|2 (9/4)||BEACH WALK||4||Y/ST||3||4.5||REST||Y/ST||11.5|
|Numbers = Miles|
|Y = Yoga|
|ST = Strength Training|
Here are five things that have worked for me throughout this process and helped me stick to my plan:
1. Yoga. I've tried to practice yoga for an hour 2-3 times a week. It's helped to keep my muscles strong and lengthened cutting down on cramping and joint pain. It's also strengthened my core which has enhanced my endurance. One, by improving my posture allowing me to take deep breaths and two, by keeping my core, thighs and knees "zipped up" so that I'm not dead weight banging my feet onto the pavement. My favorite poses right now are back bend, pigeon, triangle pose, forward bends, downward dog, half moon and warrior 3. All of these feel so good for my knees, thighs and hips after a long run. I would be lost without yoga. If you've never given it a try, I would highly recommend it. I would love to get certified to teach one day.
2. Cutting down on sugar. I'm one of those people who is kind of all or nothing with food and exercise unfortunately. I've found that when I'm routinely exercising I eat better, and when I'm slacking off I tend to load up on sugar and carbs. I've really tried to cut out obvious sugars, and I've found that my energy level has increased since I don't have highs and lows all day because of sugar rushes.
3. Giving up Diet Coke. For some reason when I'm drinking soda regularly I consume so much less liquid because I don't feel as thirsty. But since I've cut out Diet Coke, I drink substantially more water keeping me hydrated and feeling so much better. I've also noticed that it keeps my skin clear and looking refreshed.
4. Running on grass when I can. I've never had and joint issues, but now that I'm getting up to the higher distances, my knees and hips start to hurt when I get to mile 7 or 8. T suggested running alongside the paved trails on the the grass when I can, and it's helped a LOT. However, this weekend I encountered a snake and a huge spider, so I'm a little hesitant to venture off the beaten path now. The grass is so much easier on your body though.
5. Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". One of my girlfriends who has run all types of races and even competed in triathalons told me that the hardest part of any race is the mental aspect, and that you're body is capable of three times the distance that your mind tells you it can do. I keep this Bible verse and her advice fresh on my mind when I head out on the long runs, and it's really true. When my knees and hips start to ache and I'm huffing and puffing along, I remember these and it really keeps me going.