Today I’m sick.
Yesterday I was sick. And the day before that I was sick. Not the kind of sick that truly sidelines running, but sick enough with a head cold that renders me useless.
I thought today would be the day that I’d finally lace up my trail running shoes, get out the door, and stomp through colorful leaves along a trail. But I’m exhausted and I can’t see how pushing myself will get me back to my normal self any sooner.
It’s okay to be honest (and kind) with yourself.
Honesty is a good policy when it comes to running and taking care of yourself. Sometimes the best medicine is taking a day–or days, or a week, or more–off. Sometimes you really do need time away from running. Sometimes you think you need time away from running, but are only trying to make up an excuse not to run.
I’m sick. I don’t want to get off the couch. I don’t want to leave the warmth of a fire. I don’t want to put on running gear or stuff the pockets of my running vest with Kleenex.
So, I’m not going. I’m not going to beat myself up. Decision made.
Bonus: The kids are happy that they get to lounge around, too.
Get up and go. Get out there.
When I feel better, however, I’m going to get out the door. Of course, sometimes after taking time off, it can feel tough to get back on the running wagon.
Getting out the door is the hardest part. Hey, it’s hard at times even when I haven’t taken time off.
But what makes a runner a runner is that you do it–run. You get out the door with the intention to run. It doesn’t matter how fast, how far, or how often.
A runner is made when she or he gets up and goes. It doesn’t matter where the running takes place–on a trail, on a treadmill, on an indoor track. It doesn’t matter if the pace per minute is slower or faster than trending Instagram stats. It doesn’t matter whether the run is 20 minutes or 2 hours, or 1 mile or 10 miles, when the intention to run is there.
Today is always a good day to run. If I wasn’t feeling so crummy, I’d run–even though there are a dozen other things that I also want to do.
If you want to become a runner, do it. Set your intention to run and go. The same holds true if you want to be a better, faster, or stronger runner.
Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t wait until New Year’s. Don’t wait until the weekend.
Even if you spend more time getting ready to run than actually running initially, run anyway.
Run your heart out.
Because you can.
Julie is the Founder & Editor of Kids Trail Running. She loves to run trails with her family and friends. She is the wife of an ultrarunner and mother of four young trail runners.