What’s this running thing?

I hope you, yes, you, had an enjoyable holiday season, and a restful one, if you’re into that kind of thing. I know I did. Saw the family, had some beautiful cross-country skiing in the Gatineau Park (back in the Motherland), had some good ski touring days on the Coast before leaving, and, uh, running? Running? What’s that?

XC skiing 5 days in a row does funny things to my body these days, since I’m not used to doing it any more, but it turns out that not running for two weeks also does funny things. Christmas, I think, is a time to focus on family, friends, and actual winter sports, and rest up the old running body for a bit. It can be a bit of a challenge to shove away the little nagging voice in the back of the head saying “go run, go run, you haven’t done any mileage this week, what if you don’t train and David Palermo beats you again in Whistler?”, but there’s always the opposite concern; what if you never stop training, never take breaks, and end up with worn-out legs, tendons, and mind? (And that’s right, Dave, the nagging voice in my head is out to get you.)

This far from the racing season, as long as the body keeps moving, the movement doesn’t have to be running in order to keep fit. Plenty of cross-training right now – maybe not too much cycling, in Vancouver’s rain, but the skiing’s good! – leads to happy runs in the summer. If you do take that 2 weeks off running, though, be warned: if you’re like me, the legs will feel the impact for the first few runs back! Ouch!

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