Green Monsters & Practicing

So, today was the first day of practicing since falling last Tuesday. I was very nervous to say the least. I kept going back in my mind and trying to think did I feel something pop? Maybe it really did break and maybe that’s why it bothers me from time to time. So when I picked up my violin this morning I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I figured it would be a little difficult since I’ve been having trouble just stretching my hand out, and it was a little tricky to start with, but then things started to warm up. I didn’t do anything really hard, just some scales, shifting exercises, and the easier audition excerpts (like Magic Flute, the Marriage of Figaro, and Turnadaut are easy). I can’t go as fast as a need too, but I can play, and they sound better than I thought they would.

As a reward I thought I would try a smoothie I’ve been reading about in a couple of the blogs I like to look at (Eat, Live, Run, Oh She Glows, and Green Monster Movement). It’s called the Green Monster. How’s that for a name?! If that doesn’t get you here are the ingredients: milk, ice, banana, ground flax seed, and spinach. Yeah, that’s right spinach. I wasn’t sure what I thought when I first read that too. How could a spinach smoothie taste good (it would also be where the name green monster comes from the green color of spinach). I have to say it was pretty yummy. I just made the basic recipe. I’m not sure if I put enough spinach and I just eyeballed the rest of the ingredients, but it made a really good snack along with 1/2 of a peanut butter and honey sandwich while watching “The Spirit of the Marathon”! (totally made me exited for Nike in October) It’s definitely something I’ll try again! Maybe I’ll try some of the other recipes on the Green Monster website…

Why they Run

Saturday was amazing! I got up at 5:15 am and got ready to head to the river. See I had this insane idea of going for a 6 mile run before reporting for water stop duty at 7:00 am. Because I fell earlier in the week I was behind in my runs, but I was okay with that. I really wanted to go on the 10 mile run Saturday, but really that’s not what it was about for me. For me it was about making sure my body was okay. Really it’s my left hand that is in bad shape. Not a good thing for a violinist getting ready for an audition, but what can you do other than make sure everything is okay and give things time to heal. That’s why I was only doing a 6 mile run.

I was nervous when I left the parking lot. It was extremely dark with very few people out. The river is heavily wooded, and on this particular morning covered in mist. I felt like I was running through the mist of avalon. But I just but all of the worrisome thoughts of a dark, wooded park behind me and just ran. Before I knew it I was at the other end of the park and then at the turn around to head back up to the start. A friend of mine was planning to run 4 miles that morning too, so I had someone to run back to the start with. It turned out to be great because I probably would have wimped out and allowed myself to walk up the lone hill I had to run up. Instead I stayed steady and ran with Sally up the hill doing 6.2 miles in about 59 minutes the same as my last 10k race.
Instead of manning a water stop I got to be the course sweeper making sure everyone on the team ended up in the right place, that the water stops had what they needed, and help anyone who had problems. A couple of my mentees were nervous about the 10 mile run, which is very understandable. The sudden change of single digit miles to double digit miles in daunting. For me the nervousness sets in for the higher miles (think 18-20 miles), so I can understand what they’re feeling. I watched them from my car as I drove around, and cheered them on. If I could have I would have gotten out of my car and run with them and cheering them on. I did do plenty of cheering from my car. Some struggled more than others, and that’s when the doubt sets in, and that’s when the coaches and mentors become so important. We made sure that everyone made it in, and that there was plenty of cheering for everyone. It’s a huge accomplishment. It’s humbling to watch, and I’m so proud of all of them. Training for a marathon, especially your first, is not easy. I remember. I was there last year, and just because this is my third doesn’t mean that it isn’t mentally and physically exhausting. However, I’m so excited about this marathon!! Watching the Tour de France has also been incredibly inspiring for me (I’ve been cross training on the stationary bike a lot this week while watching). We got our recommitment papers and Nike marathon applications this weekend!! I’ve already started filling it all out. I’m so excited!!!! There is something very special about this particular race and the training so far. I don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe it’s all of the new friends I have from this team (I’ve meet some amazing people!!!), or the fact that I’ve waited over 2 years to run this race, or the fact that my runs have been going so well. Or maybe it’s all of those things and more.
A few Team in Training friends have passed this link around and I wanted to share it. It shows the progress of 5 team participants. I think it shows better than what I can describe what it means to be a part of Team in Training and fighting against cancer.

The Importance of Food

Food is important!! It was the first thing that I thought about on the 1.5 mile walk back to the house. I hadn’t eaten anything before leaving for my run, which was suppose to be a 6 mile run. Yes, it was suppose to be a 6 mile run, but it wasn’t. Instead it was 1.5 mile run with an ungraceful fall resulting in a banged up and bleeding left hand. I think it’s safe to say that the good run streak is over. What an awful time for it to happen too. My potential audition with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra is September 1st (my last audition was a bomb after forgetting to eat enough, see the pattern?), and now I’m waiting for everything to heal enough to start practicing again. It just means I have to work harder once I can play again. The good thing is that my legs are in great shape! Fingers are crossed that things heal quickly!!