Tag Archives: rest days

Rest Days.

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am very into both running and writing, and I am especially thrilled when the two overlap (See: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami). So when I found this quote on one of the writing blogs I follow, it really jumped out at me.

“There are days when I don’t write at all, but they are more like rest days.
There are days when I write a few thousand words and none of it goes into
the book, but those are like practice days, and they definitely happen to
everyone.” — Joanna Penn (in an interview with The Write Practice)

Just like running, you have to exercise your writing muscles. Back when I was working on my thesis for grad school I had no problem just sitting down and pounding out a few thousand words, but it was because I had been practicing for two years. And in the last year, as I’ve taken time to sort of detox from grad school, I’ve found myself having trouble even getting started. It’s sort of like how the hardest part of your run is the very first step (and the next few if you’ve taken some time off recently like I have…)

a professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit

You have good days and bad days in both running and writing. The key is getting yourself to start and then not letting yourself give up because of a bad day. Just take some time, rest, and start again tomorrow.

What does your writing/running schedule look like?

Do you plan your rest days? Or take them when you know you need them?


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I really needed that nap.

Pillow ProfessorSometimes I get up in the morning and all I can think about is how happy I’ll be to go to sleep that night.

I try to maintain a fairly regular sleep schedule to avoid days like these, almost never staying up past midnight anymore. Instead, I try to get in bed by 10 pm, read for an hour, and be asleep a little after 11 pm.

Then, I set my alarm for 7 am and usually hit the snooze button a few times. I lay in bed catching up on social media on my phone for a bit and eventually, around 8 am, actually remove myself from under the covers and start getting ready for the day.

That’s a solid 8-9 hours of sleep a day.

So why did I feel the need to come home and immediately nap today? Maybe this was exactly what my body needed and I just had to listen to it.

This is a lesson I feel like I keep having to re-learn. While I was training for the Cap City Half Marathon, all I wanted to do was sleep. I was always exhausted because I was running so much. My body desperately needed the time to heal and recover.

And last week, when I took more rest days than usual, I wasn’t sleeping very well at all. It was as though my body didn’t know how to react to my not feeling completely exhausted from constant workouts, so it caused me to wake up at weird hours and never feel fully rested.

Last week finally caught up with me today and I just had to nap it off.

It’s important to listen to your body, especially when it comes to sleep.

Do you remember those online quizes you could take that would tell you if you were sleep deprived? I took one back in high school and answered “yes” to almost every single question. I don’t know how I even functioned back then! I wish I’d had the time to take naps during those years (a luxury I later took advantage of in college) because I think I would have done much better at everything I was doing (which was a lot.) Yet, somehow I made it through, and  looking back, I can’t believe I accomplished anything with how little sleep I was getting.

Now that I am an adult, I try much harder to get the sleep I need, and I think I am 100x healthier for it.

Don’t take sleep for granted! There may be more you have to get done in a day than there are hours for, but you only have one body, and it needs sleep to recover from everything you’re doing–not just physically, but mentally as well.

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Filed under Living the Dream