i just got out of a nice hot bath and im all cozy in my bathrobe. after i blog I will do my foam rolling as well as foot stretches for my race. i think i am going to push off dishes and folding laundry until after work tomorrow. i am just so zen right now that i dont even wanna mess with my vibe by doing chores.
bright and early, 830am, a massage therapist showed up at my front door. back in april i won a 90minute "advanced therapy" massage at a 5k i ran. i decided to finally cash it in so my body would be all aligned and ready for my first half marathon (9 days away!!). my massage was with Michael from Zenfinity Massage. if you live in southern florida, he will come to your house to work on you. it was AMAZING. Michael is a tri-athlete so I knew he would know what muscle i would need worked out for my run. the only other massages ive had were in cosmetology school, and that was basically "rub me so i can sleep during school for an hour". then i graduated and my sister actually became a massage therapist. she is actually pretty good but has less than a year of experience working on runners. also, we live 1,000 miles apart so i cant get one from her regularly. additionally, when i do get one from her, her kids are generally there talking and touching and asking "can i put lotion on you auntie?!". its a good time and much appreciated, but i wouldnt say its the most zen experience of my life lol i have also had a massage at Massage Envy, but those were also just "rub me so i can go to sleep" massages too.
my massage today was called "Advanced Therapy", which means Michael did NueroMuscular Therapy on me as well as a pretty deep massage. the nueromuscular therapy is more of stretching than massaging. i was pretty sure he was going to pull my head and my limbs off of my body at a couple points. it was DEEP stretching. it was very painful at times. like with the foam roller, i had to keep reminding myself that the massage and stretches are not what are hurting me. the pain is built up inside of me and i am feeling it right now because it is being released. if you dont remember that, its very easy to get caught up in "why the fuck am i torturing myself with this! this is not a relaxing massage!" it wasnt exactly relaxing at all. it is actually kind of a lot of work. i was definitely NOT going to fall asleep. the hip stretches were SO intense. it was funny because my hips never hurt me before. the one exception is while i was doing the ultimate reset i was feeling a lot of pain in them- i thought that was a pretty cool coincidence. Anyways, so the stretching is intense and you HAVE to take deep breath in order to get through it. in a typical "rub me so i can go to sleep" massage, i would not want my therapist to talk to me at all. Michael talked almost the whole time- but it was GOOD. he was coaching me. he was telling me when to breath deep, he had me in like a meditative state imagining the things he was saying " when your muscles are tense its resistance to the pressure. relax the muscle and allow my fingers to sink into it." "take a deep breath and fill up the whole space you feel the pain with air, like a balloon. pause, slowly release" "feel your body melting into the table." "your muscles are useless. let them completely relax and use no effort to help me" he had the perfect choice of words that made it easy for me to visualize what he was saying. i also learned today that one of my hips is lower than the other! this makes PERFECT sense because when i take pictures of me squatting from behind, one of my but cheeks is lower than the other! good news is that the NueroMuscular therapy can fix this.
Michael actually complimented me on being a great breather; my trainer will be proud of that because she and Dr. Bettina (who does my nuerofeedback) work with me on deep breathing all the time. one thing he did notice was that when i was working a more intense spot, my breath would be faster, and hed tell me to slow it down. that seems to be a recurring theme in my life these days lol remember, my trainer is teaching me to take larger strides but move my legs slower- in order to run FASTER. he wants me to practice slowing my breath down as well. since that massage was free and so amazing i decided to book another one for the day after my race. i am sure after spending 16 hours driving in a car, and running 13.1 miles in a 24hour period, my body is going to be BEAT. i know i will not be able to make a habit of this because i am on a "no spending spree", but i do think it is worth the expense to recover properly. as much as i want to save money, im not going to do it at the expense of getting an injury, so i think this is a good investment and a good way to get my body correctly lined up before i start p90x3 so i do not injure myself.
after my massage i went to nuerofeedback and got my brain right. then i came home and took my first nap in weeks. i have been WAY too busy and today was the "ME TIME" i had been absolutely needing.
