Sunday: Rest, Recovery, & Resolve

Yesterday was a very socially demanding day, and today I awoke feeling a little low on energy.  My morning was slow; I made a breakfast of eggs, kale, some prunes, and french press coffee with a touch of honey.  Taking it easy, I moved slowly through the paces of the day waking late (after eight am!), cooking, cleaning, and regaining energy and finding my balance.

Next week, another commitment heavy weekend awaits: I have a 20 mile run to complete, and we are throwing a shower for my sister – in a month she is due to have her first child, and I will officially be an auntie!  I spent time with my aunts this afternoon discussing the final details and preparations, and it was nice to see and connect with some lovely ladies in the family.  I found the time with them really grounding after yesterday’s play-day full of commitments.

I drove myself home (for the first time driving on I-205 alone in my little Smart Car!), stopped at Target (the power went out while I was in the store – there are certainly no windows – pitch blackness for about ten seconds), arrived to the quiet calm of my apartment and cooked my favorite dish for this week’s lunches: baked sweet potatoes with apple.  With all the rain coming down today it just felt like the right thing to cook.

Sweet potatoes, fresh garlic, onion, Gala apple, a little fresh rosemary, olive oil, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of sea salt… Delish!

While prepping and baking, I noticed that after living in my apartment for three whole months, I find myself still feeling the restlessness that I experienced days after moving in and starting to settle.  I have still not completely “moved in”.  I have a few small piles – items which are organized, but I have not yet found them a home.

In order to combat the chest-constricting stress I feel when these piles come into my line of sight, I resolved today that I will have piles put away by Friday this week.  Primarily for myself – this feeling of uneasiness cannot be healthy to experience each day – but also due to family coming into town this weekend for my sister’s shower.  I really value them and their opinion, and want them to like my place if they see it!  (and I would love it to look organized and well – decorated).

How long does it take you to settle into a new home?
Do you find this takes longer than you initially desire the process to take?

Here is to Nourishing self through relaxation, recovery, and resolving to de-stress!
~Alaina

Saturday’s Run: a.k.a. “Get Your Rear in Gear”

Last Friday, when the weekly email came from our local run-planning-expert, I scanned the email to find our starting point, check the distance, and was thrilled with the scrumptious words and double-digit numbers my eyes brought into focus.  We were starting at the Farmer’s Market (and ending there – fresh breakfast, anyone?), and doing 10-11 miles.  Perfect!  The initial email had no map of the route or elevation map, so I just planned to follow the group, no biggie.

Later that evening, a second email with more details arrived to my Inbox, and again, I paid it little heed, knowing I would do an extra 1-2 miles prior to the run, I was focusing on going to bed so I could get up a little early.  To be honest, I am happy I didn’t look to closely at the route or see the elevation map, or I would have been a little more nervous about the words at the end of the message that declared: “This is going to be a butt-burner!”

Yep.  And, man oh, man, that was no lie!

The day started with a beautiful sunrise…
Halfway through our run, we were off the pavement, and onto trails…
…which soon became muddy and slick as the rain poured down on us!
We saw a little Newt! (I know it looks like a worm, but do you see his little legs?)
After the first summit to reach the Vista Bridge on the way out, the second summit up the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park, we found that getting up Vista really was another LONG uphill…
The view was TOTALLY worth it.
By the time we saw our destination, stomachs were growling, mouths watering; we knew we would be at the Market shortly!

We all made it to the end of this run.  A day later, I felt soreness I have not felt in… Months, truthfully, probably not since last year’s marathon at St. George.  I learned that my ‘hills’ on my daily run are nothing compared to what we conquered Saturday.  And that was only (I say only because I know what I am up against in July for the Siskiyou Outback) 400 feet gain/loss (albeit three times!).  

In June, I plan to tackle some serious hills, and some altitude.  Does anyone want to join me for some long runs at Timberline?

After our run, and perusing the Farmer’s Market, I made my way home and took a bath.  The first bath I’ve taken in over five months, and the first in this new home.  I love this tub, and I do not know why I ever “forget” or do not make time for baths.  Self care is SO important!  (and it was SO deliciously relaxing…)

Next weekend, we are being treated to a flat course.  For this, I am grateful – I am scheduled to run 17 miles, and I do not know how I would make it through 17 miles of hills like last weekend!

What distance are you tackling this weekend?

Until next time, Happy running!  And always remember to treat yourself with care.  🙂  You deserve it!!!

with joy in movement (and in rest),
~Alaina

Rest – Three days

My initial intent for the weekend was to take a day off from my constant track of running, and get back to it the following day with a new goal and program.  Saturday blended into Sunday, and Monday snuck up on me, so busy this first day of the week, that three days fled by without any time spent in running shoes.

Hm.  Ok.  Step back.  Maybe this is ok.

While I am mildly upset with myself for taking three days off in a row, I do realize that the human body does need some time to rest and repair.  After months of neglecting my physical fitness, I chose to run everyday.  For twenty-two days straight.  A grand idea to get back into the swing of things, but in all honesty, after three days off, I’m feeling more refreshed, less pain, and ready to jump back in more than I have any day previous during those 22.  So, perhaps this little break was a necessary hiatus to bring me back around.

Part of the reason I began my running regimen was to help rehab my body.  I was unfortunately involved in two car accidents, not major in my mind (and inexperience as a non-driver), and therefore, I did not feel that they would have a lasting impact on my body.

I was wrong.

I am still working through recovery, nine months post-accident.  My upper and mid back just get tight.  And hurt a bit. Most of the time.  And I knew they would flare when I started running, but I did not expect the relentless protest of every muscle in my back revolting at my efforts to assist a more speedy recovery by introducing some strength training.  Just the simple act of running was enough to cause spasms that took my breath away, leading to horrific knots and ropes down the right side of my spine.  It has been an incredible experience, dealing with frustration with my body’s reaction, learning patience, and slowing my pace, reducing miles, and focusing on my posture and gait to bring myself to a place where I can be active.  Reluctantly at first, and definitely with some trepidation once the side-effects of physical stress from activity were revealed, but I kept at it, day after day, shoes on and one foot in front of the other… Just one more day, just two more miles.  That I could do.

Now I can tell you my back is not as tight, nor is it hurting as it has been. I don’t know if it is because I have taken some rest days, or if the reason lies simply in having not run nor the exercises;  I have not been putting stress on these muscles.  Which, perhaps, is a relief to the right side of my body.

Tomorrow morning, however, I am going to get out for three miles.  Why three miles?  Because it sounds good.  I have not yet come up with a plan for “Phase 2” and until that is complete and declared to all of you, I will be running.  One day on, one day off.  And Tuesday is an “on” day.  🙂

Happy running, friends!