I got bitten by a dog while on a run in Phoenix on spring break. I was engrossed in the craziness that is the STown podcast and came up on the dog and its owner on a sidewalk. I didn't say "on your left" or give them any indication I was behind them. Not super smart on my part but it was also the most aggressive dog I've ever encountered.
It mostly bit my palm, and when I looked down immedately after the bite, I didn't see any broken skin. I was quickly in tears and my cheeks were red. I was so taken aback that I wasn't able to think clearly. All I wanted to do was get away from the snarling dog. The owner asked me if I was okay a few times. I mumbled, "I'm fine," and just got away from there. Probably not the bravest thing ever.
When I got further away I pulled back my long sleeve and realized the bite broke my skin. I debated about a rabies shot but just didn't. (And no, I didn't ask the owner if it was vaccinated.)
I wish that were the worst thing I could say about my running right now but that hamstring/glute pull/strain in mid-October while I was trying to dial up my speed a bit for the Philly Half Marathon has not healed yet.
I had been super diligent (read: 30 minutes a day, 6-7 days a week) about my PT for six weeks straight (truly!) and my pain was minimal. I was on vacation and I felt good, so I tried to run. Just 20 easy, easy minutes.
The run itself—at least as far as my leg goes—wasn't that bad but the aftermath? Let's just say the dog bite was less concerning.
Upon returning home to Denver, I knew I had to dig into the work I'd needed for months. The kind of work that is harder for me than one-legged glute bridges.
The work I need is sitting still and reflecting. To make it accessible, I do 3 x 10 minutes -- and yes, it's a workout! I start with 10 minutes of Headspace, a totally accessible and amazing meditation app; then I move onto 10 minutes of It's Easier Than You Think by Sylvia Boorstein, a Buddhist and meditation teacher, who taught at a retreat I attended last November; then I take 10 minutes to write down notes about what I read and a few things for which I am grateful.
I've only done this for eight days (nine, if you're counting today, Tuesday), but I can feel a difference, mostly at the end of my day. When my leg is aching as I navigate rush-hour band carpool and wonder if we have frozen tortellini I can boil in <10 minutes for my kids who are sooooo hungry but refuse the apple I offer them, I feel a touch quieter. Not as snappy, not as woe-is-me. It's noticeable, and it's enough to keep me coming back for more 3 x 10 minute sesions.
One of Sylvia's phrases that continually sticks in my head through my day (and through the cluster that is my meditation practice) is managing gracefully. I love its sophistication, its implication that life isn't always awesome, but it can be handled with ease. To manage gracefully: my worthy, daily goal. (Along with planks, TVA marches, and nerve glides.)
Just because I'm not running doesn't mean I'm not actively participating in other aspects of our beloved sport.
I was recently a guest on Jay Johnson's Run Faster Podcast, and we chatted about everything from the importance of clamshells (and how dispiriting it can be to do them while you see the dust bunnies under your couch) to single parenting—Jay is a divorced father of two kids— and fitting it in. Worth a listen on an upcoming run.
And I am a featured guest at the Runner's World Women's Getaway in Beaver Creek, CO on May 18-21. The line-up is spectacular: it includes world-class marathoner Shalane Flanagan, and whole-foods chef Elyse Kopecky (Run Fast! Eat Slow! Can't wait to hear all they have to say!), as well as RW editors Tish Hamilton, Meghan Grace, and Erin Strout. I promise you, the trails in Beaver Creek are ah-mah-zing, and the whole getaway will follow suit. I may not be ready to run by then but I can hike like a mother. I can laugh and chat. I can talk running for hours. I can demonstrate PT moves like a pro. And I can manage gracefully.
I'd love a strong #BAMR crowd there so check it out.