Marathoning – What Happens When It’s Over

When planning for a marathon there is much online content discussing the steps that can be taken to guide a runner to a successful finish; schedules, gear, injury prevention, pacing, speed work, comparable celebrity finish times. You name it you can find it!

In my experience post race, I was bemused to find that there was not the same abundance of advice regarding recovery. Once I’d heard my name come through that loud-speaker, I was essentially on my own.

It has been fifteen days since I ran my heart out meeting a lifetime personal goal. In retrospect, my physical training was successful. I am still proud of my accomplishment and less bothered by the fact that my time wasn’t within the range I’d had hoped for. I loved every minute, even the painful ones and the ones where I was consumed with doubt.

The mental challenge of going from full-blown training to restful observance of it is a tremendous transition. Recovery days one through four were brutal.

The old habits of emotional eating and anxiety appeared with vigor; they hadn’t been beat in training, only subdued. The fact that they were actually lying dormant was a blow.

On day five I laced up my brand new Newton’s, but the run was slow and hard. I clocked thirteen minutes per mile for a whopping 1.75 before calling it quits.

Figuring it was too soon to get back out there I tried not to be bothered, but my type A was showing and I was really beating myself up about it.

I tried again days later and ran a decent five, but the love wasn’t there. I was glad when I got home. I prayed that this was temporary.

By now I had searched and searched online for information to make sense of what I was experiencing and in my frustration turned to my friends in Internetland who were the first to show me some light.

After tweeting about my lackluster runs, one twitterer mentioned that she’d heard it took one day for every mile to be fully physically recovered. Easy math I could do; one month to give myself some leeway.

A commenter on my blog told me of her own depression that surfaced after her second marathon. It became so bad that she opted for antidepressants to get her through. This kind of honesty is what I wasn’t finding in my search. I was grateful for hers.

And then my sister arrived into town last Monday and I saw my nephew (whom I had helped raise from the time he was one until three), but had not had much communication with in the most recent years. Standing in front of me now was a teenage boy, all five feet nine inches of him. I swung my arms around his neck and the tears started to flow.

When I got home that night they continued.

I called my older sister and kept crying.

A full-blown panic attack followed. I’d never actually had one before, so I was surprised by its force. My heart was beating out of my chest and I had to take a Clonapin to settle down. It didn’t work, so I took another.

I fell asleep and woke the next morning feeling groggy, but better.

As if the fog had lifted, I was able to think with a clear mind and it became obvious that the pressure I was putting on myself to be as strong and powerful as I’d been before the marathon was suddenly gone; like all that training had never happened.

Seeing my nephew was the tip of the emotional iceberg in terms of the way I was managing. I needed a good cry. It needed to come out and I began to feel as if real recovery was finally going to begin.

So does it make sense then that I’d want to go through this again?

Yes, of course!

stubbornness and determination are a part of my gene pool and one must never stop learning in this life.

The next step is to move out of my comfort zone both physically and mentally.

With running taking a short hiatus from my schedule I’ve recently headed back to yoga.

Last week while standing in tree pose with my branches spread wide I straightened my neck to peer toward the sky and thanked God. The second tree pose on the opposite leg allowed me the opportunity to thank Him again.

Yesterday, after rolling onto my right side at the end of savasana I realized I was facing the sun. With hands folded at my third eye and with my other two tightly closed I could feel the warmth from the light. This time I thanked the Universe.

tree-pose running

You may also like this post:

The overall experience of my marathon has not yet finished, though the race itself has.

Today I feel renewed, rested and peaceful,though a bit less physically strong and not quite ready to resume any significant running.

Most importantly I am grateful.

Grateful for the sum of the experience.

Posted in Running, Training | Leave a comment

Foot Orthotics: Eliminate The Pain Of Plantar Fasciitis

Do you have pain that radiates from your heal down towards your toes when you wake up each morning? Does the pain lessen or go away after you walk around for a few minutes? You may be suffering with plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a debilitating illness that sometimes troubles high endurance athletes or people who are over-weight. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue running from the heel to the toes. When the band receives excessive pounding, swelling and pain may result. Foot orthotics, appliances you place into your shoes, have proven to be the best non-surgical method to deal with the problem.

