Monthly Archives: August 2011
Edit: WordPress has gone crazy with the formatting on this post but won’t let me into edit the coding. Hopefully it will appear pretty again soon.
I’ve been having a difficult time figuring out what to post today. The trouble with having a training focused blog is that there’s nothing much to post about on days off.
Instead of being stressed out about the things I’m not doing this week – I though I’d post all of the things I’m enjoying today.
What makes you happy today?
I’ve mentioned on the blog that I have been having crazy dreams about Virginia Beach but last night… well, that was the weirdest pre-race dream ever. It was one of those dreams that was so weird that I had to wake my boyfriend up to tell him about it.
Setting: I’m at a Taylor Swift concert with my brother (I guess my subconscious knows that I love me some Taylor Swift concerts).
So little bro and I are walking around and thankfully dream concert land is easy to navigate. We stop right in front of the stage, which has a little stair case in the front. Standing on the staircase is Lil Wayne.
So Lil Wayne is standing with JayZ and he waves me over but tells my brother to go home. And my brother listens… thanks kid. Way to leave me with a dude that has tear drop tattoos under his eye. At least there’s only 2.
Me: Hey Lil Wayne! I didn’t know you’re a Taylor Swift fan! Hi JayZ!
Lil Wayne: Did you hear Beyonce is pregnant? See you later HOV. JayZ leaves.
Me: Um, bye JayZ.
LW: Want to hang out next weekend? I have to go to jail tonight but I’ll only be there for a few days.
Me: I have my first half marathon next weekend I can’t.
LW: If you hang out with me you can run another race. You can run as many half marathons as you want.
Me: Well, I trained for this one… so I kind of want to run it.
LW: That’s cool. I’ll come watch.
Me: Um. That’s really nice of you.
LW: Want to hold hands? <— really. This happened.
Me: Sure, Lil Wayne.
LW: We can walk to jail. It’s right backstage.
Me: Um. Ok.
So I walk Lil Wayne to jail (while we hold hands) – which has an amazing view of the Taylor Swift concert. And I go home but home is my parent’s house. My little brother is there and he’s looking at my blog and he says “Wow, you got like 4 million hits because Lil Wayne linked to your blog on his website. He said he’s coming to watch you race. I hope you win!”
And then I wake up.
I’m pretty sure my brain has actually exhausted all normal pre-race dreams and this is what I’m left with. Maybe this is the last one.
12 weeks of training for the Rock & Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon are done. Wow. Seriously? Time flies. I’d be lying if I said it went perfectly. I had a bad cold, a few days of shin trouble, an unplanned business trip, I slacked at cross training… but still, I’m pretty satisfied. I learned a lot training for my first half marathon.
The Most Valuable Lessons I Learned While Training:
- A training plan is just a plan. If the plan calls for an 18 mile week and you have a 17 mile week – that’s still a great week! I’ve caught myself thinking of that week as a failure. It’s not.
- It is ok to miss workouts when you’re sick, tired, or sore. Skipping one track workout because your shins ache is much smarter than working yourself into a stress fracture because you don’t want a day off. Remember, your ultimate goal is to run a race and you can’t do that if you get hurt because you’re being stubborn.
- Replace your shoes regularly. Keep track of the miles you put on your shoes (DailyMile is a useful tool for this) and replace them BEFORE they blow out. Your feet will thank you.
- Find friends to do your long runs with. Long runs take a lot of time and they’re a lot more pleasant when you have company.
- Remember, most of us run because we like it NOT because we’re training to win races. Go easy on yourself when you have a bad run. Loosen up on your time goals. Most of our running goals are self imposed. We can adjust as necessary!
Today is a stretch and rest day. I’m planning to take little Fin out for a nice long walk – though for a 7 pound dog that equals about 2 miles.
I hope everyone on the east coast survived Hurricane Irene and is safe today. Be safe if you’re going out for a bike ride or run this afternoon – it’s still really windy in DC!
I had an appointment for my first sports massage earlier this week. I’m about a week away from my first half marathon and my hamstrings and glutes have been feeling a little bit dead. I decided to let an expert step in too reduce the risk of injury before I get to Virginia Beach and I think it turned out to be a great idea.
Sports massages are great if you have an area you know you want to work on because the therapist can focus on that area instead of providing a full body massage (1). One session can help restore mobility and motion to the area (2).
Physiological Effects of Massage (via SportsInjuryClinic.net):
- Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing the bodies endorphins.
- Relaxation – Muscles relax through heat generated, circulation and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
Physical Effects of Massage (via SportsInjuryClinic.net):
- Pumping – The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
- Increased tissue permeability – Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
- Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
- Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
- Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
- Opens micro-circulation – Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
- If you have inflammation: Massage can further irritate an area of inflammation, so you should not administer it. Inflamed conditions include anything that ends in –itis, such as phlebitis (inflammation of a vein), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), arthritis (inflammation of the joints), and so on. In the case of localized problems, you can still massage around them, however, avoiding the inflammation itself.
- If you have a fever: When you have a fever, your body is trying to isolate and expel an invader of some kind. Massage increases overall circulation and could therefore work against your body’s natural defenses.