After that EPIC game last night, which capped off quite the weekend for us in general, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been reflecting on over the last 36 hours.
- It’s not over, ’til it’s over, ’til it’s over. Obviously referring to my “never say never” Patriots and their amazing comeback win in overtime #GoPats but it’s a reminder to never give up on a training plan, on a nutrition plan, or on a race, until you’ve seen it through to the finish. You can’t call something a success or failure if you didn’t give it your full effort through to the end.
- There’s a reason the old adage goes “Don’t try new shoes (or new anything) on race day”. You can probably deduce that I did in fact try new shoes on race day and it did not go well. I believe I will like the new Saucony Freedoms for shorter runs, but a 10 mile race, in February, in Maine, was probably not the best conditions to take them out for their debut performance. The shoes are a more minimal drop than I’ve been running with since coming back from having my son and therefor are putting more stress on my achilles. They are also much softer and offer less support for my arch which apparently still needs some help. I’d been having issues with my ankle/calf already, which had gotten A LOT better post chiropractor work, BUT I was barely able to walk this morning. Oops!
- Yoga really is an imperative for runners. I was going back and forth this morning between doing a Yin class or trying a new Dynamic Core Yoga class. I was fried from yesterday – 10 miles on a hilly course plus a 1 hour swim class – so was leaning toward Yin but when my computer was being wonky and I needed to reboot anyway, I took that as the universe telling me to go to the earlier Dynamic Core class. Universe, you are so smart sometimes! My chiropractor has wanted me to add another day of core/strength (get me up to 3) to help with the weakness and imbalance in my hips anyway. As I’ve mentioned before, Yin focuses more on the hips and lower back. This is normally exactly what I need but today, with the gimpy ankle, I needed more downward dog, balance, and true core work to pull myself together. An hour and fifteen minutes later, I was walking without a limp or any pain in my heel. I could also feel I was standing taller with my “corset” zipped up. I know it’s always easier said and done, (hello! chiropractor told me to add this work a month ago and I just did it!), but if you really want to run strong and push your body, you’ve got to give it a fighting chance. Yoga is your best defense against injury. Period.
- I get a little help from my friends. I’ve said this before, and it’s surely no surprise to any of you, but running with friends just brings a whole different energy to the sport. Even before the race started my heart was full and I was more optimistic about the day than I had been the night before. Why? Because I had already spent an hour laughing with friends on the car ride to the start, waiting in line for the bathroom and wandering the start area. They quickly and easily distracted me from the negativity running wild in my head the night before. I ran the whole race with a dear friend, who did try to get rid of me multiple times, but I needed her just as much as she needed me yesterday. We saw no less than 10 friends volunteering along the course which just made the time fly by. There were no earbuds yesterday just silly banter, pounding heartbeats, and soft footsteps. I needed that and it carried me the whole day.
- The future is bright. If winter training is hard normally, which it is, coming from significant time off and starting said training in the winter is just excruciating. The weather is challenging, the daylight is limited, the pounds have crept on “unexpectedly”, and your body just naturally wants to curl into a ball in front of the fire and sleep until May. I keep telling myself “winter warrior makes springtime speedster”. Yesterday was not my fastest time on that course but it proved I was much farther along than I expected and gave me just slight glimpse that April 29th could be a strong performance. I just need to keep putting in the mileage, keeping up my strength work, and probably add the Dynamic Core Yoga to my weekly rotation. Springtime Speedster here I come!