Unproductivity is the best

Yesterday I ran for 4 hours.


With no real route or plan.

My instructions were to run for 4 hours. No roads.

So I ran. For 4 hours. Around Buttermilk for 2 hours, then at Treman for the second 2.

I listened to Ten Junk Miles. I ate and drank. It was easy.

Easy like Sunday morning.

Those are the days I live for. The climbing. The peace. Feeling at peace while I’m out there. With no real expectations. Just go. Slowly. Eat when I can. Drink always. Just enjoy the time.

Sometimes when I get these instructions, I still hold some expectation in my head of the mileage I “should” get. Or the time I want to spend out there. This season I’ve been trying to let go of any “shoulds” or what I used to do.

I am a different runner. I enjoy the sport more. I am trying to listen to my body more. I am listening to my coach.

Just run Ellie.

After my 4 hour jaunt, I literally had the day free. It was glorious. At about 3PM I realized I had done NOTHING productive yet that day, and I was oddly satisfied with it. I haven’t had a true down day in a few weeks, so spending my day running, reading and watching some YouTube was lovely.

I finished my run at Wegmans, and got breakfast there. I went to Ollies and got a few interesting granola bars (they are a bargain outlet so they have the flavors that didn’t sell in the store), read for a few hours before realizing I wanted to get my favorite breakfast sandwich. I went to Ten Forward and they hooked me up quite nicely.

I just sat there for about an hour, nursing my sandwich and coffee, talking to Tammy and Alex who were working, just relishing in the slowness.

By the time I finished it was around 4PM. I went up to Agava to finish a few projects I had for the week, nothing strenuous and I could have done it remotely if I had to. I called my friend Carly and talked to her about our latest book and TV show obsession.

Then I went into my van, closed the doors and just vegged out for a few hours. I watched Where Dreams Go To Die from the Ginger Runner, a couple Mountain Outhouse news programs and really just laid there.

I got dinner from work, and talked to my coworkers for a bit. It was an amazingly unproductive day. But the best part, I didn’t feel like I needed to be productive. I gave myself grace both in the run that morning and in my day to take it easy. It felt good to release myself from that daily grind.

I’m ready for Monday.

Breakfast: bananas with almond butter and flax seeds

Running: 57 minutes

2 thoughts on “Unproductivity is the best”

  1. So many things I could have quoted here for inspiration. I think – and correct me if I’m wrong – but for people like us, who have maybe, in the past, been accustomed to pushing ourselves, living by schedules and/or being so used to just always being productive, these shifts are huge. These moments when we realize we are a different person, in a different place. I’m still learning to feel totally okay with “off” days, but I’m so getting there, and I’m grateful for that. Your day sounds fabulous.

    I really need to try your breakfast sandwich. I’m all about them right now. Basically I feel like your town just rules for breakfast, in general (read: scones).

  2. This sounds like such a good day, Ellie! I’m glad you were unproductive and had some time to take some downtime to yourself! And be cool with it! That’s always half the battle for me… just letting myself “be” you know? You go girl!

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