Friday, May 4, 2012

Moving Forward Slowly

 "Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last." Simon and Garfukel

Moving Forward.  It's only natural to keep moving on to the "next thing" in life.  Birthdays.  Projects.  Trips.  Races.  When one thing ends, it usually doesn't take long before we are thinking of the next thing.  Some of us work really hard to hold ourselves back just a bit so that we can enjoy the lull that comes after finishing a big life event. And then there are those that need a push to get motivated to work towards something new.  Whatever our personality style, when it comes to planning, making new goals, and having something big to be working towards, the time in between "the big things" is perhaps some of the most important time we have in life.  


This "in between" time is our RECHARGE time.  It's a time to reconnect with ourselves.  A time to reflect and appreciate what we've done.  It is a time to just "BE" with ourselves, our family, and our present moments so that we don't get to the end of life and wonder where all of "it" went. This time allows us to absorb what we've just done, and reflect on what's next. For athletes, it is a time to let our body soak up rest and heal after working so hard. If we use this time wisely, then we will move on to to our next big goals and plans with a full battery and a clear mind.  Ready to rock n' roll!  But if we rush the lull or "in between" time that comes with the end of something big, then we might miss out on some of the essential rejuvenation that will allow us to be our best.  


If you're like me, you might always be thinking of the "What's NEXT" even before you finish with "What's RIGHT NOW".  The past few years of my life have been devoted to truly slowing myself down.  I've worked hard at trying to be in the present with my kids, savor the "NOW" in life, and not be in such a rush to move on to the next thing.  I've made a point to do this as a mother, a professional, and an athlete.  It is important to me to not get SO wrapped up in setting goals, accomplishing new things, traveling to new places,  and signing my kids up for new classes and activities that I miss out on really soaking up my present life.  The future is important. Yes. Our goals help us to keep getting stronger. Yes.  And our plans help smooth a path for us to keep moving forward and accomplishing our goals.  But if we go too fast then we will miss out on some the scenery that might be harder to notice.  Life will be a blur of "NEXTS" and we'll miss out on the "NOWS".  


After Boston
There has definitely been a bit of a lull in my life since Boston. It has been a time of rest and I've worked really hard at doing the things to help my body recover from injury and the damage that comes from running a marathon in extreme heat while not fully healed from injuries.  The two weeks I had off from exercise was SO necessary.  I don't think I really had much of a choice.  My 33 year old body was BEAT UP.  I'm so glad I took the time off. 


So What's Next?
Yes, I'm looking forward to what's next for me as a runner.  But I'm keeping it slow. I know that I would like to have the option to run Boston again next year. I have several friends who will be there and honestly, I had so much fun this year that I'd love to be back there!  It would also be nice to try it again without the extreme heat.  What are the chances of that kind of heat two years in a row?  


So, I have until September to get a safe BQ in the bag.  Ideally, training for another marathon so close to the one I just ran might not be considered optimal training.  However, my coach has agreed to make a plan for me so that I can race another marathon safely and build off of some of the Boston base that I already have.  IF.  IF my body says "Yes" then I will slowly move forward and plan for another marathon in next few months (I have a few in mind).  However, my body might very well tell me that it isn't ready.  I'm making a point of listening intently to my body.  


Why the caution??
Under normal circumstances, an almost 4 hour marathon would leave me feeling like I could easily run another marathon pretty soon afterwards.  In fact, last year after my June Marathon in Newport, Oregon (3:30), I ran another marathon 4 weeks later since I had such a crummy experience at my June race.  That second one ended up being fun and faster than the one I had trained for (3:24).  However, since January, I have been nursing some strains in my upper hammy/abdominal muscles that have caused me some pain and really just been annoying!  I'm starting to wonder if the problem isn't actually in my hamstring at all but more in my butt.  This would make a lot of sense as to why my pelvic region was hurting too...seems as if it is all connected (as are most issues with our body). So, my steps in proceeding with training but also using caution and listening to my body:

  1. Starting slow.  My coach has me starting back very gradually.  He has started working on a plan that is just for me and he has taken my injuries and past training into account.  This week is only 25 miles and all miles no faster than 9 min pace.  
  2. Rolling, heat, icing, adjustments, LOVE LOVE LOVE my body.  
  3. Thinking positive and realistically.  
  4. I only have ONE body and I want to run for years to come.  I want to be that grandma that runs half marathons with her daughters and even grandkids.  If I want to run for years to come then I have to take care of my body now.  I will be moving forward here but if my body isn't ready than I will slow down again and perhaps not run another marathon until next year.  
Finally, A Rolling Technique that WORKS for my BUTT!
My roller has never made much sense to me when it comes to rolling out this butt/top of hammy.  But I never considered putting it somewhere besides the stupid floor.  So, the video below demonstrates how I will be sitting A TON in the next few weeks.  

video
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1.  Do you use your roller on chairs?  Am I the only one that is new to this rolling technique??  
2.  Do you find it hard to rest and just "BE" for an extended time after you've just finished accomplishing a big goal like a marathon?  Or do you find yourself moving right on to the next thing without taking time to rest, recover, and reflect?  

