…can be the one you don’t take.

I’ve been on a streak for the past week. I normally take a rest day or two in a week, but I’ve been wanting to keep my mileage up, and I’ve just been loving running lately, so I’ve been going with it. But with tomorrow being a long-ish run, and with my tensor fascae muscle making it’s usual bit of noise, I figured a rest day wouldn’t hurt me. And it doesn’t, except…

I’ve been out and about a lot today and there have been runners everywhere I look. And I get that angsty jealousy thing going on. Do you know that feeling? It used to drive me crazy, to look at other runners when I wasn’t running.  Now… well, nothing has changed. I still get a little twinge. It’s part, “I wish I was doing that” and part “If I’m not running today, am I still a runner?” Yes, even now.

Why is that?

Perhaps it’s because we know the kind of painful pleasure they are experiencing. Perhaps it’s because we feel a little guilty at the idea of rest (a concept that all too many mom runners know). Perhaps it’s because of those streakers we all hear about “Bobby McRunRun hasn’t missed a day of running since 1994! Look how HARDCORE he is!” That stuff definitely gets in my head. But I have to get past it… to say “Good for Bobby McRunRun. I am not Bobby McRunRun.” I am Lindsay, a runner who has taken a day off and is being reminded how much she loves running. I am being reminded of what it is like to eagerly set out tomorrow’s running clothes at 2:30 the afternoon before (true story. My Gatorade is already in my fuel belt bottles, too, and my chocolate milk is ready for when I am done, thankyouverymuch.). I am being reminded that sometimes the missing it is the sweetest part. And tomorrow, when I’m running, as I head up a hard hill, I’ll try to remember this feeling, to be grateful for it, and to know that somewhere, at the same moment, there is surely a non-running runner longing to be in my shoes.