To use yesterday's terminology, even as I was running toward Boston there were non-running mornings. Ever since my first marathon training experience, I had been told time again by a variety of sources that one needs rest or cross-training. There was a list of reasons not to run every single day. And that was fine.
Today is only the third non-running day since the Boston marathon for me. The first was the day after. Believe it or not, I have sometimes run on the day after. I don't recall why I didn't run last Friday. And today I may still go out for 3-4 miles if I have a chance, but I do not feel compelled.
Is it needing to rest? In fact, no. I met several friends of friends at the expo at the old Boston convention center and at the athlete's village in Hopkinton who actually talked about running every day (even if just a little) for a long period of time. That is not necessarily my aspiration but it points to how little the body actually needs substantial rest. At least for some people.
No, instead, I am looking at a long list of unanswered emails. I am looking at some things that need to be done to straighten up the house. I am looking at all the other things in life that simply require my full attention for a little while.
If there is one thing that marathon running teaches you, it is that when you need to give your full attention to something it really does require giving your full attention. It is difficulty--although probably not impossible--to get ready to run a marathon without a full-fledged plan. The plan takes attention and gets done. When I am running, sometimes it is possible to go on autopilot. But not always. And especially for the more intense workouts (tempo and track), I find that I need to give them my attention.
And, of course, running a point to point marathon like Boston (where the caravan of yellow school buses taking people out to the start at Hopkinton is quite an amazing site) teaches you that things have to be faced head on. When you are taken by bus 26 miles from the finish line (and approximately 26 miles from an opportunity to get back to your car) you really have only one choice--take the situation head on, run to the finish line, and get on with life.
Are there emails I'd prefer not to have to answer? Of course. Are there chores at home I would prefer not to do? Yep! But when all is said and done they need to be done. And modeling my approach to the rest of my life the same way that I take on the challenges of a marathon will help me to stay on track, get things done, achieve, and lead a fulfilling life at home, with family, and at work in the same way that I do when I run.