Running

The Importance of Rest Days

Lately, the Ninja Turtle has been toying around with her running schedule. She recently made a new friend, who conveniently is a fellow runner and lives on the same street as she does, hence, a shining new running buddy (who is not the reluctant GodzillaPin). It’s marvellous to run with an intrinsically motivated runner, but more importantly, it gives her some much-needed female company.

The Ninja Turtle would lay down her life for her pack of male wolves, but there are many times when she misses the company of Ducky, Baby Turtle, or any woman actually.

The Ninja Turtle would lay down her life for her pack of male wolves, but there are many times when she misses the company of Ducky, Baby Turtle, or any woman actually.

As a result of fiddling with her running schedule, however, she exceeded her weekly mileage by about 10% last week. On top of that, she’s found herself doing some back-to-back key runs (LSD + tempo, or tempo + hill sprints anyone?).

Wait a minute… she hears some readers saying. How is that a bad thing? More running = WIN, right?

Well, in the running community, there is something known as Rest Days, or Recovery Days. It’s days when one takes a break from running, to either cross-train or do bugger-all. The idea is to prevent burn-out, overuse injury, and most likely, boredom. Actually, it’s probably to prevent boredom because even runners have a limit to their insanity. At any rate, they are just as important as training, proper nutrition and sleep if one wishes to improve performance. Somewhere along the cheese and cured meats aisle at the supermarket yesterday, the Ninja Turtle felt her legs suddenly turn to jelly. She knew she had to back off the running for a day or two.

Some very diligent people cross-train, but the Ninja Turtle very much prefers to do this instead:

That may or may not be the Ninja Turtle's third glass before 5.30pm. And she is known to eat upwards of 8oz of cheese at a time. Screw the pizzas, bring on the REAL deal.

That may or may not be the Ninja Turtle’s third glass before 5.30pm. And she is known to eat upwards of 8oz of cheese at a time. Screw the pizzas, bring on the REAL deal. In this picture – Gorgonzola, Camembert de Normandie, Jeune Cantal, Ossau-Iraty of the Basque Country and chèvre.

The biggest upside of taking a proper break is maintaining sanity and by extension, motivation to continue running. You know you’ve crossed a line when you start having dreams/nightmares involving running/food. If you have already experienced such debilitating symptoms, the Ninja Turtle prescribes a hot bath, a glass of red wine and a good mystery book, either separately or all together, depending on your ability to multitask.

As for the Ninja Turtle, she started the day foam-rolling, and ever since, she’s been indulging in documentaries of the Hundred Years War, drunk-enrolling in races, drunk-booking accommodations in the proximity of said races, and pissing herself laughing at readers’ comments on The Guardian.

Rest days are necessary. One should come out of a rest day feeling rested, recharged, replenished and raring to go. If not, you haven’t rested enough, in which case, the Ninja Turtle says, take another rest day. In the long run, this small investment of self-care will pay incredible dividends.

Shout-Out: Happy belated birthday to both our dear Swiss Chick and Runner Bean, who turned 29 and 32 respectively, both on the same day. May your birthdays have been beer/wine/cake/pizza-fuelled orgies in which we wish we had participated in.

Advertisements
Standard
Travel

Super Sunday – A Frolicking Good Time

When left to their own devices, GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle have a fashion of clearly distinguishing the week and its end. Gone are the wholesome meals and waking at reasonable hours, as they fall into bed at 2, rise with a throbbing headache and proceed to feast on sparkling wine, Stilton cheese and crackers.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The first (and foremost) glorious thing this weekend was the weather – we got a few hours of sunshine and the type of stifling heat that precedes rain. It got so hot during our walk out to the farmers’ markets that GodzillaPin stripped off his layers. Unfortunately for all, this meant seeing him in pyjamas. Sort of.

Sun! In mid-October!

Sun! In mid-October!

There is something of a tradition to buy a roast chicken at  the markets for our Saturday lunches. In summer we tear it apart and rustle up a salad with leafy greens, peaches and vinaigrette, while autumn called for a more warming spinach stew. Versatile stuff, whole roast chickens.

Yet this time, something else excited the duo even more. While strolling through the markets, GodzillaPin was frozen in his tracks by the sight of the most beautiful array of squashes he had ever seen. There were squashes big and small, green squashes, yellow squashes, orange squashes, squashes he didn’t know the names of… It was squashy (peachy, but with squashes).

GodzillaPin pondering a nosedive into the lot.

GodzillaPin pondering a nosedive into the lot.

The Ninja Turtle got an even better find. After hunting for a year and half through all of this Gallic nation, making fervent enquiries from Auvergne to Bretagne to Lorraine, she finally found what had been haunting her dreams since leaving Australia:

I don't care that France has got 500+ varieties of cheese, nothing even comes close to replacing a Stilton

I don’t care that France has got 500+ varieties of cheese, nothing even comes close to replacing a Stilton.

Pleased with their bounty, they made their way home, believing they have seen it all. Were they in for a shock when the after-lunch stroll saw them bumping into one of these contraptions.

You know how in Japan, one can purchase some really weird things (we won't be explicit here since family members are reading this, but some of you will immediately catch our drift)

You know how in Japan, one can purchase some really weird things (we won’t be explicit here since family members are reading this, but some of you will immediately catch our drift) from a vending machine? Well, they’re amateurs ‘cos here in France…

The next time, dear reader, you run into a snooty French person or someone acting like French cuisine is superior in all the human race, gently point out that in France, one can buy baguettes from a vending machine. The mind boggles.

We also got a taste of the South this weekend in Nancy too, at the 40th edition of the Nancy Jazz Pulsations.

We attended both the Friday and Saturday night concerts, but it was far more enjoyable the second night, when the air wasn’t thick with marijuana and the music loud enough to penetrate the marrow. Our unanimous favourite was Alex Hepburn, though Ibrahim Maalouf was a very close second.

So that was the weekend for GozillaPin and the Ninja Turtle. Now they will lay low and try to recover from the wine, cheese and jazz hangover before another week commences.

Standard