I had the most peaceful and amazing six mile run this morning. I think part of what made it so incredible was that I woke up to this:
Nothing like watching the moon set!
This view at 6:00 a.m. set the tone for my day. Even the dog’s mess of runny turd all over the carpet did not phase me. WTF? Even the tough discussion I had with my daughter did not send me off balance. Huh? What is happening to me? It is not like me to be so damn reasonable and centered.
Back to the run. I tried not to focus on how ugly it was:
Even when yet another dog, not on a leash, charged at me, I didn’t lose my mind and crumble into a puddle of profanities. Okay, I might have dropped a couple f-bombs under my breath and wanted to punch someone in the balls, but I got over it.
The good news is that my body is no longer hurting. Yes, it gets tight at times, but that is different from that frustrating feeling when you know you are injured or semi-injured and you just can’t kick it. I am not sure what is doing the trick, but my gut tells me it is a combination of things:
- Very small lift in my shoe to correct a leg length discrepancy.
- Paying attention to form – two things specifically – quick turnover (180 steps per minute means less impact) and having that slight forward tilt so that my feet land under my center of gravity.
- Strength work, especially for my core and lower body (ASS). Building up to having thunder thighs.
- Consistently stretching and icing.
- Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a desk chair at my computer – this has greatly helped my lower back and almost completely eliminated some sciatic pain.
- Moving towards less of a heel drop shoe (very gradually).
- Spending a lot of time on the trails vs. the road (the surface is more forgiving, but the biggest advantage for me is that the terrain is so varied, I don't step the same way every time. This gives my body a huge break).
- When I do run on the road, not always running on the left. For the past two years I have stayed left and over time I think the camber of the road has messed me up a bit.
- Recovery time to rest and refuel (protein within 30 minutes of a work out, hydrating well, sleeping enough at night).
My hip stress fracture occurred about 1 ½ years ago, but just because the fracture was healed did not mean I was healed. The entire left side of my body was jacked up. I needed to re-strengthen, to realign.
My confidence was also jacked up following the injury. These days I have become diligent about making sure I do inspirational reading every day. The reading is not necessarily about running, but about how to control my mind and my thoughts when they don’t serve me well. Every day I leave the house with an intention about how I want to approach the day. Today it was/is to focus on the positive, the gifts and to not give so much attention to the areas I think are lacking.
I had this epiphany recently that it is possible to practice our minds just like we would practice to perform at a piano recital. We are consistent. We are patient. We do not enjoy every minute of it, but we press on because the outcome is worth it. There will be a day when we won't have to concentrate so hard on hitting certain notes. It will become habit.
Some thoughts this week that have served me well:
- Trust. Stuff unfolds how it is meant to. Don’t force.
- Experiment with not being so rigid about things. Let stuff go. Let them be imperfect. Sometimes it turns out a lot better that way.
- Watch your inner critic. It is harsh. It lies to you. It’s mean sometimes. Don’t take that shit.
- Follow your gut. You know what’s best for you. No one else can speak or dictate it for you.
In case none of this sounds like me, well I can be deep sometimes. But I’ll throw this in for good measure: