Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In with the good air...

In with the good air...out with the bad.

The thing that I find rather funny about running is how much consentration it takes for me. There is often a checklist of things I need to remember for my run to feel successful.

  • Blue compression socks
  • Tying my left shoe differently than my right
  • Slight lean forward from the ankles
  • General upright posture
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed
  • Eyes forward
  • Exhale on your left foot.
That last one might sound a little odd but it's the key to happiness in my run. When I run, if I exhale constantly when my right foot is hitting pavement I will always get a side stich. It is my least favorite thing that can occur. Normally I have to stop, take a moment, press into my diaphram and stretch out the side - then I have to be consious of my speed.

Besides remembering to stretch, remembering to breathe on a certain rhythm is a difficult transition for me. In general most of my life I have been told to focus in on my breathing. I've tried meditation, tried Tai Chi, tried to focus while singing. They say stress can slowly melt away if you breathe easier and relax. For years those things were a mystery to me.

The other evening I could not get to sleep. I'd like to say it was just the change in daylight savings time, or the large brownie I ate, or the fact that my mind was completely somewhere else. I was anxious and I couldn't get to sleep. At about 1am I finally broke down and put on Rod Stryker's Relax Into Greatness. (My aunt, who teaches yoga had sent me a copy of the CD right after my accident.) I took a couple Formula 303's, started the CD and got myself into a state of relaxation.

The begining of the long session (50 minutes compared to the short session of 30 minutes) gets you to focus on diaphram breathing. Placing your hand on your diaphram and being consious of the sound and movement that occurs. As your breathing becomes more relaxed the sound lessens and the movement is natural. You walk through each muscle group, noticing it but not consentrating on it, and then loop back through them in reverse order. You also think of a mantra to say, something positive that you want to reinforce. I repeated "you are beautiful" - it's intersting to me because it stuck, I swelled with happiness and felt it all come in with each breath.

I know it sounds corney. I know it. Yet, I finally fell alseep. I felt relaxed, content and happy.

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