Happy Friday to you!
I’m definitely excited to reach the end of the week, however I’m also horrified that come tomorrow Christmas Eve is ONE WEEK away. I’ll be flying with BF to Colorado at 7 am on Christmas Eve morning, where we’ll spend the next 10 or so days hanging in our hometown. I’m really excited, it just seemed to creep up so quickly!
Alright, so obviously Friday Favorites will be presented shortly, however I need to take a brief minute to explain a bit about the conflicting posts that I had this week. On Tuesday I wrote all about being a morning runner; as you might remember I went on and on about the advantages of doing your workout in the morning, and from my high and mighty thrown I advocated how everyone should push their inclination to hit the snooze button aside and strap on some running shoes.
Something like that, right?
So then yesterday[during a particularly foul mood, could you tell?]I admitted that earlier that day I had neglected my plan for a usual Thursday morning run and went back to sleep instead. Directing contradicting my message about being all go-getter-ish.
Nice Robyn, negate your OWN advice on your own blog. Talk the talk and then immediately not walk[run] the walk?
However, that’s not exactly what happened, and let me explain—because I think explaining this conflict of principles will offer some insight into my own development as a runner.
I’ve advocated on this blog the importance of rest, both for runners and for regular exercisers in general. Rest offers muscle recovery, mental reprieve, and an overall rejuvenation of our motivation. However, I admittedly have a difficult time following this advice, and it finally caught up with me yesterday morning when I ignored my alarm.
Although I’ve become much better at making sure I don’t overdo it in terms of running, I still enjoy doing something active nearly every day. Because I include a lot of variety, I often don’t realize that I haven’t taken a day off in a while. What happens, then, is because I don’t really recognize the fact that I’m burning out, I start to get grumpy about my workouts and less inclined to enjoy them. Yesterday morning, it finally hit me that the easier choice (sleeping in) was actually the better choice for me. And in lots of ways, it actually wasn’t the easier choice. This might sound somewhat elitist or snarky, however it’s actually more difficult for me to choose to take a break than it is to get to the gym or get out for a run.
Frankly, I love the way I feel both physically and mentally when I exercise—and so I see nothing wrong with trying to feel that way all the time. I treat my workouts, both before, during, and after, as an athlete would, meaning I know my limits, I’m fueling and refueling properly, and I’m staying safe. However, part of being a smart athlete is knowing when your body is saying, “Time out here tiger.”
So, in a nutshell, that’s why I completely contradicted my morning running post yesterday. I know I have the capacity the get myself up and run, but reminding myself that I also have the smarts and the control to know when I need a break is equally as important to both this sport and my own mental health.
I was very grateful for the day off yesterday, and today I felt rested and ready to gear up once again.
Running in the morning is great, but so is knowing when rest is more important than a daily workout.
Enough heavy stuff…let’s get to Friday Faves!!
I want to give a quick shout out to my coworker Leanne, who has started doing Friday Favorites on her blog as well. It’s spreading!
Also, this week on Glee, they sang “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music, and yes my head was exploding from the overload of my own favorite things all coexisting in one united spectacle. It was awesome.
1) Foam Rollers
If you are familiar with this innocent looking tube of foam, you know one thing: This shit HURTS. Seriously, I have to hide my face whenever I use these at my gym, or else people will be all, “Why does that girl look like she’s constipated and about to cry at the same time?”
Not a pretty visual, huh? Yea, it’s not.
So why, you may ask, is this little devil on my favorite list? Well, despite how excruciating it may be, foam rollers actually do wonders for runners. If you can endure it, rolling out your legs after a run does an incredible job of loosening the muscles that get super tight when you’re running. Namely, your IT bands, pirifomis muscles, hamstrings, and hips in general. I find that if I spend just 5 minutes rolling my legs on one of these after a long run, I recover much quicker and I can prevent injuries from developing.
If you’re a distance runner and don’t already use one of these, get on it. The prevention in and of itself will be worth it.
Let it be known: I. Love. Fro-Yo.
Specifically, the newest fad of pay-by-weight fro-yo joints where there are several flavors available and endless amounts of toppings to choose from. The best part is that you get to make your OWN, therefore the opportunities for combinations (and quantity) are endless.
Last night, BF was in the mood for sweets(99% of the time it’s the other way around), and so when he mentioned fro-yo, I said, “I actually I love you a little more right now.”
No, I didn’t say that—but I might have thought it.
3) Nicki Minaj
I know she’s uber popular and overplayed right now, but I really cannot get enough of this chick.
I think she’s mega talented and unique, and her songs have me constantly dancing in my seat. In public. Just try her out if you haven’t yet, and not just Super Bass or Fly—but some of her lesser known stuff.
And yes, Mom, I know it’s explicit content.
Yoga is a new found love of mine, and although it took me a while to actually learn to love it, I simply cannot get enough of it.
[When people say, "It took me a while to learn to love/like something," it actually means, "I really effing hated/resented it for a long time."]
There are so many reasons why I love yoga, both mentally and physcially, however I feel that the biggest reason is the sense of presence I get from it. Yoga forces us, whether consciously or not, to focus our attention on the present moment. I think it has a large part to do with the breathing, combined with the need to focus on each isolated movement.
No matter how stressed or distracted I may be, I never leaving a yoga class without feeling at least a little bit better and calmer. Yoga offers me an hour of stillness, which I think so many of us shy away from in our fast-pace world. We never long for the opportunity to be present because so few parts of our day allow us to really experience it. However, I truly believe that if we can connect with the present—independent of whatever else is going on in our busy lives—if even just once a day, we will can reacquaint ourselves with the beautiful things in life we so often take for granted.
yoga + running legs = ohhhh yaaaa
If you’re a runner, yoga feels fan-flipping-tastic, and it relieves our muscles of the impact they take on during running.
5) Peppermint Bark
I always see peppermint bark around grocery stores during the holidays, and instead of shelling out to buy a small bag of it, I decided to make my own instead. I still shelled out a bit, but after making two batches of this seasonal treat—it was worth it.
This stuff has now become my drug of choice for December 2011. Not that I change metaphorical drugs every month, but you get the point.
There you have it, 5 more Friday Favorites! I hope everyone has a great weekend. BF and I will be racing on Sunday, so I’ll write a recap to post for Monday!
Now…tell me a few of your favorite things!