Happy Valentines Day! Or more importantly, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Galentines Day yesterday! I taught a ‘secret theme’ spin class on Monday, in which I had my participants guess what the theme was. Of course, it was LOVE! I had a full playlist with songs that had ‘love’ in the title. Today, I brought pink and red Lindt chocolates to work for my colleagues after they rejected my idea of making paper envelopes for our cubicles so we could write each other Valentines Day cards like we did in elementary school. I’m really celebrating this Valentines Day hard… as a single woman?
After challenging myself in January to get up early at least 3 days each week to hit the gym before work, I have successfully begun to form this habit beyond the January challenge. I think my love of an empty gym and lots of room to strength train has won my heart over my love of sleeping past 4:40am. I have found that Mondays are the worst for me waking up early and it is usually the day that I turn my alarm off and sleep until 6. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I am up and at the gym by 5:00 am, and then Friday I get another sleep-in until 6 with my weekly rest day. I am still really happy with the little strength sessions I can get in during my morning workout and then I typically get my run or cardio done in the evening (I run early if I’m boxing at night). With this great strength routine comes an even better workout playlist.
Doesn’t great music just MAKE the workout? Here are some of my latest favourites… aka the songs that have literally been on repeat for my workouts in the last month.
Pray for Me – The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar
Peanut Butter Jelly – Galantis
The Champion (ft. Ludacris) – Carrie Underwood
Love Stuck – Mother Mother
River (ft. Ed Sheeran) – Eminem
Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato
Feels Great – Cheat Codes
Sober (ft. Charlie Puth) – G-Eazy
You have no idea how fired up that Carrie Underwood song gets me. I did a leg day yesterday and I absolutely SMASHED it, and it was no coincidence that I had this song playing over and over again. You can’t bail on your sets of goblet squats when you have this blasting in your ears! These are some of my latest favourite tracks, but I’ve also been listening to some podcasts when I do my easy runs or while walking to work. A couple of specific episodes that I’ve found really helpful lately are around running injuries.
The first one is the British Journal of Sports Medicine podcast that I talked about HERE, and the second is the latest Ginger Runner Live episode with running coach David Roache.
I absolutely love David’s (and his wife Megan’s, who is a soon-to-be physician) approach to running, to health, and to coaching. To be fair, I don’t really interact with many running coaches, so I don’t have many reference points, but I think David’s holistic view of health and the contribution running can make to your physical and mental health – and vice versa – is so great. This podcast episode really highlighted the his ability as a coach to see beyond the miles and the pace and to understand how your whole life contributes to your health, both good and bad, and how that needs to be taken into account while training and while injured or recovering.
I have a friend who is injured right now and he is so so so determined to get back to running as soon as possible. I get it. I always am too, with any minor twinge or serious injury I sustain. One key piece of information that I think could be so easily brushed over in David’s podcast interview was his notion that you have to know your body. Know it well. Know how it responds to training, to stress, to sleep, to nutrition, to recovery.
Seeing my friend go through his battle of injury and now recovery, it is super interesting to observe someone who says things I have said while injured and is doing things I have done. I think as runners we so easily want numbers and answers. We want schedules and comparisons so we know what we’re up against. We go to various health care professionals, seek second, third, and fourth opinions. We abuse Dr. Google, raid our local running store of foam rollers and muscle creams and resistance bands. If you’re picturing someone literally running around from store to store, clinic to clinic, hurriedly trying to find answers and solutions – that’s what I’m picturing too. That whole process, while beneficial and necessary to an extent, takes away from us being able to know ourselves. If we’re seeking opinions from external sources, how can we focus on trusting the internal opinion? The little voice in your mind that timidly says, ‘this doesn’t feel right’ or begins to say, ‘let’s slow it down for a sec.’ That voice can be so easily overshadowed by that one article you read on WebMD, that we get really used to ignoring it. One aspect of any injury recovery I have, now and in the future, is to stop and think, ‘what does my body need right now?’ That is followed by listening to yourself. Allowing that tiny quiet voice to have an opinion.
So, in sum, that episode of GRL is really good. Have a listen. 🙂 The second best piece of advice is to talk about what you’re going through. It’s okay to not be okay and 102% of runners will understand what you’re feeling. Runners are great friends and an even better addiction support group.