Rest is a part of your training, believe it or not. Your rest day is just as important as your hard day in your training program. It's the time when your body builds new cells to prepare itself for the next level of training. If nothing else, you deserve to take a break from the rigors of running. Sleep in, put your feet up, or take the elevator and not the stairs.
Today is Day 20 of my 40-day Lenten Run. Never before have I directly realized the value of rest until now. After 20 days of consecutive running totalling 161 miles, my leg muscles are screaming to stop and take a rest day. For a running mortal like me, to break my 40-day pledge is such a tempting deal.
So why not listen to my body and take that day of rest?
When I pray as I run, I do not listen to my body as much as I listen to the voice of my heart. I listen to God who is the voice of my heart calling me to rest -- to rest in Him. When I pray as I run, I pray that I may rest in God and nothing else. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "You have have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until it rests in you."
Praying as you run can teach you to feel relaxed even when your body is agitated, to remain peaceful in the midst of chaos, to hear God's call in a noisy world, and to gain strength when you feel weary. Long may you run and pray and find rest in Him.