knocked into balance

Last week I was thrown for a LOOP.  My fall literally took my feet out from under me.  Stopped me in my tracks.  As a result, my left glute was tight and my lower back on the right side got all jacked up and cranky, too.  I saw my trusted chiropractor Dr. Wong three times in five days.  He assured me it was safe to run my planned mileage – as long as I listened to my body and didn’t push the pace.  He did some adjustments, worked his magic with Active Release Therapy (ART) techniques and yes, put me on the Stim machine to help relax and loosen my tight muscles.

owwwww.  stim on a tight lower back = a good kind of hurt?

He told me I should spend some time trying to loosen my back on my own as well – with foam rolling and yoga stretches like child’s pose and cat/cow.  He also said to ice it frequently, especially after exercise.  I took the speed work out of my running last week (and ran easy around the track that morning) and followed all of Dr. Wong’s advice.  By Friday afternoon I felt so much better (though not 100%) and was ready to tackle my planned 16 mile long run on Saturday.  It was a step back week for me so the shorter long run was a really good thing considering the week I’d had.

I was so happy to have the company of four good friends for that run- four rock star runners with tons of passion and experience. 

the girls – me, dorothy & maddie

We talked the whole way, about everything and nothing, which made the miles and the time just fly by.  I was a little nervous the pace would be too fast for my recovering-from-trauma body because we ran a 7:51 average which is typical for my long runs these days but I hadn’t run that fast or for that long since before my fall.  I honed in on my body though and listened closely, making sure that nothing felt tweaky or off along the way.  Still, when I was done I went straight home and hopped in a frigid ice bath (this never gets easy!) and gave my body the TLC it deserved just in case it was a little much.  On Sunday morning I was ready to run again and went with a recovery pace of just under a 9:00/mile average with two good friends.  I felt like I could have run all day that morning.  Things were beginning to feel more normal though still not all better.

The thing is, when I am running – when I am moving my body – I feel the best.  It is when I am sitting or standing still that my muscles creak up and get tight, grouchy and achy.

Movement heals.  Movement is magical.

But so is rest.  I know that good things happen in stillness.  Healing happens there, too.  I just can’t spend too long in one place no matter how much I love or enjoy it.

It is about BALANCE.

When will I figure out the perfect balance?  Achieving balance will always be a work in progress.  I will always be a work in progress.  Life isn’t about a destination, it is an ongoing journey.  Some days I feel like I have it figured out and other days I know that the pendulum has swung way too far in one direction and I need to check in with myself and make changes.

My fall from last week seems to have knocked me into balance a little bit – it made me realize that I haven’t made nearly enough time in my life for yoga and stretching.  For slowing down and hanging out with myself in stillness.  For just breathing deeply and feeling all there is to be felt in a single solitary moment alone.  I have been taking time – sometimes just 5 minutes a day – to settle myself into child’s pose or pigeon pose and just BREATHE.  Take it in and let it out.  Close my eyes and open my heart.  It has been restorative for me, on so many levels.

In a way, thanks to my fall I feel like I am beginning to heal from the inside out and my perspective is changing and renewing.  I’m so grateful that my ailments last week weren’t about overuse or anything truly serious.  It was a wake-up call and I am learning from it.

I will take nothing for granted.  I will slow down and appreciate each moment.  I will pay attention and be self-aware and reign myself in when the pendulum swings.  I will keep the big picture front and center.  One day at a time.

6 thoughts on “knocked into balance

  1. Ever since I went skiing I have been having some pain in my quad that only really bothers me when I get up in the morning or when I've been sitting in class. It's amazing how good movement really is for us!

    I would love to hear about what a typical day looks like for you or what a peak week looks like. I love hearing about what faster runners are doing- makes me so much more motivated to get out there myself!

  2. “I will always be a work in progress”
    I think we all fall into this category (and hopefully you have no more physical ones!). It seems like many of us are struggling to find a the right balance between home life, running/workouts, and much needed self-rest times lately. What a star-tacular running group you've got! 🙂 Speedy ladies!

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