Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mindful Strides Recap

Okay, I apologize and admit that I am later than originally planned with this post. You see, I woke up on Monday feeling like absolute crap. I hit the Neo-Citran around mid day (this usually knocks me out) hoping to feel better as I was supposed to work at 3pm. I waited to feel better....... it didn't happen. Next thing I knew it was 2pm and too late to call into work. I showed up physically, but I was mentally just out of it. My head cold that I had felt barely all weekend long had hit me full force today. Stuffed up sinuses, yet my nose was running. I was sneezing non stop. I really should have called into work, but I am stubborn as can be about missing shifts. Plus, I honestly did think it would be like the weekend where I would wake up feeling like crap and then feel better later in the day. I was wrong.

So I went to work and did what I was required, staying as much away from my residents and fellow co-workers as I could. Thank goodness I work in Assisted Living so I don't have to be in the face of my residents constantly and was able to keep my distance for the most part. Yes I know, in health care I really shouldn't go to work sick. Next time I will call in sick, I promise!

Tuesday was better, not 100% but MUCH better than Monday so I went to work. Everyone said how much brighter I looked compared to the day before where my eyes were glazed and I sounded very masculine with my stuffed sinuses. I finally feel better today (haven't blown my nose nearly as much) so I decided to write my blog. Instead, I became side tracked when blogger told me there were new design templates. In choosing a new template my former header no longer fit, so I updated it with a few new photos and that brings me to now!

This past weekend, I attended the Mindful Strides Workshop with Marilyn Arsenault and Katherine Moore. I have known Marilyn for a few years now and had talked to Katherine online, but hadn't met in person until Saturday. Nice to finally meet you Katherine!

These two ladies are outstanding runners, with Marilyn setting the Royal Victoria Half Marathon course record at 1:15:39 this past October, which is great considering she is a Master. 40's are the new 20's apparently as there are a lot of strong women in their 40's here on Vancouver Island. Definitely something to look up to. Marilyn is experienced in the pose running method and wanted to do the clinic to bring awareness to people's running form. Katherine on the other hand is an excellent marathoner who ran the Royal Victoria Marathon last October in 2:47:27 to place 2nd. Katherine's expertise is Yoga, which is something I had never tried prior to this past weekend.

Prior to meeting up at the workshop, I briefly stopped by Scott Simpson's Activa Sports Therapy to get an assessment on my abdominal/hip flexor pain that I have been having since December. It didn't sound too serious, with him figuring it out that it was likely my psoas that is too tight causing issues. I am looking forward to receiving some exercises from him.

I arrived at the workshop a tad late (just barely) and we went through introductions. It was a smaller group (6 of us for the first day and 4 of us the 2nd day) than I had anticipated and in fact I only recognized one person (Gwen), which was also now what I had expected. From there, Katherine gave me my first Yoga experience. I have a lot to work on. While I was able to get into most of the positions, I found that rather than concentrating on my breathing as I was supposed to, I was trying to pay attention as to which position and movement was next. Definitely a good experience though and something I would like to do again.

Yoga time with Katherine

Small Group on Day 1

Marilyn did a brief spiel before we headed off for lunch. It was at this time I realized that I no longer had my cell phone. Last I remembered I had put it on my trunk as Scott had me do a brief run so he could do video analysis. I did not remember picking it back up, which means I left it on my trunk and drove away. I was hoping it was in Scott's driveway or on the road nearby (luckily he lived on a side street). I borrowed Marilyn's phone (thanks Mar) to call Scott, but no answer. Darn, so I decided I would try my best to put it out of my mind for the rest of the clinic and then head back to Scott's to have a look later.


After lunch we worked on our running form. Marilyn had us do a warm up run in which she also watched how we ran. From there we went into drills that would help us improve our form. I will not go into these drills as I do not want to give away all the secrets to the workshop. If you want to know and live around Vancouver or Victoria, go to the Mindful Strides website and sign up for a date! The drills were very tiring as they were using a variety of muscles that I wasn't used to using. The drills added to the warm sun definitely made it for an exhausting day.

Drills with Marilyn

We ended up finishing up with some more Yoga before calling it a day. At that point, I called Scott again from a pay phone and then drove over to his place. He wasn't home so I searched his driveway and road nearby.... NADA. Just as I was about to leave, Scott came home and said he hadn't seen it but would keep an eye out for it.

So off I went on my 75 minute drive home with no phone. I got home and asked to borrow Jay's phone to call my phone, but he then informed me that my mom had called about it. Apparently a young kid named Riley had found my phone on his way to the bus stop and the bright little kid went through my contacts and called the one that said "mom." I have no home phone so nothing said "home." Such a relief!

I was in bed early that night as I felt sick, was tired and had a sun burn to top it all off. Up early the next day and another 75 minute drive to Victoria, first to stop at Riley's to pick up my phone. I gave him $20 to thank him. It appears he didn't like the Canucks Background on my phone, changing it to a blank one. lol. From there, off to the Oak Bay Track for Day 2 of the clinic.

It was a cloudy morning, so it was decided that Marilyn would concentrate on her portion first, so into the warm up and drills. I only completed half the warm up before I was stopped and Marilyn did some work on me while everyone finished their warm up. I guess she saw a few things she wanted to correct right away! The drills were a bit more advanced in day 2 and some of them were much more tiring on the muscles than the day before. We only had 4 the second day, well 5 counting Katherine who was doing the drills too, so we received a lot of personal attention. I learned a lot from Marilyn and have some drills and things to work on at home. Hopefully I can pick up these improvements quickly and easily so that I can use them to take me to the next level.

Day 2 drills Marilyn's 1-1 with Katherine

We took a lunch and then were under Marilyn's instruction for a little bit longer. The sun came out after lunch and my coach Matt even showed up. He had a hard training day the day before so it was fun watching him perform some of the Yoga moves later in the day! A few things I have to work on include my arm swing, NOT over-striding and leaning forward instead of sitting. Most of that I knew before going into the workshop; however, now I have the tools needed in order to hopefully improve these. Thank you Marilyn for all your expertise and suggestions.

More demonstration from Marilyn

For the last 1.5 hours we worked with Katherine, where she took us through a variety of Yoga positions. My god some of them were hard. What a workout we got! Some of the core one's nearly killed me, in fact I couldn't do a few of them as it started to hurt my lower abs/hip flexors. Not only did I learn some new Yoga moves, but I learned that my wrists are weak as can be as they were hurting like crazy at times. Apparently if I stick with it, they should become stronger though! I can hope!

Katherine is very talented with the Yoga and likely had fun watching some of us struggle to get into the positions lol. I know I would have laughed. I can see how doing Yoga regularly would benefit one's running though. Now the question is.... can I do it on my own without instruction! Ack! I have the written version of the poses we did, so I will give it my best try! I don't have many photos of the yoga section's as it is hard to take photos while trying to stay on pace with the poses (sorry Katherine).

Before we knew it, the workshop was over and after a few quick thank you's I was off on my way home, yet again. Many thanks to Marilyn and Katherine. You guys are troopers, especially for day 2 after you had both completed a long run prior to the workshop! Even though I was feeling sick, I had a great time!


Keith said...

i want marilyns shoes! is that the saucony kinvara? cool post. one day, when i'm an adult and do things like work more, i will afford to go to this. i'm sure it was brilliant.

Molly said...

Sounds like a really cool workshop! Glad you got your phone back :-)