What I Now Love!

imageI have come to love some strange things in my time training for this Scotiabank Marathon.

Ice baths, IT stretches & Rolling, Sierra Sil joint formula, A day of rest, Yoga and my Massage Therapist, to name a few.

Ice baths. They have been a necessary evil which I have added in after my weekly long runs….and it is without a doubt the most painful thing I do in preparation for this marathon.
I don’t have anything good to say about them, other than they are horrid. I have however come up with a strategic way to enter an ice bath. For a while I tried filling the tub, and then I would take almost 20 minutes to sit in that freezing cold water. Now I get into the tub when it is empty – with my cup of tea (or maybe red wine) and I run the water until my legs are covered – it seems slightly more tolerable. Well, only slightly.
It is during these ice baths – with my legs bright red and my teeth chattering that I really wonder what possessed me to run this marathon. But Oh the joy when its over!

I’ve read it works….and I am making sure I pull out all the stops to avoid injury.

And as everyone keeps telling me….”The hardest part of a marathon is making it to the start line injury free!”

I have always known that I have IT bands…but they have made their presence acutely known this past month. The outside of my knees started to hurt on my long runs…and then my legs felt like they were seizing up – for the most part they feel like they are going to snap at any given moment.
So began my Google search on “how to reduce tightness in your IT band”.

The first search brought up rollers and rolling. And boy do I roll! Before a run, after a run, watching TV, reading a book – there are so many ways and places to roll. I think its helping but there had to be more.

So I continued my search and found “The worlds best IT stretch!”
IT’s seem to be tough little critters to stretch – but this is the stretch of all stretches! I am sold and it feels like heaven! Thank you Dr Gray!

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SierraSil joint formula is something I was introduced to about 4 years ago. Knees and inflammation are always a big issue in curling – so I was always on the look out for natural inflammatory. Pretty much every curler I know has a large Cosco size bottle of Advil rolling around their curling bag – but I had always wanted a natural anti inflammatory – and their Joint Formula was for me.
At 47 years of age (almost 48) inflammation can cause some serious injuries, because it doesn’t let your body heal. Taking the SierraSil Joint Formula my knees hadn’t bothered me curling…….and so far so good for the marathon training. Its a keeper!

Check out this great article on their site: Help easing sore knees.

Day of rest. That is a tough one for me…..until I began long runs. You see for the past 10 years I have probably worked out 6-7days a week. And yes, I know you need rest days – but my personality seems to fight rest. However…when you go out and do 2-3 hour runs……well rest is happening the next day whether your personality likes it or not.
I am starting to accept it and actually understanding that my body needs that day off, so I do a brisk one hour walk the day after with my dog, Hugo – and that seems to reduce the stiffness and makes Hugo a happy dog.

Yoga and stretching classes at Goodlife Fitness have, I think, made a big difference in my training. I am not good a stretching…its boring…so I always intentionally forget to do it.
However I do enjoy Yoga classes and the Les Mills BodyFlow classes. So I try to fit those in as often as I can in a week.
Marathon aside…they are good for me personally -its just an hour in the day I can’t multi-task and it gives me a chance to just stop thinking – even if its only and hour!

Massage. I have my massage therapist, Phoebe on speed dial. And the best part? Her business is mobile – so she comes to me!
Its heaven! She use to work a lot on my back, shoulders, arms…..but we have concluded that until June 1st….legs only! IT’s, calves, hamstrings, shins, quads, even the bottom of my feet are tight.

So I am trying to adhere to weekly massages and nightly “hot” epsom salt bathes which also helps reduce inflammation.