Stretch Armstrong

'Eau De Workout
‘Eau De Workout

Nothing says summer in Hawaii like a pile of sweaty laundry. Our tropical air has turned hot and heavy, and it, once again, feels as if I need gills to breathe. I’m feeling extra loagie today because the air conditioner at work is broken, and I sweated through eight hours of computer work huddled in front of a tiny desk-fan that I scurried out to buy this morning.

I feel like broken AC in Hawaii should be cause for closing the office and sending everyone home- not that I have AC at home, but at least I wouldn’t be wearing khakis and an oxford emailshirt- but that was not the case, sadly. It’s really too bad, I could have used a beach day! I’ve had a lot going on lately; I was working overtime for a while which made it hard to fit in exercise at the end of the day, and over the weekend I received a threatening email.

The email was reminding me that only three weeks remain before the start of the Marathon Training Clinic that successfully got me to the start and finish lines of last year’s Honolulu Marathon. I thought by now I’d be recovered, both mentally and physically, from last year’s effort and feel ready to take on the challenge once again, but I’m kind of dreading it.

I think I’m physically recovered; I’ve been trying to stay running fit by logging at least 9 miles a week (which, as you well know, is nothing compared to training for the big race), and I’ve been making it a point to keep up with the stretches that helped ease the knee pain that accompanied those many miles last Fall. The stretches, I realize, are immensely helpful because, while I was working overtime, I lost the hour or so of TV time that I usually have after dinner which is when I do the helpful stretches, and my IT band started to feel tight and sore again. I’ve been trying not to let that happen again, so I’m focusing my non-running workouts on strengthening the rest of my body and I’ve also been trying (as always) to increase my flexibility.

I’m definitely not mentally recovered from the marathon. It’s just such a long, goddamned way to run, you know? And it’s going to be hot, and I’m going to get sweaty, and my legs will be sore, and I’m going to be hungry every waking moment of every single day. It’s all just a little too much! Last week, I had to give myself a pep talk just to finish a two-mile run, so how the eff am I supposed to run 26.2 miles?

Right now, as I sit on the couch, sticky and head-achy from a day of suffering in the heat (did I mention our office doesn’t really have any windows, so not only was there no AC, but there was also no fresh air), I feel like I could go the rest of my life without running another step. But, then I remember how much fun I have when I’m schlepping along with similar-paced friends, and I think of all the nice views I got to see that I never otherwise would have seen, and the good feeling of being finished with a run (come on- the BEST feeling) comes to mind, and, also, I do wonder if I will be able to shave seconds off my marathon time. I guess I’m not throwing in the towel yet (although I do still have three weeks to decide- I kid!).

In the three weeks remaining before marathon season gets going, I’m going to really push myself to focus on my flexibility. No more skipping the post-run stretching, and hopefully I’ll be able to incorporate a little more yoga into my fitness regime.  I’ll admit that I was partly inspired by the good advice I’ve received over the years from medical and fitness professionals, butI was also inspired by Betsey Johnson. Yeah, fashion design icon Betsey Johnson. I was watching the Food Network show  ‘Worst Cooks in America,’ and Betsey Johnson mad a guest appearance, did a cartwheel followed by a split, and then confessed that she is 71 years old. Yikes; I’ve gotta step up my flexibility game. There is no reason that, if a 71 year old lady can still cartwheel and do splits, that I can’t touch my toes. I’m not aiming for cartwheels and splits, my goal is simply a little less Humpty Dumpty, who was so stiff and brittle he fell to pieces, and a little more Gumby. Any tips fellow non-fitness freaks?



One thought on “Stretch Armstrong

  1. Exciting! Reading this I felt like I was there in your mind, like an auditor in the back row, as you relived and weighed the positives and negatives of what is now your “marathon season”. Glad you’re going for it again!
    PS –
    I second you, beach day material for sure. xoxoxo

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