Hello and welcome to another Marathon Monday! If you’re following along, this is the start of week 6 of training for the April race.
I am happy to report that my mileage for the past few weeks has been right on target. A bit over the Hal Higdon prescription, actually, and I’m feeling great. With increased mileage (which will increase even more in the coming weeks) I am reminded of how important it is to stretch afterwards.
Most people probably neglect stretching more than they should, myself included. Isn’t it like flossing? Like, we all know we should do it, and we all say we do it, but really, only when we eat spinach? Or popcorn?
Well, I had fallen into the habit of not stretching unless I was running in the double digits and then only rarely. No longer! Last week I paid a hefty price for this negligence. The evening after a long run I was walking around the house in ill-fitting sweat pants, not able to bend my knees. So I sort of waddled from left to right, stiff-legged and VERY stiff-hipped. I also couldn’t bend my back, so I looked perfectly British in a ridiculous way. I caught Handsome looking at me sideways a few times, and it was not flirting.
Anyway a couple of days later I was so thrilled to remember this little yoga video on You Tube. I have been doing it ever since, even after short runs, and it makes everything better. My legs feel more supple. My back is bendy again. My hips are loose. Even my feet and arms feel good.
(Side note: I never expected to have sore arms from running. Crazy.)
And as much as this yoga video helps my body (from head to toe!) it also helps my mind. Twenty minutes of these exercises and affirmations will make it nearly impossible for you to be overly critical or irrationally dissatisfied with yourself. Probably anyone who practices yoga will agree that the phrases which strike you the most during your poses will actually apply to your life across the board. So go ahead and be mindful. It’s lovely.
Isn’t that beautiful? It made me think a lot about what my foundations are, about what it means to be graceful and live with integrity. I was reminded to slow down and breathe…
Okay I hope if you are running that you are also stretching! Consider this a big warm hug from me, encouraging you to try yoga for its physical and personal benefits.
I also hope that you are flossing, at least when you eat spinach and popcorn. Because, we can totally see that.
‘Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus.
Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners.
~William Shakespeare, Othello