In track the difference between the 800m and the mile is 800m. Well, technically it’s a little over 800m, that’s why the starting line is that awkward curved line several strides behind the start (something I didn’t understand for my first few meets as a sophomore in high school).
Anyway…the difference is a little bit over 800m, a little bit more than two laps around the outdoor track.
Many people may opt for the 800m over the mile in a heartbeat. It’s half the distance, less than half the time, why wouldn’t you choose it?
My answer? The mile has a middle.
I didn’t choose the 800m and I would never in a million years (unless there was free jar of teddy’s peanut butter at the end) opt to run the 800m over the mile. In part because it is way faster than I ever want to run, but in part because mentally the mile has a definable middle.
The middle, laps 2 and 3.
With a middle there is so much less stress, so much more time to make up for mistake or get work done. There is time to plan, catch up and finish strong.
The same holds true for a 3-day weekend.
There is time to catch up on rest following a late night. There is time for a an adventure, something out of the ordinary. There is time to get your work done, and also not have that be the only thing you do.
There isn’t simply a first and a last. There is a middle.
This summer I was lucky enough to work four, instead of five, days a week giving me a 3-day weekend almost every weekend. It was, as my sister-in-law would say, the dream.
The dream because I could easily visit friends and family on the weekend without feeling rushed or stressed. There was a day to get there, a day to enjoy in the middle (key), and a day to leave.
Every week had a mini vacation that let me go on long runs, drive through multiple states through good and very not good traffic, play for hours with my little nephews, actually see my friends for more than an hour, arts and crafts (as pictured with my paper flowers) and attempt to relax (something I’m not necessarily that good at.)
Good at relaxing or not, however, having three days instead of two makes the following four that much more productive (or bearable).
Through all the hubbub of moving and getting back into working five days a week I forgot what the dream felt like.
Luckily, labor day reminded me. And I hope it reminded you too.
When you can feel like Friday wasn’t yesterday (or even the day before yesterday) and maybe you’re actually ready to go back to work or school then I would say your weekend was a success.
I’m pro the mile. I’m pro the middle. I’m pro the 3-day weekend.