The Happiness of Not Running

I have a secret. Something I'll barely admit to myself, let alone others, but I feel the urge to share. Ready? Here goes.

I've been perfectly fine not running these past several weeks. 

Seriously. There have only been one or two real moments where I've been like, "Huh. Sure would be nice to go for a run." Otherwise, it's almost been a relief to not have to run.

Of course a few factors have contributed to that. One is that the weather was cold and ugly when I was first injured, so it's not like I was missing out on beautiful running weather. Another is that I'm allowed to bike and swim. If zero cardio were allowed, I would be going insane. The third reason is I have great friends, who have been checking up on me and making me feel included, even if I can't hit the pavement with them. 

But the biggest reason I'm okay not running is because (knock wood) it's temporary.

If I'd been told I could never run again, I'd be devastated. Like, going-into-the-ugly-cry-for-months devastated. But hopefully, in a few more weeks, I'll be cleared to go back. So my reality is that I missed two months. It's not the end of the world. As luck would have it, I've been super busy at work and with writing and friends so, if anything, this injury came at a good time. 

Having this time away has brought some issues to the forefront, namely how I allow my workouts to sometimes stress me out more than they take stress away. A great example of this is my sleep patterns. Before I was sidelined, I had horrible sleep. I'd wake up 2-3 times a night to check the clock, and always woke up a good 20-30 minutes before my alarm went off at 4 or 4:30. I was taking over-the-counter sleeping pills and melatonin to knock myself out, but it wasn't working. 

Once I was put on crutches and couldn't hit the gym, I slept like a log. Straight through the night until about 10 minutes before my alarm went off at 6 am. The very first day I was cleared to exercise, I set my alarm for 4:30 am--and woke up 2-3 times during the night and 30 minutes before the alarm went off. Boom. Straight back into it.

Something about knowing a workout is looming is working me up into a mental state where I can't relax. I don't have an answer for it yet, but at least I know it exists. And, since my workouts have  been much lighter than usual, I am finding that my sleep is getting better. There have been a few days where my alarm has woken me up, which is rare. 

Today is beautiful and sunny. I took a short walk outside and relished the fact that I don't have to deal with the hassle or guilt of making time for a run. It's not my call. It's simply not an option. And I'm good with that. 

For now.