There are numerous foot orthotics that can help people who suffer with plantar fasciitis. One benefit of foot orthotics is their low cost. Another reason is their ability to be easily inserted. Heel seats are one product that has proven to be effective in alleviating the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. It works by applying acupressure directly to the areas of the foot that hurts. Heel seats also help to properly align the feet and correct improper posture. These two issues can often lead to plantar fasciitis.

Buying shoes with thick soles and extra cushioning is an excellent way to protect your feet from plantar fasciitis. Soft silicone heel pads also help. They elevate and cushion the feet and prevent the trauma that can damage the feet with every step. Buying shoes with extra arch support or purchasing arch supports to place inside your shoes can also be helpful. The sufferer should seek arch supports made of the most dense material that is still comfortable to walk on. Some people call these types of arch-supported shoes, shoes for plantar fasciitis. You can Check 10 best women’s and men’s running shoes for plantar fasciitis at here.

plantar fasciitis shoes and  insoles

Two special characteristics of the orthotics used to treat plantar fasciitis is the need to control over pro-nation and metatarsal head motion, especially in the first metatarsal head. Many doctors proscribe the use of semi-rigid three quarters to full length orthotics with longitudinal arch support, Some of these elements can be found in over the counter orthotics while some people have their orthortics custom-made to ensure they fit perfectly.

Heel cradles, heel cups and heel lift can all help to align, cushion and protect your feet and alleviate some of the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis.

Posted in Health, Shopping | Leave a comment

A Lesson & A Plan

Once upon a time I hired a personal trainer. Her name was Michelle and she looked exactly like Sheryl Crow.

Michelle was the first person to teach me some of the basics regarding running and weight training. Real weight training like the boys do. Free weights equaled liberation!

I had never been in better shape than I was during that time, nor have I since. Michelle was a genius. But her genius was not just in the art of sculpting a body; she had a gift for teaching the keys to living a healthy life. She taught lessons that stuck. I wish I knew where to find her today if only to say, “Thanks!”

I remember once, after canceling a few appointments due to illness, Michelle pressured me to come in and see her. I dragged my sicky self to her studio, below street level at the end of Polk Street (in San Francisco) that wasn’t scary. She eased me into some leg work, a bit of free-standing arms, finished off with floor crunches and assisted stretching. In the end I felt new.

The lesson was this: When you’ve been immobile for even a short period of time, the muscles in your body get used to that state. And fast. They need to be moved so that their memory is revived and can then assist the rest of the body, which speeds recovery.

On day four of this dreadful sickness I am reminded of her lesson. As I re-enter the land of the living, tomorrow will be the day the muscles get the tiniest challenge. Maybe I’ll hit the mat for some easy breezy vinyasa? Maybe I’ll do a little Pure Barre crunchy work/upper body planky work? Maybe I’ll just walk the neighborhood and finish Vendela’s book. Only tomorrow will tell.

Even though I won’t be completely back on track, it’s good to have a plan.

Posted in Health, Training | Leave a comment

Vacuum cleaner guide_ advantages and disadvantages 

Vacuum cleaners are one of the handiest household tools ever invented. Not only do they provide an effective method for floor cleaning, but they also purify the air quality and reduce the risk of allergy flare-ups. Let’s have a quick look of the main types of vacuum machine and choose the best for your home.

Easily doing maintenance your vacuum cleaner at home

Upright vacuum cleaner

Upright vacuum cleaners provide good suction on large carpeted areas, often have a larger capacity than cylinder models, and work well in busy households with a lot of floor traffic. The brush bar on the floor head can tackle things like hair embedded in the carpet, making them a good choice for pet-owners. However, they are also heavier, difficult to move around corners and cannot be used on stairs, so may not besuitable for multiple storey houses.

Canister vacuum cleaner

This model is designed with a small, wheeled dust container so that you can pull it behind you and flexibility move around the room and up the stairs. The main feature of this type of vacuum is the possibility to attach different heads, suitable for different jobs. Latest models usually come with special heads for furniture dust, different types of surfaces such as hardwood floors, carpets, hone and so on. However, this model often does not perform as well as uprights on heavy carpets.

Handheld vacuum cleaner

This model is very useful for cleaning up your car, complex furniture pieces, between sofa cushions or even clothing, or some narrow places you simply can’t reach with an upright or a canister vacuum cleaner. Moreover, with handheld vacuums, you can easily remove pet hair, various stains, spills and other stuff you want gone.  However, handheld vacuum will not replace a full-size one, so it is usually intended as a back-up tool.

