Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Taking a "mental health" day

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!

4 comments:

Jess T said...

Glad it was good for you. :) Sounds like hell to me. I'd rather go to the spa. Of course, that would require a fat chunk of change. I hate that. :( Oh well.

Chelsea said...

Mental health days are the best! I'm glad you got a good one. And you are going to kick butt in the marathon!!

Erin said...

That is one thing I miss about not having a job. I've still got three kids all the time. I have to beg my husband to take a day off so I can have a day Half-off. Congrats though on your "me" day.

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