Our training plan is similar to what we did for the last race:
Monday - legs
Tuesday - rest/cross-train
Wednesday - short run am, arms/core workout pm
Thursday - rest
Friday - intervals/hills/sprints run
Saturday - rest/cross training
Sunday - long run
Except for my "rest" days generally include a 5-7 shift on my feet, which is not incredibly conducive to resting legs, but I work with what I can. My main goal, as always, is to get stronger and smarter to reduce risk of injury. I started training off with a few ankle rolls on a hike, which set off some inflammation in my inner leg (same place as always, posterior tibialis muscle), but nothing a little ice and KT can't handle.
I recently had an eye-opening massage (translate: incredibly painful) that reminded me that I am covered head to toe (literally) with sharp, angry knots. My body likes to hold on to an amazing amount of tension. Even when I don't feel all that stressed, my body interprets it completely differently. Seeing as how my life is not about to get any less stressful, I'm constantly looking at ways to help ease the pain. I'm putting together a 30 minute session for myself that I can do each morning when I wake up. It's going to be a combination of relaxing, calming, yoga stretches with foam rolling release and core strengthening. Lately, my daily schedule differs day by day, so it's been hard to get a morning routine on the books. But once I start school on Monday I will be back into a set weekly schedule that isn't going to change until at least December, so I'm hoping this will help.
I bought a foam roller awhile ago, and used it during training last season, but for some reason it has sat in the corner since January. It's not like any of the knots just disappeared after PF Changs. Foam rolling is a form of core strengthener, improves blood circulation, helps lengthen muscles so they are less prone to imbalances that cause injury, and releases muscle tightness and trigger points through myofascial release. Added bonus: since I'm not going to be able to afford a massage for awhile, this should hopefully help reduce some of the full-body snowball effect I've been experiencing each time a stressor gets added to my life.
I've tried doing daily yoga, starting with a 30 day 15 minute video challenge but I kept getting behind in the sequence and then end up needing to complete 3-4 challenges at a time. This is sad because I actually enjoyed the videos. I just had a hard time mentally committing to it. I am going to start with a simple yoga sequence and do the same one each day until I can make it routine. Then I can use one that will help open everything up first thing in the morning, help with my running, and help give me enjoy the added benefits of yoga. Then, one day I can move back to more challenging sequences.
Overall, I'm realizing two things:
1. I am not going to get the results I want without really putting that added effort into it. Now that I've gotten used to the mileage and the expectations on my body, it's time to take it to the next level. It's just going to require a little more focus than I have put in in the past.
2. If I don't start taking care of myself more (i.e. taking time for myself each day, de-stressing, etc.), I am going to run myself into the ground. I'm totally worth it and need to make myself more of a priority.