Making Old Habits New Again

This past Monday was supposed to be my first day out of my complete Boston recovery mode and easing myself back into the swing of things. I’ve pretty much decided (still finalizing details) that I’m going to run Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in June. I want to get a good long run in this weekend before making my final decision. From Boston to Grandma’s is a 10 week stretch, so I felt confident that it is a good pick and could be a successful race.

Except I woke up Monday morning feeling off. My intention was to swim in the morning and do strength and PT exercises in the afternoon. When I woke up feeling weird and off, I decided I would workout in the afternoon and stay in bed a little longer. Well, as the day progressed I felt worse and worse – so I went home and found out I had a fever of 101! It was so weird because I had no other symptoms that usually accompany a higher fever – I just had chills, aches, and a fever. No sore throat, no stuffy nose, no cough. I took a sick day from work on Tuesday and basically slept from Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning, with a few breaks to watch TV or go on my computer. It was so odd. Then, I got my daily update from the TimeHop app on my phone only to find that I was home sick twice in previous years on this same day! I think Boston training really took it’s toll on me this year, especially since I was in panic mode with my injury. I think my body finally told me that I needed to slow down. I got the hint!

When I was coherent yesterday afternoon, I was reviewing my workouts from my coach. He gives me my run workouts, but also some swim, bike, core and strength workouts. So I’m pretty set with the cross training, but with my Achilles injury and fitting in physical therapy, I slacked in some areas that I’m usually on top of. Over the next 9 weeks as I head to Grandmas, these are areas that I am recommitting to improving and/or incorporating regularly:

  1. 20130722-081604.jpg
    Practicing Second Series, just over a year ago!

    Yoga: One thing I rarely talk about anymore is yoga. I’m actually a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. I am considered an RYT and completed my 200 hour teacher training program in 2009. I used to practice Ashtanga yoga six days per week and had an intense practice. I believe the intensity of my practice prevented me from getting faster – there is such a thing as being too flexible when it comes to running. I also believe that doing some form of yoga has incredible value and should be incorporated to keep muscles and fascia flexible to prevent injury. I believe my lack of yoga is the main cause of my Achilles issues, because my calves were never tight when I practiced yoga regularly. I plan to schedule at least two days per week where I get on my mat and practice the Primary Series Syllabus from Ashtanga Yoga. I used to practice second and third series, but that’s a story for another day. While I don’t think I should be on my mat as often as I used to be if my goal is to run faster, I do think it needs to be part of my weekly fitness routine.

  2. Core: I used to do core every single day. I did this for the past year, but once I got to the point where I was trying to do a million things and fit in PT, I slacked. No more excuses. I’m back to doing core everyday – including daily planks. I used to be able to do something like a 5 minute plank. I’m bringing it back.
  3. Foam Rolling – Every week, I say this is the week that I will foam roll after every run. Or even just for 3 minutes each day. My foam roller stares at me from my living room floor but do I use it? Rarely. I have a travel sized one that comes with me to work everyday, but do I take it out of my bag? Nope. Time to make this a daily habit.
  4. MYRTLs – A while back, a fellow blogger introduced me to the MYRTL routine to strengthen your hips and I loved it. I did it regularly after every single run and I truly felt it working. Again, enter physical therapy and I also dropped my MYRTL routine. Time to recommit to post run MYRTLs.
  5. Form Drills – This is an area where I have zero experience. I want to begin all of my runs with some form drills. Partially so it will warm up my muscles before running, but also because if I do it right before a run, it might start to translate into keeping good form throughout my run, even after fatigue hits. You know, the whole muscle memory thing.
  6. 20130816-070645.jpg
    Me at racing weight! Not too far off.

    Diet – I eat pretty healthy and try to follow a Paleo diet because I have a love/hate relationship with gluten. Sometimes I can tolerate it, sometimes not so much. But I have a sweet tooth. I use Fitness Pal but often lie to it so I need to start owning up to what I’m eating. I’d like to lose about 6-7lbs to get to what I believe would be my ideal racing weight, and nine weeks is reasonable to make a good dent in that. Plus, lets be real. I have a pool and it’s almost time to whip out my bathing suit collection.

