Sunday, January 6, 2013

An easy hiatus from running

I don't always follow through on promises about running, but I'm pretty reliable when it comes to promises about not running. This period of hibernation is no exception.

On New Year's Day, the final day of the holiday run streak, I woke up for good around 1 p.m. and felt awful — not because of the alcohol, but because of a nasty cold virus that had settled in with a vengeance.

Keeping my vow to spend a week being lazy and not exercising at all suddenly became a piece of cake. Not that I wanted cake all that badly, considering how my taste buds succumbed to the virus, too.

After a few nights of sleeping nine-plus hours (and occasionally napping), the haze of mucus and NyQuil finally began to lift, and I became coherent enough to wonder: If not for my illness, how else would I be spending this run-free week?

Today's my first day off work since New Year's Day, so between working eight hours a day, then sleeping for nine or 10, I haven't had to struggle with the new void in my schedule — yet. Thank God, because otherwise this layoff might've been a tough one.

See, now that I'm not running, the sidewalks and parking lots are nearly ice- and snow-free. The temperature has risen, slightly. Other runners are out there taking advantage of this, sometimes in shorts even (OK, I'm not jealous of that). And the latest Runner's World has arrived in my mailbox.

With all of this going on, the allure of sleeping in and/or napping might've worn off after a day or two, and I might've been tempted into activity.

That would've been a shame, because even these four-plus sedentary days have paid off: Either I'm too focused on the sinus-related unpleasantness, or my creaky hip muscles truly are calming down and complaining less when I stand up.

By no means am I going to see this cold as a blessing — it's been far too nasty for me and for everyone around me — but I will concede that it deserves an assist for keeping my lower body's healing on track.

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