Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Handle Me With Care

Today was yesterday redux.  I made healthy choices all day and then got munchie in the evening.  But such is life for me these days, I know when I'm ready to stop, I will.  And if I see the scale consistently going up and I'm not ready, I'll stop anyway.  I'll just go back to what's worked in the past - no junk food, or anything that resembles junk food, in the house.  If it's not here, I can't munch on it.

My cough flared up today but it wasn't bad enough to skip the gym.  I went after work and it was still nice enough to run outside.  I've been doing all of my gym runs on the treadmill lately.  Not sure why, in the past I would avoid the treadmill like the plague.  So I told myself I was overdue for an outside run and that, in fact, it's easier to do a leisurely, run-by-feel run outside than on a treadmill.  Outside my pace can change incrementally a million times based on how I feel, that's just not doable on a treadmill.  So I hit the road with a plan to run for 25 minutes.  I've been doing 3 miles but because of the cough situation I decided to run for time.

The run started out rough, I was coughing a bit and everything felt difficult.  I turned off my music so I could hear myself breathing and after 4 - 5 blocks I fell into a comfortable rhythm.  I started to remember some of the stuff I've been reading in Born to Run about form.  I focused on just gliding over the ground, no big steps, no bouncing, just a smooth, easy glide, almost like I'm drifting forward.  In the last few minutes of the run I had this odd sensation of wind being at my back, as if I was getting the slightest push from behind.  It was odd in that I couldn't explain it, but the feeling wasn't odd, it was wonderful.  I still remember it as I'm sitting here on the couch, just this little push forward.  I hope I can make it happen again.

After a cool-down walk I headed back into the gym for strength training, legs/shoulders/core.  I like to get jump squats out of the way first because they are such a challenge.  I hyped myself up with my music and then started leaping in the air.  I've been doing them for a while so nowadays I try and jump as high as I can.  Talk about a challenge.  My legs start burning, my heart's racing.  So for my third set I decided to do regular squats with 12 pound dumbbells - they felt so easy!  Too easy even, so I ended up doing a third set of jump squats just to be sure I wasn't slacking.  Wink.

Another from my beach shoot.
When I was done I switched to my Cooldown playlist and started stretching.  I can't tell you how much I get out of this part of my workout.  Years ago (as in, when I was in my 20's) I used to like taking classes (remember Jazzercise?) and I always loved the cooldown at the end, with the relaxing music and the stretching.  So I replicate that at the end of my own workouts and it's a tiny bit of heaven.

I get a bit lost in the music and revel in the feeling that everything I am is just what I should be, that I am perfectly good, perfectly enough.  I breathe in all that's right in my world and breathe out all that I don't need.  I don't consciously think that but I know that's what I'm doing  Just being in the moment, letting my stresses go for a while, and savoring that post-workout satisfaction that comes from knowing I just spent some time taking care of myself - it's so good.  It's my thank you (and my you're welcome) to myself.

And don't underestimate the music.  I have a variety of soft, soothing songs that immediately take me away.  Even if I only have 3 minutes to stretch and cool down, I take it.  If you're not doing this at the end of your exercise I suggest you give it a try.  It's a soft bit of self care after the tough love that was my workout.  And speaking of self care...I'm off to bed.  Night one and all.


  1. Hi Michelle, could you please delete the comment above, I was accidentally logged into my husbands account and posted it from him. I'd rather have the comment from me so he doesn't get the reply, etc. Thanks also for sending out your playlist, I'm excited to see what you listen to when you are working out.

    1. Done. Do you get a notification when I reply to your comment? Cool. Which playlist do you want? I have three, running, high-cardio and cooldown. I can post all three if you like. And I'm working on adding some more recent songs, a lot of what I listen to is old.


If you don't want to login, use the Name/URL option (just type in your name...or any name for that matter). If you use the "Anonymous" option your comment won't get posted. - Michelle