Monday, May 21, 2018

Shift

This past Saturday was the Brooklyn Half, and good lord did Mother Nature have it in for everyone.  Cold, driving rain, gusty winds - absolutely miserable conditions.  The runners gutted it out impressively and I'm very grateful to whoever gave me the weatherproofing advice for m poster, and even more grateful that Laura loaned me her raincoat.

It was really hard to be there and not be running the course.  It was even more disheartening when I broke into a jog to be sure I caught Laura before she passed by and I still still still felt the pain in my hip that sidelined me in the first place.  It's been plaguing me since April 7th and healing so slowly that some days I really can't tell if I'm making any progress or not.

But it's always gratifying to cheer for runners and to be inspired by them - and I was even more inspired that Laura set a PR for the course!  I assume she just wanted to run the damn thing as fast as possible to get warm and dry.

Now that it's done, now my attention is turned toward November and the full marathon even more than it was.  In a perfect world, I'll be starting my training in four short weeks.  We'll see what my body actually has in store for me.

One of the most important things I took away from the day came up in conversation with Laura on the long (looooooooong) train ride home as we talked about how she made it through.  We had planned to talk on the phone a lot - Laura loves company on her runs - but the rain and the madness just made it too hard to do anything but focus on what she was doing.  She told me she talked to herself, reminded her that her quads are strong, reminded herself of all her training, reminded herself that she was capable - and, surprise surprise, it was incredibly helpful.

It got me thinking that because I love running so much and I miss it so much whenever I'm sidelined, my mental state with injuries is usually one of panic, worry, paranoia, and being so overly in tune and in my head that there's no room to think about anything else.

I need to remember to have faith, hope, and the hardest one of all, patience.  I want this over now.  I want to be back now.  I want to feel strong now.  Well, I'm not getting what I want, and certainly a negative or fear-based attitude isn't going to get it to me any faster.

So as so frequently happens, I'm taking a cue from Laura to try to choose my thoughts more wisely.

I will also, very happily, be headed out of town for two fabulous short trips over the next two weeks - first, to spend the holiday weekend with my family in SC, and second to Philly for Marc's opening night and another long weekend.  The distraction, the break from the day-to-day, from the stress teaching can put on my body, and from my awful mattress, will hopefully get me out of my own head, and allow time to do its thing and heal.

Which means, dear blog, that I will see you again in June!  I hope everyone who is able to has gotten outside today, because oh my goodness it could not be further from Saturday's monsoon.  Spring is back on track.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Quick Restore

It's one of those weeks where I'm feeling sort of uninspired to write - I've already written loads about my mystery injury, pulling out of the Brooklyn Half, and all the emotion and uncertainty that goes along with that.  To save you from more pontificating on the same, I just want to share a restorative pose that I've been loving lately.

Having this sharp in my adductor/groin area, I'm having to pull back a lot from demonstrating in my classes.  I'm trying to avoid lunges altogether, which is challenging to say the least.  And since I'm pulling back from demonstrating, I'm definitely not doing yoga for myself - I can't remember the last time I took a class, and I think the last time I practiced on my own was in Costa Rica!  While that makes me sad and I continue to be uncertain of what's safe to do to aid in my recovery and what's not, I know that I can always count on restorative yoga poses to help both my body and my brain in this weird and frustrating time.

Restorative Bridge pose is something you can do so easily - all you need is something to place under your sacrum to elevate it while you lay down.  Traditionally it's done with feet on the floor and knees bend, and either with a yoga block or a bolster - but a thick book would do the trick just as well if you don't have any props.  As long as your prop is a comfortable height and as long as it is placed on your sacrum - not your tailbone, not your lumbar curve, but in between - then you should be able to rest comfortably in the pose.  Comfort is what restorative yoga is all about.

Since I've had such hip funkiness going on lately, I've really loved this variation of it, pictured below, with legs straight.  It's a passive way to open up the hip flexors without putting any weight, pressure, or strain on it.  It's an amazing stress reliever no matter what is going on in your body or your brain.  I recommend staying in it for as long as you possibly can, starting by breathing deeply and slowly, and then allowing yourself to relax into it and let your breath flow without worrying about manipulating it further.

Picture courtesy of Kelly Collins from her lovely post,
6 Restorative Yoga Poses for Adrenal Fatigue

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Change of Plans - Running to Cheering

Earlier this week, in my ongoing text chain with my mom and sister, we had a conversation about the accident prone-ness of our family.  My sister's joints pop in and out at will, my nephew Atlas apparently get through a meal without biting his own lip or tongue, and my mom and I often have the weirdest and most random of physical/medical issues.

So how funny and fitting that on the morning I'm drafting a blog about the consequences of my sudden and seemingly out of nowhere injury, I bruised the absolute living hell out of my foot.  How, you ask?  By stepping up on my step stool in my kitchen.

Just so typical.

As far as the actual subject of my blog - as I mentioned earlier, in the middle of my 5 mile run at the beginning of last month, I suddenly started feeling pain around my right groin/psoas.  It was a sharp pain, but seemed to spread out as dull pain all along the right side - my right lower back, glute, and hamstring.  The pain has been with me throughout these last almost five weeks - improving, but soooo slowly, and not without setbacks.

I've officially had to come to the conclusion that's been slowly turning inevitable these last couple of weeks - there is no way I can safely run the Brooklyn Half on Saturday, May 19th.  I physically could do it - but it would be very dumb and very painful, and motivated by nothing but pride and stubbornness.

This is incredibly disappointing, but I feel so loved and supported by my running partner and Marc, and I'm reminding myself that I don't have to run, I just love to run.  My leg isn't broken, I still have both of them, and I will eventually heal (right?).  This year will just be my turn to give back to a race I've run three times already by offering love and support to the awesome runners from the sidelines - and talking to Laura on the phone as much as I can during the race so she doesn't go crazy by herself.

My true focus, my major goal, is the main event:  my first (and probably only) New York City Marathon.  There are 178 days until November 4th, and I intend to use every last one of them to get healthy, strong, and prepared.

I'm lucky to be in the amazing care of Fabricio, my top notch physical therapist, and his fantastic new massage therapist Izzy.  They are top notch not just in their expertise, but in how much they truly care for their patients.

Again - I'm really disappointed.  I definitely didn't come to this realization dry-eyed.  But there is no way I'm jeopardizing the marathon - and more importantly, my long-term running health - for this race.  And besides, my absence will probably push Laura into her best half marathon time by a long shot. 

So anyone getting ready to run Brooklyn, I wish you the most amazing race and race day conditions - I'll still see you there, but this time I'll be cheering myself hoarse on the sidelines!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bite Sized Yoga from Laura

A quickie today - my beautiful friend Laura has a fabulous YouTube Channel, Laura Runs and Eats, on which she chronicles her runs, has a running book club, and now offers weekly mini-yoga/Pilates sessions to target specific troublesome areas of the body.  I did her Upper Body Flow class last night before bed and it was the perfect way to end the day.

Check them out and happy May!




Shift

This past Saturday was the Brooklyn Half, and good lord did Mother Nature have it in for everyone.  Cold, driving rain, gusty winds - absolu...