“Hey, carefull, man, there’s a beverage here!” – The Dude
It took a long time to shed my runner’s guilt—years, decades—but I finally did. Actually, I think I outlived it. For those who are not familiar with runner’s guilt, it is a condition that some of us more eccentric runners suffer when we miss a run; I’m talking about real, deep-rooted, circa 1960 Catholic school guilt.
I hear runners talk about missing a run like they forgot to pick up their three-year-old from daycare, and two days had gone by. They stress because they had a fifty-mile week planned and they only ran forty-seven. Most times the guilt is not even the fault of the runner. It had nothing to do with laziness; it wasn’t like there was a choice between taking an hour run and watching The Big Lewbowski, and went with The Dude. Get over it!
Life will always throw you a curveball—two-feet of snow, flat tire, kids get the flu—and it’s much easier to hit the curveball when you know it’s coming. Sit back on it. Tomorrow is another day. And it gets better.
Life without runner’s guilt is much better. Most times when I return from an unplanned rest my body is stronger. Turns out that the body needs rest, and sometimes we need help getting it. Shit, I mean life, happens. Next time life happens to you, let it take its course and don’t be surprised if you are stronger the next time out.