tonight i went to hollywood beach for a run on the broadwalk. i ran from start to finish and then back to the start, just over 7 miles. i used to think i was bad ass when i skated or biked this path, ive never run it start to finish before! today i did, and it was amazing. a cool december evening (ok, it was still over 70 degrees but thats cool for us down here! lol) it was about 45 minutes before sunset so there were still people playing volleyball and messing around in the sand. there were people eating and people running and biking and skating. there were christmas lights along the whole route. it was awesome. but more awesomely, it was the EASIEST 7 miles of my life!!! i paid major attention to slowing down my breath, rather than panting. i paid major attention to taking larger strides and less steps. i paid major attention to keeping my hips forward and back straight. i visualized my chest (the most boyant part of your body) being filled with air and lifting me so i was gliding over the ground, and occasionally pushing off of it. between the new knowledge ive recently gained, my mind being on top of its game, my time with my trainer, and my amazing therapy this morning, when i got to the end, i felt like i could kept going (which is good because a half marathon is almost double the distance! lol) i had no pain in my knee or hip or back. i caught my breath in less than a minute after stopping. today i REALLY felt like an athlete. i am SO ready for this half marathon!
i have been experimenting with something here and there that i stole the idea from some Dani Johnson personal development i did. Dani suggests smiling at EVERYONE. especially in places where people are miserable and no ones smiling, like airports. a smile is contagious. it releases tension and makes people feel important to be noticed. it is a good skill for becoming a better business person, but also just for becoming more of a people person. when i tried this on my jogs last time i was in massachusetts it was amazing. 99% of the people i ran past smiled, waved, or said hello back. when i did it today here in Hollywood, it was COMPLETELY different. of the people i smiled at, i would say about 25% would not even make eye contact with me. another 50% made eye contact and just stared at me blank faced. idk if theyre thinking "do i know her?" and they are just really confused at why a stranger would smile at them, or if theyre just too rude to fucking smile, but it was really sad. the last 25% actually made eye contact back and smiled or said hello. even with only a 25% success rate of getting a smile back, it was still totally worth it! because of this ONE guy. there i am, running along, on top of the world, and two guys rode past me on their bikes. as with everyone else who passed me, i made eye contact and flashed a HUGE smile, as if these were my friends i was there to meet up with. to my absolute surprise, they both smiled back and one dude yelled (i could hear him over my Krewella Pandora blasting on my headphones) " I LOVE YOU!" and kept riding. i kept running with a damn smile from ear to ear. someone gets me. someone felt the love i was trying to spread all over that damn beach. havent you ever had someone smile at you and you just think "aw, that was nice!" it definitely happens to me sometimes. i think thats all that happened to him. he just recognized that i acknowledged his existence and it made him feel special. how awesome. thats what this is all about people! spreading love, spreading joy, and making the world a damn better place! even if only 25% of the population in your city care to be smiled at.
so i wanted to share this weds but got sidetracked. so, i was at the gym running my ass off and the weight loss gods sent me an angel. as you know, ive been having all kinds of insecurities and body issues lately. so there i am, running, sweating, and this older man comes up to my treadmill and starts talking. annoyed as fuck, i take off my headphones. he says to me " i just want to tell you that you look amazing. i normally wouldnt interrupt anyones workout, but the compliment is deserved and I had to tell you." i said thank you! he smiled, and walked out the door. the conversation was so brief that i will obviously never truly know, but i am assuming he could tell i lost a ton of weight. i was running in a tank top, so my arm sag was moving as my arms moved. he was super fit. i think to think a super fit individual who noticed ive been on the treadmill for over an hour would recognize that the sag on my arms is from major weight loss, not from lack of effort. it made my heart so happy. when people come up to me with "WOW HOW MUCH WEIGHT HAVE YOU LOST?!!" it makes me feel like i look like a freak show. but this guys approach made me feel like i looked good. so, thank you random white haired man at Youfit :)
PS- if u decide to get rubbed by Michael let him know I referred u so I can get a referral discount :) thanks