Posts Tagged ‘Recovery’

I woke up this morning realizing that sometimes I leave some things unsettled.  I tout myself as this great communicator but sometimes I fall short…..I also recognize that I am not alone in this and that I should not be so hard on myself.

That being said, I wanted to kind of explain what this particular blog is all about….because I get the feeling that many of my friends who read this (read: non-blog friends), don’t necessarily understand why I write this blog.

I preface all of this with:  I USED to have a personal blog.  In fact, you could probably still find all of them (yes, I all of them – I had more than one).  On that blog I would write about the things that bothered me, why I was happy/sad/etc.  I was an open book….or whatever you want to call it.

It was all out there for the world to read….or all 5 of my readers to read 🙂

ANYWAY….A few years ago I decided I was going to shift my focus for a few reasons:  1.  No one needs to know THAT much about my personal life.  2.  Most people don’t really care all that much unless they are my close friends or family and 3.  I wanted to write about more interesting things….

I decided to write a blog about my fitness/healthy lifestyle.  (Note:  a follow up post is coming as to how I actually got IN to this lifestyle).  The thing is,…..some times I do share personal information about my life but I truly don’t believe it’s as bad as I’ve been informed of in the past.

To clarify….

This blog IS NOT:

-A blog about my close friends and family (although I do mention them from time to time).

-A blog about who I am or if I am dating anyone.  I share this blog with all of my friends on facebook.  I don’t even share if I am “in a relationship” on facebook.  People who know me know what my sitch is…if I have one.

-A blog about being sad or mopey.  Let’s face it – we all have bad days.  DON’T DENY IT.  If I have a bad day, I workout.  THEN, you’ll know about it.

-A blog about how you can change the world.  I am working on changing my own personal world every day – one step at a time.  I don’t have all the answers and neither does anyone else.  I am not always correct and I know that.  I make mistakes and I know that too.

Conversely….

This blog IS:

-A blog about my fitness journey and the experiences I have while on it.

-A blog about running, swimming, spinning, biking, yoga, and whatever other activity I get myself involved with.

-A blog that includes tidbits of my career – teaching or coaching or otherwise.  Those are healthy things that make me a happy person.  I don’t feel as though those things are too personal to share.

-A blog about my ability to stay healthy and happy POST Eating Disorder.  Many of you, who have not read my ‘about me’ section, may not even know I am a recovering Anorexic.  If you don’t – that’s an EXCELLENT thing.  It means I am living a balanced life.  If you just read that and can’t believe it – also a good thing.  I have worked hard on getting to where I am at in my life and it has been no easy task but all of it has been worth it.

-I blog about my experiences with health, fitness, and my ED because I hope to help someone by showing them IT IS POSSIBLE to recover.  IT IS POSSIBLE to be healthy and live a normal life.  IT IS POSSIBLE to maintain some sort of normalcy.

I make no apologies for the sharing of my information as far as health, fitness, and my ED.  Even if it only helps ONE person….that’s fine with me.  (note: I don’t believe myself to be a martyr, nor will I ever….don’t mistake that statement as a self declaration to being one).

I enjoy writing.  I enjoy working out.  I enjoy helping others.  I enjoy life.

So…..What’s It All About?!?!

Health.  Running.  Swimming.  Biking.  Spinning.  Music.  Reading.  Writing.  Teaching.  Coaching.  Experiences.  Challenges.  Opportunities.  Interactions.  Fears.  Failures.  Wants.  Desires.  Happiness.  Frustrations.

Sounds like a good list to me…..

My questions for you:

What’s it all about for you?

What’s on your life list?

Why do you blog?

 

“It’s important to remember that each footstrike carries you forward, not backward. And every time you put on your running shoes you are different in some way than you were the day before.”

That little gem came in my RW Quote of the Day email this morning.  I needed that right now.

Yesterday wasn’t as successful as I hoped.  I did a long run – yes.  It wasn’t 16 miles – it was only 13 miles.  It was incredibly hilly.  This is what the elevation looked like…..

Screen shot 2013-08-05 at 7.58.14 AM

Needless to say, I was not really prepared for this.  I had it in my head (because my running friend Mindy TOLD me it would be this way) that we were going to do a relatively flat run with some hills at the end.  And if you’re a runner you’re looking at this and thinking…well the first part was all down hill….

See Miles 5 through 7?!?!?!  It’s one giant hill.

The elevation for Steamtown (the Marathon I’m training for) looks like this:

 

Screen shot 2013-08-05 at 8.02.18 AMI’m thinking I should be good to go???  What do you think?

All I know is I’m getting frustrated not getting the longer miles in.  I stopped at 13 yesterday because my hip was KILLING me.  First time in a LONG time that’s happened.

A few things I decided I will do this week – lessen the distance on my runs (keep them between 5 and 7 miles) but make them more quality.  I will also plan to do a flat long run on Sunday.  Probably two loops on the River….each loop is jut about 8.4 miles.

I’ll keep the hills and the speed work…but no more 13 mile or more hilly runs (I’ll probably do it again in September).

I was SO frustrated yesterday during my run.  I was angry that it wasn’t the route I was expecting.  I was annoyed that I couldn’t figure out how to find my usual pace.  Everything threw me off.

I felt bad for Mindy and Ilya because I kept slowing them down.  It was clear they wanted to go ahead of me.  Mindy was super supportive and helpful.  I even doubted that I would BQ.  I get down on myself SO quickly when physically I am breaking down.  Anyone else?

I need to refocus.

The joys I experienced yesterday and today even are that I am now incredibly keen on how I need to recoup when it comes to finishing long runs.

