Among the entries that were percolating in December but never came to fruition was one centered on the idea that I might be doing everything running-related wrong.
This was born of a New York Times Well blog post titled "For Athletes, Risks From Ibuprofen Use" and then nurtured by another post a week later titled "Why Afternoon May Be The Best Time To Exercise."
If you haven't guessed or don't follow, I do use ibuprofen, and I've significantly cut back on afternoon runs (in favor of morning or evening ones) since leaving my second-shift job.
So reading these posts while worn down from a year-plus of running without significant interruption caused some out-of-proportion irritation.
(Never mind that at the end of the afternoon running post, the experts concede they're not sure how the mouse research translates to human behavior, and that the most important thing is to exercise, period. And never mind that the ibuprofen article focused mainly on the gross risks of popping the pills right before working out, which I've never done.)
Obviously, I never got around to writing that post until now — when, refreshed by a week of just resting, I don't care. Absence is definitely making this heart, so eager to take a break, fonder of running.
And the payoff of this admiration from afar is that all the snazzy workout recommendations in the blogs I read and the latest Runner's World magazine, plus those two aforementioned lectures, are no longer fostering inferiority complexes, insecurities, defeatist attitudes or straight-up fear for my health.
Instead, it's psyching me up for 2013. (Goals to come later; I'm ambitious not only for this year but for the planning of this year.)
I knew that the rest I needed was both mental and physical, but I think now — with the clarity that extra sleep brings! — that I'd underestimated how much of it was mental.