After Saturday's half-marathon, I decided to take one last day off before picking back up with my training. I think I wanted it mentally as much as physically. I have been feeling stressed instead of relaxed since my half-marathon and I have been trying to identify the sources of my stress. Additionally, my IT-band was a little tight last night. So I decided that I would ice and roll instead of running this morning and that while I was rolling around on the floor and watching the sun rise, I would try to organize the thoughts that have been occupying my mind lately. Here's a short list of categories/concerns that I sorted my thoughts into:
1. I am terrified of getting sick this winter.
I am not a hypochondriac and I try not to be a huge germaphobe, but I have recently become a bit panicky about getting sick this winter. I feel like I will not have time to take days off if I'm feeling exhausted and my snot is bright green and my head feels like it will explode. I really want my training to stay on track, which means that I want to sail through the winter months with nothing more than an occasional sniffle. Right now my main defenses include hydrating and handwashing and I'm contemplating adding a multivitamin.
When I am at work, I try to follow the rules of handwashing. I like to pretend that I am a doctor scrubbing in before surgery.
However, yesterday, I realized that when I go to the kitchen to get my water out of the fridge, I touch the refrigerator door handle! I didn't even think about that before! I rushed back to my office, put my water bottle down on my desk and pumped some hand-sanitizer asap. Then I eyed my water bottle suspiciously. How clean is that? In the interest of moving on with my life, I decided that my water bottle and the things in my office are acceptably clean. However, when I go to refill my water bottle and put it back in the fridge, I will have to remember to use hand sanitizer again after touching the sink faucet and the fridge door.
Also, Matt is definitely getting a cold. He is still in denial and insists that it feels more like allergies, but it sounds an awful lot like a cold to me. I asked him last night if I should sleep on the pull-out couch in the study, and he rolled his eyes at me and said "you can't catch allergies. Go to sleep." I will continue to monitor the situation.
2. I am nervous about getting injured as I ramp up my training.
I have previously run two marathons and was not healthy for either of them. I ran both with a huge knee brace and probably shouldn't have run the second one at all. In both cases, I felt fine at the beginning of the training and started to have lots of knee pain once the milage started to add up.
There are a few factors that are working in my favor this time. First, I know that one of my biggest weaknesses is my IT-band and I know how to treat it proactively, preventatively and aggressively. (For those lucky individuals unaware of IT-band syndrome, here is a link to a general description of the issue.) I know that my IT-bands are the things most likely to cause me trouble, and knowing my enemy is an important part of the battle. Second, I have built up a better base going into this marathon training than I did for either of the previous marathons. The milage jump will not be nearly as drastic because I have already been doing decent milage to train for the half marathons that I have run this year. Still, knowing that these differences are in my favor, I am nervous.
I feel like I am super-sensitive about my IT-bands and worry about how they feel all the time. I have a feeling that my foam roller and I are going to be spending lots of time together over the coming months. My current foam roller has been through a lot. I got it during the summer of 2008 when I was having knee pain and didn't know what it was or what to do. I saw an exercise physiologist who was a friend of a friend and agreed to see me for one free session. He recognized my IT-band as the culprit and gave me the foam roller then, but is definitely time to replace it. It's shaped more like a dog bone now than a cylinder, but I have continued to convince myself that it is still functional, so I haven't felt the need to switch it out. My recent realization that I am going to be rolling my IT-band as often as 4 times a day has made me look at my foam roller a little differently. I think the time has finally come. I read some reviews online and thought about making my own with pvc pipe and a yoga mat, but when Matt asked me yesterday what I wanted for my birthday next week I immediately thought "a new roller!" I gave him the link for "the Grid" which got some good reviews.
3. I am worried about my fundraising.
I know that I need to start sending out notes to people in the mail and that I need to put something up in the kitchen at work if I want to get more donations. But, just like I was nervous about releasing the website, I am nervous about taking this next step too. I am nervous that people won't respond or donate, but I know that no one can respond if there's nothing for them to respond to! I need to suck it up and get going on this. I need to formulate a plan and then start acting. I think taking action will help alleviate some of my worry about it.
4. I am concerned that I am not eating healthily enough.
I try to be good and eat what I am supposed to eat, but lately I have been feeling like I should be doing a lot better. For example, after the half-marathon, Matt and I decided to treat ourselves by ordering crappy Chinese take-out for dinner. We ended up ordering a ton of it, so I ended up eating egg rolls and crab rangoons and General Tso's chicken for like three days. I have also been putting away the left-over Halloween candy like it's my job. I realized last night, as I finally finished off the General Tso's chicken and pork fried rice, that I haven't had salad in like two weeks. That's obviously not good. I need to get back on track with making healthy eating decisions. And I want to get into the routine of making good decisions before the holiday season gets underway and tempts me incessantly with all of its glorious treats and goodies. :)
So, basically, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed for the past few days. I think that having the IMM to work toward was distracting me a little from all of these worries, but now that it's out of the way, my real goal, and all of the details that come along with it, is staring me straight in the face. I have a lot to do. First on the list is making some plans so that I feel like my concerns are manageable and that my goals are achievable.