Wet-dry vacuum cleaner

This model is suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage, and the main feature is that you can reverse the airflow, in order to blow garbage and dust, instead of sucking it. You can thus gather all the dirt into a corner and get it out easy. You can even use this function to unclog the hose. They are relatively cheap and ready to do a lot of tasks.

Robotic vacuum cleaner

The main feature of this kind of product is the movement algorithm. Most robotic vacuums use a combination of fuzzy logic with reinforcement learning, neural networks, potential field or similar artificial intelligence methods to achieve a homogenous cleaning of the entire floor space and to return safely to the docking station for battery recharge. The great thing about these it the “set it and forget it” approach. In order to reach to tight corners, many robotic vacuums use spinning brushes or variable air flows. However, it is not convenient for vacuuming stairs and it is quite expensive.

Some other things you also should consider:

Cordless or corded

One of the latest trends in the vacuum cleaning industry is to produce cordless devices. However, if you own a large to average home, cordless vacuums may not be the solution for you, as even the top rated models last around 30 minutes before they need to be recharged. There’s also a suction power decrease that is trivial for cordless appliances.

Bagged or bagless

Bagged vacuums need a new bag every couple of months, depending on your cleaning frequency. Meanwhile, abagless model, an eco-friendly approach some people embrace with pleasure. However, with bagless vacuums you have to clean the dust container and remove the stuck hair.

Hope them be helpful for you to choose the right one for your lifestyle.


Posted in Shopping | Leave a comment

Retail Therapy

Yesterday Peach and I took the girls to the mall at Southpoint. It turned out to be a really successful trip!

I found a skirt at Anthropologie that we decided was perfect for church, which is ridiculous because I ony go to church twice a year; once at Christmas and at once in the Summer at the chapel in Maine. I also got a great pair of red pants, ankle length, not too low at the waist, a little stretchy, ideal for the annual Fourth of July beach party.

Peach found the most amazing navy knit dress (navy is her color). The top was loose and blousy, but the waist was fitted and then flared into the perfect length swingy skirt. She said it was, “meant for her,” and felt “French.” It was bit sheer, so I told her she had to wear a slip of some sort. We joked that she could wear it on a date without a slip, which would ensure a return call from “Mr. Wonderful.” Dating is never easy, but when you are as fabulous and independent as my Peach, I think the old guys can’t handle the heat. Old guys are just like young guys; from Mars, only set more vehemently in their ways.

She also found a gorgeous khaki colored sweater coat that fell right to her knees with a detachable fur collar. The waist had a self tie that hit at the perfect place; not too low, not too high. Whenever we shop, I always, ask who made it and I guess I wasn’t really surprised that it was Michael Kors. It looked like him, but his stuff can be hit or miss. This time it was a hit.

We saved the children’s section at Nordstrom for last. Grace practically pulled my arm out of the socket to get there when we tried to divert our path, in an effort to meander through the bags and hats. I left Sophie with Peach and we rushed over.

Like their mother, my kids love clothes. They have a really clear sense about what appeals to them, which I love.

We almost got out of the store without buying anything when we came across the Hello Kitty rain jacket with ruffles across the back. The pink ones in their size were gone, so I had Grace try on the green. When we realized there was only one in a 5/6 Sophie began to melt down, so we coaxed her to the register where we convinced her that the nice lady would ask the mail man to send two; one for her and her sister. With twins you always have to buy two!

As I sat on a comfortable bench waiting for Peach to finish up buying a few presents for my nieces and nephew, I wondered if I was teaching my kids a bad lesson with yet another adventure in retail.

Nope, I decided. I’m not.

Retail therapy is not only about the act of the purchase. The entire shopping experience appeals to the senses; seeing, feeling, touching, hearing and a trip to the food court for smelling and tasting.

As long as you aren’t being irresponsible and spending what you don’t have, there is nothing wrong with a fun day of shopping with the gals. It’s a bonding experience over likes and dislikes; over sparkly high heels that you’d never wear and beaded bikini’s you wish you could.

Retail therapy is one thing, but hunting for the perfect wedge is another. If anyone comes across a two inch high Rachel Comey-like cloggish sort of shoe with a slightly pointed (just slightly), but definitely not rounded toe, would you let me know?

Hunting in retail is a total different animal.

Posted in Shopping | Leave a comment