  7. Physical Therapy – I was released from PT but I’m still not 100% healed. I need to make sure I stick with the exercises that we covered in PT to make sure I can continue the healing process. I like doing them on the days I hit the gym to strength train since all of the equipment I need is there. I didn’t do them the week of the marathon or the week after, but now that I’m ready to roll again it’s back to my routine.

My thinking is if I post about it, I will hold myself more accountable. I’m interested to see how things go over the next nine weeks by focusing on some of these critical areas.


18 Replies to “Making Old Habits New Again”

  1. Ohhhhh you posted it Allison so now I’m going to nag you to stay on the straight and narrow ha! Maybe we can help each other. If you help me with the nutrition department I’ll help you on the foam rolling end of things. Foam rolling used to be absent from my routine but it’s pretty much second nature now for the last 9 months … have foam roller … will travel … ummm … errrrr I mean run lol 😛 my nutrition is not bad but it could be better

  2. 9 weeks is a perfect amount of time to get back to all of these habits. You’ll be soo ready for that marathon.!! Great ideas, and really motivating. I need to do more core work also.! I always say that also..but really, I’m pretty sure anyone could out “core” me. lol

  3. I am in a similar boat! At the beginning of my marathon training I was doing core work, yoga, strength training but as I increased mileage everything else slacked…so over the summer I’m focusing on core and yoga again. As far as healthy eating … Yeah. I’m horrible!! I gained 5 lbs during marathon training.

    1. It’s so easy to let it all go! You get back from a decently long run or track workout and think, “Eh, I worked hard, I will just do my core tomorrow!” I have to break that mindset and get back to my old habits!

  4. Ah, this is great! Your yoga is amazing!! I have been trying to go to my hot yoga classes once a week but I really feel like I need to be doing it at least twice a week (and I do not do it well enough to practice on my own haha). I always feel so good and light after doing it. I actually just bought a 15-class groupon package for a new yoga place so I’m excited about incorporating it a little more into my routine over the next few weeks 😀
    I’ve also really been slacking on my core and diet and could stand to lose a few more pounds! I went a little crazy with the eating after the blood donation haha
    And those MYRTL exercises are PERFECT! Those are basically the exercises I was taught to do in PT and I need to commit to keep doing them too.

    Finally, feel better!!!

    1. Thank you! I really think I was just run down because I honestly feel like I was never even sick today. So weird!! I am really going to try to hold myself accountable for this stuff and see where it gets me for our June MARATHON!!! AHHHH!

      1. YAY!!! Oh and btw, since I’m still huffing and puffing at slower pace right now, I’m thinking a late May get together long run? Either May 23-24 – 18ish miles or May 30-31 – 20+ miles?? I should be back to normal by then! 🙂

      2. Yesss!!! The 23rd would be better- but I MIGHT be running a 5K the weekend of the 23rd – I will keep you posted on what my coach plans! I don’t know if he will have me run more after, or run long the day after – but that weekend might be perfect!!!!

  5. If you say it out loud, you have to follow through, right?
    I remember reading a while back that being overly flexible did interfere with becoming a faster runner, but I’d forgotten about it until you mentioned it again. Luckily, I’m nowhere near that point 😉
    I have the same goals with rolling, drills and diet. Hopefully following along with you will keep me motivated 🙂

    1. Yes!! I feel like a bunch of people are saying the same thing about needing to get motivated on these things that support healthy running. I will make sure to do weekly status updates about this stuff, too!!

  6. Great ideas! I know that when my running mileage gets high strength workouts and yoga are the first things to go. The one thing that I am good at doing is my PT exercises 4-5 times a week but mostly because I can do it while watching tv.

    1. I need a leg press machine to do weighted calf raises and a Bosu ball, so I end up just doing the PT stuff at the gym. For me, that might be a good thing- the MYRTLs, core, foam rolling, even yoga can be done right in my living room while I’m watching TV. I keep my mat unrolled and my foam roller next to it…and I just stare at it from my coach! LOL!

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