I have exercise-induced guilt.

I'm actually bored with mocking LeBron, but this picture is a great representation of my exerguilt

I’m flying to a funeral on Friday morning and I’ll be gone all weekend.  Running probably isn’t an option because I don’t know the area and it might not be safe.  My current running schedule calls for runs on Friday and Saturday, which probably can’t happen (my flight leaves at 7).  Thursday is supposed to be a rest day.

Here’s where it gets dicey: I hate running more than 2 days in a row and I’m pretty sure more than 3 would destroy my body.  That means I can fit in 3 runs this week (mostly cause I didn’t plan ahead) and I’ve already done 2 of them.  I’m also not sure I’m up for a solo 5 miler (LSD for the week), but I’m gonna try to do something longer tomorrow morning.  That means when I woke up feeling beyond exhausted this morning I decided to skip the run and take it as a sign that my body needs a break.

The thing is, I feel so guilty!  Every morning that I skip a run, I feel like I’m going to crawl out of my own skin from the guilt.  I can’t enjoy anything all day because I feel bad.  That’s not healthy.  I’m planning to go to krav maga tonight, but even if I don’t, rest days are good too.  Yes, this whole weekend is rest days, but one off week when I’ve been feeling so burnt out is probably not a bad things, right?

Why do I need the people of the internet to reinforce my decisions about my body?  I’m not sure where all this guilt comes from.  Sometimes it’s a good thing because it keeps me moving, but when it’s this paralyzing because of one bad week, something probably isn’t right.

Do you get exercise-induced guilt?  How do you deal with it?  How do you handle training burn out?  I like Abby‘s suggestion of reading books about awesome athletic feats.  Now to find some that actually come on the Nook.  What’s your favorite running book?

Edited to add: Mr. Big Pants is in the hospital and we are supposed to be flying to NC on Friday, so updating may be light to non-existant for a few days.  I have at least one post scheduled while I’m gone, though.


About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
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11 Responses to Exerguilt

  1. Kara says:

    I liked “Running on Empty” by Marshall Ulrich. That dude is bat shit insane, but still it’s a good read.

    Where are you flying that it’s unsafe to run? Detroit? 🙂 When I travel, I just get a day pass from a local gym (like Gold’s) and use that. Note: if you press them, it’s never really 20 bucks for the pass. If you have boobs, it’s no more than 10, I promise.

  2. I probably need to get exercise induced guilt. I kinda feel vaguely guilty and then get over it.

  3. Emily says:

    Exerguilt! Great word. Yes I have that now. I find motivating images or words most inspirational in getting back on track. It’s a great excuse for checking out pictures of hot, shirtless celebrities. “I need the motivation” 🙂

  4. Kelly says:

    You shouldn’t feel guilty about not exercising. If you feel guilty then you are less liking to enjoy the behavior and therefore WANT to engage in it. I know it is HARD because I can sometimes fall into the exercise guilt trap too but I always remind myself that I should only exericse when I want too and I should do something I want to do. Some days that is a run, some days that is weights, some days that is a DVD and some days that might just be a walk around the neigborhood with a book on tape. By not feeling so pressured to exercise I find that I actually look forward to it and then on days I don’t I don’t exercise. I make sure to keep my diet more in check on those days and I just move on.

  5. Sorry to hear about your dad!

    I definitely have exercise guilt! I think it’s like a hunger, you know like when you try to cut out sugar and your body just WANTS it and craves it? When you don’t exercise, your body craves it and then the guilt is a weird byproduct. It can be good when it’s motivating, but it can also just make you feel crappy about yourself when it’s unavoidable (like it is for you). Hang in there! You’re not alone!

  6. Sara F says:

    I always get major exercise guilt. Like if I skip my yoga practice for more than 2 days in a row, or if I get on a new exercise kick and take a break, then I spend hours freaking out about it. I try not to, but I have OCD tendencies, so what can you do?

  7. HA! My life is one long guilt trip. I hurt my leg on saturadays run to the point that I couldnt walk on it and i STILL felt bad for not running on sunday. Geez. I took the time off and my leg feels 100 x better. Take time off relax. Remeber its supposed to be fun right?

  8. Mandy says:

    I completely understand the exercise guilt! However, you shouldn’t let it become debilitating. It certainly sounds like your body NEEDS a few days off. So, life just conspired against you to ensure you get it. 🙂

    I think we should treat the guilt with good book or a girls night at the movies when you get back.

    I hope your Dad is okay and heals quickly!

  9. Kiki says:

    Your post about exercise guilt gave me exercise guilt. Sigh.
    On another note, you’re doing something that’s on my bucket list – a Krav Maga class. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m looking at classes now.
    Tell Mr. Big Pants to feel better!

  10. Judi says:

    Definitely feel the exercise guilt thing. I’m having a hard time getting back into it after resting my knee….gotta find my groove again.

    I read Courage to Start by John Bingham, but what really tips my scales is the DVD Spirit of the Marathon. Makes me cry and invigorates me every time. I watch it before any big race and it reminds me of why I do this.

  11. Sara says:

    Um….why bother to exercise when you have SNUGGLY PUGGLIES!!!!?!?!?!?!?! Ah, right, you were looking for advice, NOT an excuse, right??

    I have exerguilt frequently lately, it seems like. For me, there is not really a good way to deal with it, other than just deal with it. On days when it gets nearly unbearable (but not so much that I actually DO something), I can sometimes convince Michael to go on a long walk with me and my non-snuggly-pugglies. I know how you feel! Sometimes I get so down on myself that I just do nothing instead of TRYING to do something. It’s like my dad used to tell me about homework in high school – sometimes most of the battle is just starting something. I would get all hung up on writing papers (because they had to be perfect) and wouldn’t start because it was overwhelming. By waiting to the last minute, I either produced something stellar or horrible (no middle ground) because I crapped around for so long.

    BUT – if you are hurting or overly exhausted or really struggling day to day, you are making the right decision by taking it easy! I fought burnout really bad after my first half and am fighting it again now. You will thank yourself later for backing off and not feel guilty anymore!!

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