Sometimes I’ll take an ice bath – most times I’ll just shower all the sweat off – put on my compression socks or sleeves and walk around a bit.  I also drink a TON of water right after and throughout the day.  I’ve mentioned how much I sweat – yesterday was no exception despite the cooler temps.

Today is a rest day.  I feel like I could use a good stretch – so I might pop into a yoga class later and/or go for a swim at school.  No matter, I am channeling my energy into the right things today…..

What do you do to refocus?

How do you recover from long runs?  Ice bath?  Sleep?
John “The Penguin” Bingham, Going with the Flow, The Penguin Chronicles Archive

Happy Friday All!

My posts this week have been a bit sporadic and not entirely formulated – what can I say?  I am not only trying to actively rest my body but also my mind.  Speaking of which…let’s get down to it.

What is Active Rest?

A common and effective treatment for many overuse injuries. Active rest involves performing light exercises (often swimming or cycling) that stimulate the recovery process without imposing undue stress on the injured body part. (Source)

So basically, I am working on preventing myself from over-training – like I did last year and it inevitably led to a torn tendon in my left foot.  That was no fun.  No fun at all.

Yesterday I ran 8 glorious miles with wonderful hills(again, I don’t know why it only shows 7 miles):

June 20

June 20

I felt good the whole time.  I think it helped that I only taught spin on Wednesday and didn’t double up like I originally planned.  I had also intended to double up today but I want to get in 14 miles on Sunday and I’d like to feel good through them so I am solely teaching spin today and tomorrow.  Running will wait until Sunday morning 🙂

In the mean time – I’m using Spin as an active rest.  I know – you probably think I’m crazy.  It’s okay, I’ve been called worse.

Here are some of the best ways to actively rest on days when you aren’t doing your “hard core” exercising:

1.  Swimming

As a former competitive (distance)swimmer – I actually don’t swim as often as I probably could or should.  Truth is – as much as I love the sport and love to coach it, it’s difficult for me to get in the water and just go unless I’m at a practice or training for something.  Occasionally I’ll get in and pop out 4K yards in an hour and be done for another three or four months – but I find that because of how much I did it in high school and college – I have plenty of time for everyone else to catch up with me 🙂

That being said – it is definitely one of the best ways to elevate your heart rate and get a good workout without actually taxing your muscles too much.  Even if all you do is 10 or 20 laps – you’re still doing something.  And the no-impact is great for rejuvenating your muscles when you’re sore.

2.  Walking

Walking is a great way to feel active even on days when you’re not actually planning on doing anything.  I find that even if I get out for a 10-20 minute walk on a rest day – or go shopping at the King of Prussia Mall (which is huge) – I get enough activity that it won’t over tax my muscles.  I usually schedule a walk the day before a big race/run.

3.  Yoga

Truth is – not all Yoga is created equal.  There’s Power Yoga, Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Flow, Vinyasa, Chi Yoga, Alignment Yoga…you get the idea.  On a day off, for me, I’d likely do a power yoga because I still get the feeling of working hard and sweating.  If you’re really tired/sore – I’d likely recommend a calmer and gentler yoga.  The studio I work at offers a Gentle Yoga and an Inspirational Yoga which focuses more on holding the poses rather than flow.  I love flow.  I love having to work hard to push myself.  But that’s me….what do you think you’d like?

4.  Ride a bike – you know, like Miley Cyrus

And when I said ride – I obviously don’t mean be insane like me and use a Spinning class as your rest day – unless that is something you’re used to or comfortable with.  I have been using Spinning as a cross training exercise for at least 12 years so my body is used to it.  If you DID want to go to a spin class for a cross train – I’d say keep it light and easy.  Opt out of the heavy hills – you’ll still get a workout.  I promise.

5.  Lifting Weights

I know!  You’re thinking – but wait, that doesn’t sound like you’re resting.  If you’re sore – this is most likely not a great active rest activity for you.  But, if you do a LOT of cardio (like me) this is probably a good alternative on a rest day.  You’re still getting a chance to work your muscles and an effective weight lifting regimen will only take about 30 minutes (if you’re not at the gym to socialize – if you are, you’re on your own..and if you are…get away from me).

So there you have it – the five ways I actively rest/recover on days when I’m not training as hard.

What do you do for active rest???

 

 

So, our first Book Club Meeting was a success!  Understand that when I say ‘Book Club’ I really mean – meet with my best friend Jackie to drink wine, eat sushi and frozen yogurt.  It was wonderful.  The book we discussed was from Australia – Pinot Noir.  Anyone else ever read it?  I think it goes without saying that it’s a delicious read. 🙂

Yesterday I did a quick (32 min) recovery run of 4 miles.  I kind of wanted to go farther but I was limited on my time so 4 miles it was.  My legs didn’t feel that bad yesterday.  They were sore but not heavy the way they usually feel after a hard run.  My calves were bothering me a bit throughout the day but I was stretching them a lot and doing lots of toe points.  I found that the more I points and flexed my feet the better they felt.  I also did a lot of calf stretches.  It’s weird, after runs my quads always used to be sore – now it’s my calves.  I’m not quite sure what I’m doing differently with my running but I am determined to find out.  Regardless, the run was fine and I felt good afterwards.  I feel really good today.

Today, I teach spinning but I am probably going to do my own workout beforehand – last week when I taught, there was no microphone and very few people heard me over the music and fans.  I guess this week I’ll have to walk around instead.  :-/  Not really feelin’ that but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Anywho….that’s all I have this morning.  Race recap coming!  Have a great Tuesday!