A 20-miler, A Massage, And A Mantra or Two.

It got done. That 20-miler I wanted to do this past weekend? Yep, it got done.

And all the power to me.

It was my last great hurdle on the road to Chicago. It wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t pretty. But it got done.

It was a total of 6 laps around the lake at the park where I’ve been running the majority of the summer. Had I done 2 additional laps, it would have been over a full marathon. And I’m pretty sure I had it in me that day to do so, if I had to.

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I played the run like I played the 16-miler the previous week. I fueled every 7 miles (two laps), from that water stop I call my car, with the exception of adding a stop before the final lap, when I opted for a sip of fluid. It seemed the smart thing to do as the warmth and humidity was already on the rise Saturday morning.

The only fly in the ointment? I did P90X Legs and Back on Wednesday before the run. And unfortunately, I was still feeling the DOMS on Friday night. In fact, I decided to take some Advil around 7 pm. It was that bad. It had been two weeks since I had done that workout. Clearly, I over did it. I think if I weren’t as sore as I was, it would have been an easier run for me. But, I was able to identify that and now I know next week NOT to do that workout. Instead, I’ll stick to my physical therapy exercises to get me through that final week before the marathon.

DOMS

Sunday, I decided rest was best and opted not to run at all. I did do some housecleaning and I spent much of the day on my feet, plus got in a Hatha Yoga class in the late afternoon.

By the time Monday rolled around, I did do an easy 4 miles after P90X and before heading to Green Lotus Yoga for a massage. And, may I just add that it was the best…damn…massage…ever. I know I say that all the time. The truth of the matter is, it hurt like hell. However, by the time I got out of there, my flexibility had improved 10-fold. The masseuse was able to work out the hamstring tightness I’ve had in that right leg, and relieve the calf stiffness. It was glorious. And because of it, I was able to tackle today’s 7 miler with ease. Plus. with morning temperatures in the mid 40’s, it all added up to a great little jaunt.

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My masseuse also led me through a little guided meditation when she was finished and I was still lying on the table. She had me envision myself running my race, being strong and capable throughout. She had me picture the finish line in my mind, and me running over it with a feeling of gratitude and grace. She asked me to notice the smells around me, the people, the sounds…and the feel of the cool finisher’s medal against my chest. She had me envision the meal I might eat when I was finished, or the drink I might enjoy. Then, she had me think about how great that cool shower would feel when I stepped into it. And the Mona Lisa smile I’d sport the rest of the day knowing I’d just completed my 4th marathon.

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After my run this morning, I already had plans to go to a Gentle Yoga class, and then take a turn in the studio’s brand new InfraRed sauna. I was so looking forward to this visit. After listening to Ben Greenfield talk about the benefits of such a unit and knowing now that I have access to one just makes me giddy!

But first, Yoga. Somehow whenever I go to Yoga class, the instructor instinctively knows what I need work on. And somehow, incorporates the the moves that I need on that particular day. And sometimes, not always, the Yogi has us choose a Mantra to get us through our practice or even our entire day. Most days my Mantra is “I am in control.” I choose this because that is where I find the most resistance in my life…falling out of control or allowing myself to lose control. This morning, I began thinking this Mantra yet again, when suddenly, I completely changed it to “I am capable.” It came out of nowhere, almost like a loud, breath-filled whisper. And I had to grab it.

I am capable.

I’ve done everything in my power to prepare for this marathon. I’ve taken the bad with the good, the hard with the easy. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, and I’ve fought my way over and through yet another injury. I’ve battled overtraining, depression, and exhausted my financial resources with not one, but two physical therapists. I came close to quitting…twice.

Yet, here I am, having just completed the 20-mile training run that would ultimately hand me more than just one Mantra.

I am resilient.
I am strong.
I am fierce.
I am confident.

I am capable.

4 Responses to A 20-miler, A Massage, And A Mantra or Two.

  1. Love. You will do great.

  2. Kellen says:

    LOVE this! I’m running Chicago next week as well and it will be my first marathon. I’ll have to remember these mantras throughout the course. My current favorites are “Stronger with every mile” and “Find joy in the journey.”

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