Saturday, the day of the race, wound up being a busy day. As the day went on, I could feel my muscles tightening up. Running on grass and sand really pushes your muscles more than running on pavement. I did some light stretching, but it wasn’t enough.
Yesterday I went for a light 2-mile run to get my legs loosened up and spent 15 minutes after stretching.
I wasn’t sore from the race, but I was definitely tight. I could feel my hamstrings tightening, so I made sure to show my legs some love by taking a 20-minute epsom salt bath. Then, before I went to bed, I stretched for about 20 minutes. I was on my bedroom floor stretching my IT band when my husband asked me if I was still stretching and why I was stretching so much.
Previously running10 marathons and being a certified running coach, I’m coming into this fully aware of how to train for endurance races without breaking my body – which ultimately improves this whole experience.
This time around, there are areas I’m giving as much attention as my running.
Cross-train, stretch, and fuel.
I’ve made a plan and written it down. My half-marathon training schedule is underway and part of that is giving as much attention to my strength, flexibility, and nutrition.
Today was leg day! I have a home gym in my garage and have weights, so I used the Leg Day workout from A Little Obsessed on Beachbody On Demand with trainer, Autumn Calabrese. It was 30 minutes of intense back-to-back weighted leg exercises that included sliders – talk about a simple way to intensifier an exercise.
After the workout, I took another 20 minutes to stretch my legs and followed my workout up with a vegan protein shake from the Shakeology line. I have a training run scheduled for tomorrow, so I’m hoping that all the stretching, massaging, and fueling help prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.
So, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced endurance runner, know that having a well-rounded training plan that includes strength training, stretching, and proper fueling will drastically help your performance and enhance your experience – as well as prevent injury.
I ran a trail race as part of my training plan on January 1. It was half of a half, so it came out to 6.75 miles. It didn’t take long for the reminder that trail running is a different experience from running on the road. I ran on grass and soft sand for about 75% of the race – the remaining was on hard sandy road. My legs felt heavy for most of the run, but my heart was handling it like a trooper, so I pushed myself the entire race. I knew my legs could handle it.
Focusing on my posture the entire race, I could feel the effort required from my hips and groin, but with one foot in front of the other, I kept moving forward. My average pace for the race surprised me because of how hard this race felt, but I guess it goes to show just how much I pushed myself.
Although I was focused and determined, I did my best to enjoy the experience. It was my first time there and a beautiful location. I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked to (considering how beautiful it was), but I did get a few so I had something to remember the experience.
I did have an extra treat by having my daughters and their friend run the 5k race, so I had company before and after the race – and pictures and video of my finish.
I finished the race with a full heart, sandy shoes, and a runner’s high.
3 miles ✅ I’m starting the new year off with a race. I figured it’s a great way to start off 2022 since I’m on a journey to marathon #11.
While this isn’t a resolution – I mean, I did start before the new year – I’m excited about 2022.
2021 was a year that I put all my to-do goals aside and focused on becoming. During a course on leadership and after reading The Love Code, I threw out my mission and vision statements. Not because they are bad but because I wanted to start over. I was limiting my success by focusing on action, instead of being. My goals transformed from things to do to someone I wanted to be. And that was what I’ve been working on all year.
Ironically, I accomplished some pretty awesome goals – without it even being on my list. Funny how that happens. I learned it in a book I read and can now confidently say, who you are matters more than what you do because what you do comes from who you are. When you focus on becoming you will be successful 100% of the time because you have control over that.
None of this changes going into the new year. I continue to focus on who I am – and it is priority. But I do have some goals that are task oriented, so it’ll be interesting to see how I balance that. To be honest, I’m better prepared for it now because of the intentionality behind focusing on my being instead of my doing – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and physically.