Wednesday, July 4, 2012

50 Miles to a Massage

I decided a little while ago that I wanted to start nurturing myself.  This is not something that I am naturally accustomed to doing.  I love to nurture others and make people feel good about themselves, but this is not something I generally do for myself.  In order to maintain a life of balance, I decided that this is something I need to start doing.  But how?  And why?

The only way I have ever "rewarded" myself in the past is with food.  I don't crave food the same way I used to, so this reward wouldn't be as gratifying as something else.  Plus I didn't want to make food a priority in my life again.  Nurturing myself is a foreign concept, and I couldn't think of a single way to do it.  I sought advice from a friend who told me I should treat myself to a massage once in a while.  What a fantastic idea!  Especially since one of my best friends is an amazingly talented massage therapist!

Now I am open to the idea of nurturing myself, but not for nothing.  I have to work for it.  I decided I'd get a massage after running 50 miles.  I've been keeping track of every mile I have run, and I told my friend of my plans, and she was excited to work on me once I hit my 50th mile.  Once I run another 50 miles, I'll get another massage.

So my friend Nanna, the massage therapist, has worked at a few different spas.  Most of her experience is working in sports therapy.  So athletes would come in and she would work out their sore spots from their work outs or injuries.  So she worked on my whole body and made sure to concentrate especially on my "running" muscles.  It was amazing to me how many places on the body are effected by running.  She would work a spot on my back and I'd tell her that what she was doing was painful, and she would say that it was because it was a "running muscle."  The most painful spot she worked on was my butt!  The very top, the gluteus medius I believe it was.  She said I had been working it pretty hard just from running!  I was very surprised, and also very pleased to find out that my efforts are going somewhere.

The best part of the massage was that I asked her how my muscles felt.  I wanted a professional opinion.  Just how hard have I been working?  I know I've been working hard, but I guess I wanted validation.  She said I was really tight (which is why she was working on me, to loosen me up) and that I wasn't super athletic or anything, but that I was on the verge of "becoming ripped."  AAAAHHHHHH!!!  I was elated to hear this!!!  It's just too bad that muscles are underneath layers of fat.  Then she gave me tips on what to do based on what kind of look I want my body to have.

If I want to become slender, then I should just keep running. 

If I want to become slender and also have a more toned, defined look, then I need to add more weight training to my routine.  Small weights and high number of reps.

If I want the body builder look, then I would do more intensive weight training and less cardio.

I definitely want a toned, slender look.  I already do a bit of weight training, but I need to concentrate on it a bit more it sounds like.  I do a variety of things, but running has been my biggest priority since it has always been my biggest challenge.  I never would have dreamed that I could have made it to the point I'm at today.  In my next post I'll talk about the amazing butt workout that I do.

From the advice that Nanna gave me, I'm taking it that I'm kind of sitting on a fence right now.  I've worked really hard to get to this fence.  Just beyond the fence is being "ripped."  If I stop working, I'll slowly go back to what I was before.  If I keep going and do the right type of workouts, I'll get closer and closer to having the body I want.

Nanna made sure to prove her power of me by putting pressure on different points around my body that she knew would be painful.  Other than that, it was very relaxing and I slept great that night.  I can't wait to run another 50 miles.

Today I'm thankful for all the wonderful people in my life.  I just had a birthday, and so many people remembered me and made me feel so special.  :)

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