Happy Friday!

Amanda

33 comments:

  1. Great song to express your post!

    Sometimes I have no problem just "being", especially post-marathon where I've laid it all out there. Post Boston, I felt different. The heat was a beast, but I came out of it hungry. I hadn't planned on signing up for Vermont City, but I've been fortunate to come out of Boston unscathed. Not sure how I'l perform, but I'm interested and OK with whatever the day brings. I am being cautious to make sure I too can keep running forever.....

    To repeat, I'm soooo glad the pubic bone thingy isn't anything terrible. Excited to hear what your next goal is :)

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  2. I keep hearing so much about the whole roller thing. I really need to get myself one and start using it in my uocoming marathon training.
    I struggle all the time with just Being and enjoying my accomplishments. I am less than a month away from my first triathlon and I am already planning my upcoming training for my fall marathons.
    And I love how you say "Life will be a blur of "NEXTS" and we'll miss out on the "NOWS".
    Thanks for the post. I hope that your training goes very well enjoy the slow for awhile.

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  3. I smile when you talk of your beat up "33 year old body"...

    Hey, what a great idea to use the roller on a chair!
    Doh!

    Yes, you should do Boston again if you can find the time and $$$ to go and run it when it's cooler (knock wood)..be a lot more fun!

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  4. Thanks SO much for posting that video tip! I got a roller a while back for that same hamstring area pain, and I also would try doing it on the floor. I couldn't stick with it long enough to help because it was so awkward, so I am super excited to give the chair method a try!

    I totally know what you mean about the "down" time in between events. It is so difficult to focus on just "being" in those moments. Thanks for the reminder.

    So, I'm pretty new to your blog (just came across you prior to your Boston experience), so I'm curious to know what kinds of things you do for cross-training and strengthening? Thanks, and good luck with your new training plan! Can't wait to hear which marathon(s) you decide on for your BQ!

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    1. Hey Priscilla. Nice to "meet" you. You know, I haven't done a ton of cross training but I'd like to try more cycling. Strength and core are simple things like lunges, push ups, planks, crunchies,etc. Yoga and pilates type exercises too. I just try to do something when I think of it. LIke right now, I'm getting down to do some push ups as soon as I comment here. Ha! :)

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    2. Haha! Thanks! I guess when you're a runner - and a fast and dedicated one, such as you are - the running kind of takes center stage. I have also been using Pilates/Yoga for a while, and have also added spinning as cross-training, but it's interesting to see what other runners are doing. Well, whatever you've been doing, keep it up! You look amazing and I am in awe of your ability and strength. You have an inspiring story, for sure! :) Thanks for posting all your tips...

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  5. I feel like I am in this same spot - just trying to be here now instead of anxiously anticipating the next thing - in running and in life with my kids and everything. Great post:) I had a similar experience with my fall marathons - the one I trained for was so crummy that I did one 4 weeks later to 'redeem' my race, and I took 6 minutes off and had more fun. Taught me to just enjoy what I love to do! Good luck with the rolling and easing back into training - I'm going to try that chair rolling, that is one of my tough spots!

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  6. Great Post!! I agree it's about enjoying the journey of life. I've been reminded of this several times recently so I need to listen up. Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  7. Glad you've got some plans! It sounds like your coach is being helpful. I think I am that way with life... I am always thinking "what's next" before the last thing is even over!

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  8. I too have a 33 year old beat up body. :) I'm hoping some good rest will cure all my aches and pains. Thanks for helping encourage my resting through doing some of your own. I am impatient when it comes to giving my body time to heal.

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  9. I"ve never tried rolling on a chair. For the most part I've gotten better about rest when my body cries for it, but yes it is very hard!

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  10. I am going to see if I can find my roller and try it on the chair after this. My kids seem to think it is a great toy and half the time when I want it I can't find it!

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  11. I'll be back!! Love your writing:)

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  12. Right there with you, Amanda......post-Boston plan is no plan at all! Recover and regroup....that's the plan!

    All the best to you moving forward....and I look forward to reading your continuing adventures!

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  13. never thought to use my roller on a chair...hummm, off to go try this asap!

