Rest Is Essential

One of my 2020 goals is to become a runner. My short-term goal is to run my first 5k by May this year.  I hit the ground running on January 2nd. I ran 6 days a week for 6 weeks straight. Everyday I warmed up, cooled down and ran a 3-miles 30-minute interval run. I was feeling so good until…last Thursday.  

 Thursday morning, I laced up, warmed up and began doing a 3 miles 5:1 interval run. After about 10 minutes I started feeling like my thighs and calves were burning. Sure, my knee hurt a little but no pain no gain, right? So, I kept running. I envisioned myself crossing the 5k Color Run finish line doused in colors as my family cheered from the sidelines. For the next 20 minutes or so I felt burning pain through my legs but I pressed on until I finished my 3rd mile. As I cooled down my knee felt sore but I brushed it off. I finished and that’s all that matters I thought happily as I went to take a shower. 

 Fast forward to the next morning. I woke up and before I even climbed out of bed my knee was already aching. “Oh no” I muttered. I got up and sure enough the front of my knee felt like it was scraping on sand paper every time I walked or bent it. It really hurt but even with the pain I was seriously considering muddling through another run.  

I know what you’re thinking. Jessica, that would be stupid. And you’re right. My mother calls me stubborn; I prefer persistent but the truth is sometimes I just do stupid things. Yes, I know I should have done my research prior to starting my new hobby but like I said sometimes I do stupid things. Here’s what I learned from google and the running books I acquired after my injury. 

“Rest is essential for recovery and improved performance.” 

 Obviously, I did too much too fast.  Now here I am limping around not making any progress on my goal. If only I would’ve stopped when it hurt. If only I’d trained less. If only I’d rested.  

Unfortunately, this has happened to me many times before in other areas of my life. I struggle with resting. Rest from worry. Rest from anxiety. Rest from over doing. The importance of rest is easy to understand. Actually resting is a whole other thing. It has to be intentional and ironically enough it takes a bit of effort. I’m still learning how to fully rest. Most days I do really well but when life throws me a fast ball, I struggle.  

The running experts say “Healing occurs during rest.”  

Jesus says “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matt. 11:28-30

In conclusion: only when we rest can we be truly whole again.

So, I will rest. When I am healed I will run again. Color Run here I come.

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