Archives for posts with tag: training

I really didn’t want to go to the gym, again. My movement had been restricted for the last 5 weeks and I’d had more than my share of elliptical and stair step workouts. I decided to go home and roll out my yoga mat. It felt a bit like that scene in Eat Pray Love, where she rolls out her mat and just gives it a good stare down, wondering ‘what exactly are you going to put me through.’

Nonetheless, I folded into child’s pose. I began to move, honoring what my body was telling me and noticing all of the shapes and poses I couldn’t quite perform to my ‘norm’. I remind myself “healing takes time Sara, just keep moving.”

As I arrived in crescent lunge I went to lift my arms over my head and discovered how much work it takes to simply lift my arms. The tears began to fall.

The truth is, I had taken for granted, after healing from snowboard injuries, half marathon training, 2 natural child births of particularly large babies and several other small burdens, that I would ever need to heal again. I was sad for the version of me I was having to let go of, and I was anxious and overwhelmed not knowing who I would next become.

I continued through my modified flow, reverse warrior (no arm lift), extended side angle (my legs burning), the smarter version of me inside my head chose to skip the modified chaturunga- upward dog- downward dog, as I was terrified of laying on my stomach. I performed several rounds of the poses and the tears began to dry up. As I closed my practice in a meditation for peace, I was left with the residue of a thought… ‘Here I am again, healing, modifying, doing my best to say sane and to not be too hard on myself, as I respect the time it will take my body to HEAL.’

How many of us have forgotten that a few of the many gifts offered by a yoga practice are presence and healing. Sure we get to our mat because it’s part of our routine, we enjoy the exercise and even the community. But how many of us have forgotten the safe haven that yoga provides when we just need to heal. I believe at this point in my practice I need more than two hands to count the number of times my mat has caught my tears, and done so without any judgement or explanation necessary.  In that healing process we receive the reminder that our bodies are impermanent, our physical strength and flexibility are  fluid to our circumstance. We are reintroduced to the concepts of self- compassion and empathy.  And if ever there was a time when we could see into another person’s eyes and relate or connect with their pain and suffering, it’s when we can recall our own time of healing.  Let us not forget these precious gifts.

 

 

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I’ve been on this earth for a while now. But I think I am finally starting to understand the powerful difference between setting a goal, and the will to achieve it. We can set intentions all day long, but if they don’t hit us on a heart level… on a soul level, we might as well throw in the towel.

After I had my baby it was really important to me to get back to my health. Going through pregnancy and labor is a perfectly healthy thing to do, but there is a lot of strength and endurance that’s lost. Not to mention the complete 180 that your lifestyle has the opportunity to take once the baby has arrived.

The summer that I found out I was pregnant I ran my first half marathon. I actually WAS pregnant when I ran it. I remember the preparation and the running of that race were such milestones in my love-hate relationship with running (read previous blog post here).

In an effort to ‘get my body back’ I set a tentative goal to run my second half marathon this summer- two years post baby. I say tentative because its become so much more important to me to be doing things smart rather than hard. I have a back injury and I just didn’t know how my body would feel pushing those long running distances.  As the deadline of this half marathon got closer and I danced with the reality of actually having to run it I intensified my training. I knew I would have to run at least 10 miles before I would be comfortable considering 13.1.

Well, I had my longest training run this week- 8 miles. As you can imagine, there is a lot you can think about with an hour plus of handsfree time and no where else to go.  While the corner of mind my is chanting ‘light on your feet, lift up from your core, this feels easy- keep it easy’ the rest of my mind is pondering a full spectrum of things from the problems of the world to why the Panera I just ran past doesn’t have a drive-thru.

Previously I had run 6 miles, which is a personal obstacle. My struggle through that first 6-mile run is completely mental. I fight myself the whole time. But once I’m past it my whole mindset changes from doubt to assurance.

So for 8 miles I chose a familiar path, one with plenty of shade, not too many hills, good scenery and I set off. I usually find my stride about 2.5 miles in (lift up through your core, use your muscles, this is easy).

Around mile 3 I really started to believe that this WAS easy. My cross training at Red Rocks and running trails HAD made me stronger (shoulders back, land light, this feels easy).

End of mile 4 was exuberant- just turn around and trace your steps (you’ve already run this, now you’re just running home).

At mile 6 I was high as a kite. I’d come to the realization that I AM as strong as I was before the baby- if not STRONGER. The ease that I was running with was unbeliveable, mostly because I WANTED to be there. I WANTED to be a strong-by-my-standards runner. I wanted to be able to run 13.1 miles if that was what I chose for myself. I WANTED it.

Now that I’m on the other side of that 8 mile run, the half marathon itself is less of a prize. Mostly because I KNOW I can do it. The goal- which was the race- has shrunken in measure compared to the confidence and pride I have gained as a result of my training.  I wanted to be prepared and focused. And now I am. I wanted to be strong. And now I am. I wanted to run as far as my heart could take me. And now I will.