I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my half marathon training program included scheduled rest days. No running, no strength training, no cross-training. Nothing. Just a day to rest and recuperate.
I tinkered with the schedule (swapping rest day for cross-training day) to put my rest day on Friday, the day before my Saturday long run. I like having rest day on Friday. It means I can get to work an hour earlier than usual, so I can leave an hour earlier in the afternoon. Who doesn't like getting home early on a Friday? I can start Home Happy Hour at 4:00 instead of 5:00! And yes, I did just state that instead of taking advantage of rest day and sleeping in for an extra hour, I still have the alarm go off at the usual time (5:55 am). And yes, that is 5:55, not 5:30, 5:45 or 6:00. I have it timed so I can hear the weather report on WUOM at 5:59. The other four minutes are for cat-rumpling, dog-butt-scratching, and husband-snuggling. Then it's up and at 'em at 6:00!
Now, having transformed myself from a couch potato into an exercise maniac, I do have trouble with the concept of "rest." On days when I am either not supposed to exercise or experience circumstances that prevent me from exercising (travel, illness, etc) I get a vague antsy, restless feeling. Twitchy. Fidgety. As if there is something I should be doing but am not. Sometimes I play loose with the definition of "rest" and decide that walking on the treadmill at the gym constitutes rest so I can do some form of exercise that day. At least I'm not running, right?
I could never go back to the sedentary lifestyle I led before my journey. Back to a time when the most exercise I got was walking to and from my car in the parking lot at work. Back to a time when the trip from the basement to the second floor of my house made me pant. Back to a time when I would use half of a stick of butter to cook a meal. Ugh.
No, I've changed, and changed permanently. I have achieved total lifestyle overhaul!