch sight of a heron, fox, deer, turtle, eagle, owl, in their element. I run trails because it feels like where I should be. I run because I get something from it that feels both equal to and bigger than what I put into it.
I run to let my mind wander, my imagination to go and put me in someone else's time and place. I run to solve a problem, to get caught up in my dreams - dreams I've never been but only in my mind.
I run because at some point, when we look at the sum (or product) of our life experiences - family, relationships, love known or unknown, education, job, accomplishments, travel, books read, photos taken, beer/margaritas/coffee - running helps inform all of these things and is something I want in mine.