Monday, January 23, 2012

Perspective

Saturday morning, I raced out the door to run with a group of early morning fasties on a hilly route in the country. 

The first few miles, I managed to keep up with Lonn (or rather he was nice enough to run at my fast pace) up and down the hills. As we stopped at the "aid station" Lonn had prepared (full of Gatorade, Picky Bars and gels), I told him to go on and I dropped to my more comfy (but not painfree) pace of 8:30-8:40s. 

This crew has some speedy legs, so I had to remind myself not to succumb to guilt for not being able to run faster. These legs can only do what they can do.

But that's the thing with running - it's each and everyone's own journey. It's not about you compared to someone else. It's about what you learn out there in those miles - about yourself and your abilities. 

Someone else might be training for an ultra or a 3:20 marathon or an Ironman. It's okay that ALL I'm training for is to finish X race. Too often we get caught up in worrying what's wrong with us if we're not doing what everyone else is. 

Realizing my hip and glute weren't in the best shape on Saturday, I opted to make the smart move and run the longer, yet flat route back to the start. It was nice to get some longer road miles in, but I realized I need to be smart about recovery. 

On the drive home, I stopped at the pool to do 20 min of aqua jogging to shake out the sore muscles and joints. At home, I finished the whole shabang with 10 minutes of foam rolling. 


It was a good reminder that I need to pull out the foam roller if only for just a few minutes to keep the I.T. bands, quads and hamstrings happy. 



And I love that when I do this, Jonah insists on being right by my side. Perfect foam rolling company.

Do you struggle with comparing yourself in your athletic endeavors, career or otherwise? What is your current recovery routine?

Truth be told, for the time being I've ditched the whole ice bath thing after long runs. I decided that warm epsom salt baths feel better and are possibly better for my legs than the icy cold water, which limits blood flow. But like so many things out there, there are so many different approaches to accomplishing a similar outcome.

7 comments:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I have gotten better at not comparing myself to others, but it's still a struggle. I find myself saying things like, "that half marathon time was fast for me". I wish I didn't feel the need to justify my race times. i worked hard for them - I shouldn't make aside comment like that! It's tough, though!

I'm all about the foam roller and my running stick. I haven't done an ice bath since I was trainign for the Portland marathon. I was not a fan of them so I might have to try the epsom salt bath instead!

Lindsey said...

Max is always right by my side when I foam roll too :)
For recovery, lately I have been foam rolling and icing anything that hurts. So far, so good! I have heard recently that ice baths might not always be beneficial because they restrict blood flow. But you are right, I think there are definitely different approaches to reach similar outcomes. There is so much info out there it's hard to know what's best.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I try not to compare when I'm on the track because there are disastrous results - I start speeding up to keep up with the faster girls and then I crash later! I "recover" by lots of walking and a run the next day. As long as I keep moving I'm ok.

Heather @ Dietitian on the Run said...

When you have a strong, supportive running Group, it's hard to remember that the sport is still very much individual. I've been in this position more than once - needing a good reminder (which the muscles are usually happy to provide) that I need to do my own thing. Training for fulls taught me to scale back and be totally okay with where I am, not compared to anyone else.

Ice baths have Never sounded appealing to me (except maybe in late July or August ;) ), and my legs have gotten by just fine. The warm epsom salt sounds great, though!

Krista @ Can't Survive on Yarn Alone said...

I've been quite guilty of the comparison trap with my running. 2012 is my year to get over that hurdle.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I totally try not to compare myself, but it's hard!

My recovery is just that I stop a little early on the run and walk a bit. I've never foam rolled!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful feet