Sunday, June 9, 2013

Therapeutic Massage Counsel

Rachel, Darren, James, Clayton and I out on our long run along the Grand River trails. Coach Rick leading on the bike. Great tempo going on here!

Great book to read with the kids as we continue to mourn Andy's loss.

Placing some Saucony and Eload orders with my happy girl.

Ready to get this run going!

Cheers, Darren! Emend it is, two years in a row!

On long run days, particularly in the warmer weather, I often don't get hungry until late afternoon. And because we usually eat later on the weekend, I make myself a smoothie to get by. Here's one with kale, frozen berries, milk, pumpkin seed butter, protein powder, flax/chia/hemp, and Liberte Kefir and plain Greek yogurt.

Recently in an interview I was asked if anything is different in my training program than last year, given my faster times. I believe that being 2 years post birth, coached by Rick for a full year, improving my diet, and increasing my mileage, intensity, and cross-training have certainly benefited my performance. But one of the most significant changes to my routine is my weekly physiotherapy and massage treatments. In the past I knew this was something I would need to do at this level and thankfully, two extremely generous people made it happen through sponsorship.
Sherri (and her physio husband, Rob who initially diagnosed the problem) at Essential Physiotherapy & Wellness is the reason I was able to return to running. Her treatment of my pregnancy-related unbalanced pelvis  was key. I am so grateful for her!
Additionally, my weekly appointments with my Registered Massage Therapist, Cynthia at Therapeutic Massage Counsel, have also been significant in keeping me in fine order. Cynthia and I met for 10 consecutive weeks for Structural Integration , which I believe has greatly improved my posture and created a much more efficient gait. At each 1 hour appointment, Cynthia would work on one area the entire time. She alternated between upper and lower body parts each week. Initially I didn't know how she could spend her entire time on one area but she did. And she did so well! Before I got on the table, she would watch me walk, from the front and back. She'd work on me for about 10 minutes then get me walking again. This would continue for the entire duration. Many times I saw her a few hours after my long run so was a little sleepy, getting off the table. At the end of each appointment, I could honestly feel a difference. It wasn't significant in that I wasn't going in with some sort of pain that she eliminated but it was more of a feeling of being smooth, relaxed and efficient, particularly in the shoulders. Now that the 10 weeks is over, Cynthia will continue to watch me walk in her weekly assessment, maintain the work she did through the structural integration, and focus on the little aches and pains that are now starting to arise with the greater training. She has really taken a preventative approach, which is so critical. Too many times we make those panicked appointments before races, to work out the issues that could have been avoided. The best part was that, although much different, physio and massage treatments were very complimentary with the consistent on-going assessments and advice. There's nothing worse than one health-care provider telling you one thing, only to have the other one contradicting the first. This has never happened.
It's 9:45 pm and I'll be in bed soon. I ran 170 km this week and just loved every bit of it. I feel so refreshed and energized yet we continue to play it safe. It's tempting to take a jump in the mileage because I feel so great but we are going to stick with another 170 km, high quality week. Saturday's tempo in the middle of my long run with the group was great. We'll have more of those. And tomorrow I have a longer, speedy tempo on the treadmill that I've been looking forward to since finishing my run this morning! Another race in two weeks and still lots of work to do before Aug 10th! Steady.