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Well, Labor Day weekend is upon us, and what a summer it's been. The last time I remember taking an intentional break from running was in November 2017 (see: Metamorphosis). Fast-forward to present day, and the intervening time has brought me to the start lines for indoor and outdoor mile races, adult cross country, and a handful of half marathons. Most notable was our post-pandemic plan to run our Memorial Day Weekend marathon on our own here in upstate New York.

Since that day after I lay under a tree at the end of the Black Diamond Trail, a lot has happened in the world. One of the ways I cope with stress is by relying on routines. I can point to plenty from the time since Memorial Day weekend:

  • Daily pushups and situps based on my age (going strong after 1,846 and 796 days, respectively)
  • Rowing 4x per week, 10 minutes per session, watching vintage Twilight Zone episodes (appropriate, right?)
  • Starting and ending my work weeks with a walk
  • Weekend lattes in my front yard with Amy
  • Running a ton of mileage with no race in sight

It's the last point that bears explaining. Here's a visualization of what's happened with my running since that Memorial Day weekend "long run."

Weekly mileage? Check.

Weekly mileage? Check.

See that red dot at the bottom? That's 26.2 miles. In the weeks since I've kept up a schedule of 5/8/5/13/4 every week. Some workouts shifted a day forward or backward depending on the weather and schedules, but man, it's been consistent. Each week I hit 35 miles and change in total mileage, too, which is a higher load than I've had for most race training, barring late-stage ultramarathon training. I also threw in weekly Les Mills BodyCombat (see: 28 Days to Invincible for a free, get-your-ass-kicked way to get a taste of the workout), which is a wonderful way to feel totally badass while punching and kicking thin air.

Here's what the plan looked like on paper, hanging just above my desk. And yes, it's time to change the toner:

Weekly Workout Plan

Weekly Workout Plan

BodyPump actually happened a max of 1x per week, and I never did get into BodyFlow as much as I wanted to. Regardless, it's an understatement to say that I was tired.

So, this past weekend, after 13 straight weeks of this routine, I just stopped. After 455+ miles of running, punching, and kicking, it felt so good to take a week off. I hiked a few times (this post's picture is of Taughannock's upper gorge on a hike this week), walked, and went for a bike ride, but the no-expectations approach to the week's fitness felt refreshing.

Now, if you know me, you know I can't keep this up for long. Heck, next week I'll be into something else for the forseeable future. But for now, I'm savoring the effect of pushing the reset button once again.