Monday, July 7, 2014

3 things I need to be better at [running edition]

Good morning and happy Monday!!!  Do you love Mondays?  I know I'm the super weirdo person, but I love, love, love Mondays.  They are always full of potential and promise, and nothing has gone wrong yet in the week... you get a clean slate.  Today, I'm training for my new position all day long.  We're going to be working on payroll, and it gives me a lot of anxiety.  I mean, what job is more crucial to get 100% right (in Accounting, that is), than making sure that everyone gets paid the correct amount on time?  Yeesh.  I am really glad that I am going to be a payroll back-up in my new role, and not the payroll point person.

Having taken the last week off of running, today is also my fresh start with that.  I definitely feel much better than I was, but I'm a little bit apprehensive.  I'm still having some shin pain if I overextend myself, but it seems to go away with a few hours of rest.  I have the feeling I'm just going to have to keep an eye on it this week and play things by ear.  This little mini-injury has really made me take some time to evaluate what I could be doing better with my training, though, and re-focus on what I need to be doing in order to be more successful.  The things I have identified so far:

1)  YOGA:  During my half marathon training, I religiously made the effort to make yoga a big part of my life.  In fact, it was the only cross training I chose to do for my entire program, and I did not miss a single run due to injury during that training cycle.  So far with marathon training, long walks with Gunner have dominated my cross training.  I'm going to venture out on a limb and say that this was a big contributing factor to how quickly and hard I got hit with pain.  My legs are tighter than they were, and stretching has been more intense lately.  I'm making the commitment now that for the rest of this training cycle, I will do yoga 2x/week.

2)  Detox baths and ice baths:  Another thing I was super into during my last training cycle were my weekly hot detox baths and my post long run ice baths.  I really think that both of these things go a long way towards my muscle recovery when orchestrated properly.  My ideal timing is to do the detox bath the night before a long run, and the ice bath immediately following stretching after a long run.  My detox baths consist of 3 cups of epsom salts, 1.5 cups baking soda, and lavender and eucalyptus essential oils.  If my legs need that sassy icy-hot feeling, I throw in some peppermint too.  It works like a charm on stubborn muscles and ligaments.

3)  Sleep:  This is something that I have worked on for years, and is always going to be something that I work on.  I am very sensitive to stress, and tend to have physical reactions, like illness and injury, when my stress levels are not appropriately managed.  Since I have the whole "regular exercise" portion of that equation handled, and I'm already working with techniques like baths and yoga to further manage that stress, I also have to pay attention to my sleep.  My personal ideal is 9 hours a night, which is a ton.  Lately, I've been getting more like 6-7, which is really affecting me.  I find myself sleeping way in on the weekends, which isn't like me at all.  So my goal is to be in bed no later than 9:45.  I know it's going to be hard to hit, and that most nights I won't make it, but it's something to move toward.

...And as I'm writing this at 9:57pm on Sunday night, I'm thinking that it's a good time to call it good for the night.  Gotta maximize my sleep and all that.

What things are you working at being better at this week?

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