I skipped my long run this past Sunday. I was sick. And word from my coach was that if I was sick, I should skip the long run - I have plenty of 20 milers on the schedule ahead of me, so missing one 18-20 wouldn't be all that bad.
And so I found myself at home on a Sunday morning. It was stunning.
My Sunday mornings are usually carefully orchestrated. Long run, then proceed directly to gym (guzzling sports drink and eating hard boiled eggs on way) for injury prevention work. From there to the pool for 20 minutes of very easy pool-running, to assist recovery, and then I hit Whole Foods, spend way too much money, and head home. Long run starts at 8 am, I get home around noon-12:30.
No long run this weekend meant I was home instead, with a large block of time. At first it was obvious what to do. I was sick, after all. I lay back on the couch, popped in Batman Begins, and vegged.
But then I started feeling a bit better. Sore throat eased, and not quite as miserable.
I debated going for a short run, but opted against it. I didn't feel 100%, and frankly if I was going to skip my long run, I'd gain more from a day free of aerobic exercise then I would from an easy hour's run.
So I stayed in, and ended up turning to all those things I keep meaning to do, but never actually accomplish.
Over the course of the next few hours, I filed paper work and shredded documents too old to keep. I did laundry and reviewed my investment portfolio, making a few tweaks and additional purchases (I think now's a very good time to buy stock, if you're looking for long term gains). I identified tons of clutter that could be dispatched to Goodwill.
[All this, plus the general work of being sick. I attack my head colds. I wash all my sheets, gargle with listerine constantly, drink as much fluids as I can stand, and pop echinacea, zinc, and vitamin c. Plus multiple hot showers. I don't take my sickness lying down.]
It was, again, stunning. Everything that I got done. But I'm honestly not posting this to brag (though I know it looks that way), but rather to reflect.
If I had not had a long run planned on Sunday, I would not have accomplished all this stuff.
And that's the rub. Our lives, including our running, our personal errands, etc, expand to match the space we allocate to them. My house is admittedly always a bit cluttered, the kitchen a bit dirty. But the truth is, they'd remain that way even if I didn't spend umpteen hours a week running, foam-rolling, etc.
Interesting. I'm not taking this as a message to try to fit in more -- I think one can go overboard to the point where everything is scheduled and planned - therein lies madness. But it was an illustration of how much of the way we live our lives (and how frequently we file our paperwork) is a matter of personal choice, though we use phrases like "I don't have the time."
It's not that we lack time, but rather that we choose to spend time in other way. Again, worth a bit of reflection.