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  14. I never those to use it on a chair either...

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  15. I was talking to one of the more seasoned/advanced runners in our group run today and she suggested I take a week off - mostly since I think an injury may be creeping up on me, but also just a training break. As she put it, I've been doing the same thing for about 8 months (marathon training!) and no one gets faster doing the same thing over and over! I might do just weights and maybe a spin class this week, then start over with lower mileage and more speed work. I need to get my 5k respectable. It humiliates me. Literally. I look at my time and blush.
    So any idea how to do that?

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  16. Great tip with the foam roller!!! I have had on/off problems with my left glute for months now. I was hoping that with this week off it might feel better, but it doesn't. One more week of rest and then I will re-evaluate and see what my next step should be. So glad that you are easing back into running. Have you decided on a fall marathon yet? I am not a huge fan of fall marathons because I don't like training for them over the summer. It gets a wee bit hot in Spokane. Looks like I might have to brave the heat this year! :-)

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  17. It is very hard to just "be" and be content. Whether I have a good race or a bad one I just want to get back out there and do it again. Seriously. I have an addiction!

    I have been rolling and icing EVERY DAY the last few weeks. My lower mileage seems to be helping my knee but I am so ready to be back to "normal." Yes, we only have one body and I want to be out there running or shuffling 5k's in my 70's!!

    Sounds like you have a good plan and combined with your coach you are going to DOMINATE!! :-)

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  18. I like the concept of recharging. And I've decided that I'm going to use that term now. I'm not recovering - I'm recharging and because my battery is a little old and well-worn it's just taking a little longer to recharge.

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  19. Hmm, I've always just tried to use the roller on the floor. I'll have to give this a try!

    Sounds like you've got a good coach behind you, helping you make some smart decisions for the next round.

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  20. Good for you listening to your body. I don't have a foam roller but do have soreness near where you are talking about. I use "The Stick" to do the rolling. While standing, put on foot on a chair with as little weight on it as possible then can roll that area and the even harder to reach area of the inner thigh. Sitting on a roller while doing other things is more convenient though.

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  21. Wow! I never thought about putting the roller on the chair -- can't wait to try it!

    I am four weeks from the Newport marathon and am already wondering what is next. I am planning on Boston 2013 but can't decide what, if anything, to do between Newport and Boston. Probably not another full marathon but I'd like to maybe race a half (Sauvie Island, possibly) just to take advantage of all the training I've been doing. Do you have any pointers for Newport??

    I do need to focus more on Being. I definitely try to be that way with my kids but with the rest of life...it seems I have to try hard to not always be thinking of the next thing. Great post!

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  22. I love how you're listening to your body and aren't forcing the Boston thing....if it happens, it does (yay!) but if not, there's other opportunities for weekend with friends elsewhere, right? Right! :) Keep being strong, girl...you are awesome!

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  23. It's hard to just "be". I think you are doing the right thing in taking it slowly, but I know how hard that can be as well! It sounds like you have a good plan for taking some time and then getting back into it in a safe and healthy amount of time!

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  24. Great post!! I am the same way.. I will be doing my long run, already planning the following weekends long run... I am such a planner, I am always looking ahead that I really have to force myself to be in the moment sometimes.

    My hamstring issue is at the EXACT same spot.. I always describe it at the attachment point. It is very frustrating! I also like using a tennis ball, or bumpy PT ball and sit on it and it gets into that sore area better sometimes than the roller. Mine doesn't hurt while I am running though, usually more after a run, or if I take 2 or more days off. I don't understand it at all...

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  25. Hey Amanda - I have had the same problem for a long time and you are right - that is hard spot to get to. I just discovered last night that rolling on a basketball works very well!!!!!! Great for hammies and butt!

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  26. I keep doing this to you - that is my posting above

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  27. The buttcrease injury! I have it. Since last November. I am almost always able to run through, but like you said, it bugs bugs BUGS. I am a very inconsistent roller, but I like this idea. Please share anything else that has worked!

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  28. You are doing so great with that roller! Haha. I love the creativity of double tasking your rolling and mom tasks. I am sure that will hit the spot :)But if you need to go "deeper", some people will actually sit on a tennis ball for rolling that region. YIKES!
    So
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    you
    taking
    care
    of
    yourself!!

    Thanks for the Nuun discount code. My favorite flavor is banana. Do they still have that?

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  31. I struggle to be in the moment, to stop and reflect - always! So your posts - as always - make me feel like you know me and serve as a reminder.

    Just be for now Amanda - they're not going to cancel Boston and you are SO fast! you'll make it there anytime. Just make sure you're there when I requalify!

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