I get great benefits at work - including more time off than most people. I have 12 paid holidays, 12 paid sick days, and this year I get 19 vacation days (it goes up one day a year now). I also can bank my overtime hours, and either use them as time off or cash-out (and get a big, fat check). Oh - and did I mention that I work 4 10-hour days, so I get a 3-day weekend every week? But no where in all this wonderful time, do I have a day off for my mental health. And being that my life has been so stressful lately, I have really been needing such a day. So, I did just that yesterday (disguised as a vacation day of course).
My intentions for the day were actually two-fold. Obviously, my first goal was just to have a day to myself. A day to do what I wanted - without a (wonderfully adorable) child tugging on my pant leg asking to be held. A day without trying to please anyone. A day to just be alone. My second goal was to complete my last long run before the (rapidly approaching) marathon. I knew that if I didn't get it in, it would be too close to the race to try again.
So, Ben took the girls to daycare, and I stayed home. I had a leisurely breakfast and then donned my running gear. The night before, I had plotted out my course on map my run dot com. My plan was to run a 15 mile course up a near-by canyon and then back down. It was cold when I started out at 7:30, and I was glad I'd chosen a long-sleeved shirt. I didn't push it, especially since the first half of the run was all up hill. When I needed to walk, I walked. I took along some shot blocks too, and tried to space them out as best as possible. At one point as I was running up the narrow canyon road, a deer ran out just a few feet in front of me. I stopped running, so as not to scare him. He stood in the road and watched me for awhile before bounding up the side of the mountain. I actually reached my turn-around point much more quickly than I'd thought - and the rest was all downhill. I ran almost the entire way. At around mile 14, my knee started to bother me, so I alternated walking/running for the last mile and change. I also decided to blow off the last 5 DM miles, so as not to make my knee feel worse. (I think I made the right decision too, because I feel so much better today)
I am still really nervous for St George in 2 weeks, but I do at least feel like I'll be able to complete the marathon. I'm sure that I'll hurt and be sore for 2 weeks. But I'm confident that (baring some major catastrophe) I should be just fine.
Anyway . . . back to yesterday. After my run, I came home and took an ice bath followed by a shower. At this point, it was just after 11am, and I had the rest of the day to myself. I ate some lunch, and then some more lunch (hey, running that much makes me really hungry - it was all healthy food at least). I took a nap. I surfed the net. I watched Hostel (that I DVRed months ago). I went grocery shopping. I cooked dinner. I even did some laundry. It was so wonderful and relaxing to finally have a day to do what I wanted, when I wanted.
Ahhhhh! I think I'm going to be scheduling more of these "mental health" days!