New Beginnings

This is how I feel in spring. Just put a massive box of Kleenex in her hands.

This is how I feel in spring. Just put a massive box of Kleenex in her hands.

I love spring. Even a cold-ish, allergy filled, rainy spring like this one. Days are longer, sun is higher in the sky and every day something new pops up out of the ground. Had a CRAP week last week, but every morning I woke to daylight, birds chirping and things blooming all around. Even on tough day, it’s really hard not to feel hopeful when life is literally popping up all around you (and kicking the sh*t out of your sinuses while it does, BTW).

Like New Year’s, Spring (at least in the Northeast) is such a sign of new beginnings. It’s like a “new year” without anyone suggesting that you take stock of what you did during the last year and make resolutions for the coming one. Thank God. Even more reason to love it. A new beginning where your main focus is getting out and enjoying the world instead of reflecting on it. Yes, please!

Spring is a crazy busy time for us. Confirmations, graduations, sports schedules that require math exam type planning (If A needs to be at X field at 5 and B needs to be at Y field by 5:15, how likely is it that an SUV travelling at (somewhere in the vicinity of) the speed limit will make both drop offs, assuming no red lights?), end of schoolyear concerts, field days and assemblies. It’s a good thing that we have a winter of hibernation to gear up for the constant movement that is spring. What do people who live in warm weather climates do? Seriously – you warm weather people – WHAT THE HELL DO YOU DO? Do you just run ragged all year long??? I’m tired just thinking about it. I love Spring, but I can only take one per year. And only bookended by a cozy winter and a lazy summer, thank you.

In the vein of new beginnings, I tried a new class the other night, called the MELT method. It is NOT an exercise class. It is a “self-care” class that teaches you techniques to help relieve –and prevent- pain by manipulating fascia much like you would get in a massage session. You use squishy balls (for hands and feet) and a soft foam roller (for the rest of your body). I loved it. I have had a lot of back and shoulder pain lately and cannot seem to get rid of it even with rest days, stretching, etc. and an easy running schedule.

When I began the 1-hour class, I couldn’t lay on my back in the “assessment position” without discomfort in my lower back. By the time I left, I was completely free of aches and twinges. Amazing. I really felt like I do after a massage, possibly even better. Plus, the instructor was knowledgeable and funny- my favorite combo. The goal of the class is to teach you the method so you can use it at home. They say that 10 minutes a day is all you need to stay pain-free once you get the hang of it. I’ll take that!

Discovering MELT was perfect timing, as I want to re-align myself before starting to train for my next marathon. Oh the irony – after all my bitching and moaning about training for a fall marathon last summer, I finally got into the NYC marathon on my 4th? 5th? try. I threw my name in the lottery when it opened in December (perhaps still delusional and glowing from Colby’s and my Best Day Ever at the Baystate Marathon and conveniently forgetting that I hate summer training) and promptly forgot about it until I got the confirmation in my in-box that I was IN. After the shock wore off and the dread of intervals in August subsided,  I realized that I am really excited to get a chance to run NYC. And my husband is almost as excited about getting to experience another summer with me bitching about the heat and humidity and falling asleep at dinner, though he is hiding it nicely.

After NYC, I probably have a month or so before I will start training for Boston 2017, so it really, REALLY is time to rest, assess and get my body comfortable before absolutely beating the crap out it during back to back marathon training. Thank you, MELT Method. I think you will do just that.

If you want to learn more about MELT, here is the main website. https://www.meltmethod.com/

If are in the Fairfield County, CT area, my MELT instructor, Amanda Cizek, is fabulous and is also a trained masseuse. Her website is http://www.consistentfitness.com/ and a there is link to her very cool  “Be Awesome” blog right on the homepage. She wrote a great post last week about perceptions (misperceptions?) of what self-care means to us Type A fitness types. Check it out. Food for thought for all of us. I love her “Campaign of Awesome.” Shouldn’t we all strive to Be Awesome in our Bodies?

Have you ever tried MELT? Do you have a go-to activity like yoga, pilates or massage for balancing your running? Have you ever, like me, felt so tight and out of whack that you thought you might actually snap in half? Anyone running the NYC Marathon this year?

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20 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. I’ve just discovered that I have allergies. And then subsequently discovered Zyrtec. So. Stupid.

    Please sign me up. Let’s discuss. I want in. I’m a hot mess. And with a fall (MCM) and then spring (BOSTON WITH YOOOOOOOU!!!) marathon, my body may fall apart. Like Walking Dead style.

    And that’s just not cute.

    Xoxo

  2. I’m a huge believer in foam rolling, so the MELT might be right up my alley. Thanks for the link. And congrats on getting in to NYC!

  3. Try it – i bet you’ll love it! Thrilled about NYC. Started trying the lottery the year that they eliminated the “3 strikes at lottery, you’re in” rule. But my number finally came up!!!

  4. MELT sounds cool. Will look into it.
    Sorry about sinuses kicking your butt, but Spring sounds beautiful where you’re at!
    And as for how people in warm climates (think south Florida) make it through the year, your winter of hibernation is our summer. Seriously, air conditioning on, barely stirring to go out, it’s the same as your winter, but with way more sunlight outside, making you feel bad for staying indoors.

    • Yes, I totally forgot about that! I have lots of cousins in Florida and they have mentioned how Winter is their “down time.” Heck knows we all need it.
      Though the sun may make you feel bad for staying indoors, it is still better for your psyche than the long cold days of January here. Even though I was inside working a lot last week, the sun coming through the window improved my mood and energy level.
      Definitely give MELT a try! I really love that the end goal is for you to learn how to get the effects of a massage at home. Nothing will ever replace the enjoyment of treating myself to a massage, but it will be great to be able to work out kinks at home when I can’t get one.

  5. Send that weather over to Chicago. We are living in fog, and have been for the past week. And for this week. WTF. I’ve heard of MELT method, but don’t know tons about it. Spin and yoga are usually my goto for off-running things, but I’ve been really bad about keeping up with it!

    • Today was rainy and cold. Keep your fog. It’s too cold to have fog here! But the next time the sun shows up, I’ll send it your way.
      I’m always bad at keeping up with “non-running” things. But I’m trying!

  6. I’m from San Diego where it is basically spring year round – the average temp is 72*. But a few years ago, I moved to the east coast and it’s EXHAUSTING to me. Out here, people try to cram a year’s worth of spring and summer activities into only those seasons! It’s so stressful! Nothing is stressful when it’s 70* year-round because there literally is “always tomorrow” for those things.

    Spring is my favorite but I get SUCH anxiety on the east coast about it. Ridiculous.

    • OK, this makes complete sense. Of course, people in San Diego aren’t freaks about the weather. I have never lived anywhere where we DON’T cram a full year of fun into 6 months, so I have no concept of that. It must drive you nuts. Do you find the east coast exhausting in all ways, or just the weather? I know no different – curious!

  7. At my first job out of college I worked at the warehouse that stored all the MELT method inventory! We had all those little balls and rollers around everyday. I was the account manager for the company, and they are just awesome all around! I love the squishy balls and the people at that company!

    • I really wished I like yoga more. I don’t dislike it, but i do find that it is hard to lose myself in it like I do with running. I’m always glad I did it, but I find myself looking for a clock during class, which seems very un-yoga like. Sigh.

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