I have connected with a number of really great people through social media and getting to meet them in person is super fun! Alana Bonner, who lives near Montreal (less than 2 hours from here), and I have met up 3 times now at races here in Ottawa – the most recent being last night when Abby and I went out to cheer her on in the (grueling) Xerox 10k race that is held in the Aboretum – a beautiful location…but NOT flat. And not 100% paved. You know that I don’t do races less than a half marathon and let me tell you, last night’s race does not inspire me to start! LOL! I was wowed by those willing to do it! Ha! Ok, it’s not THAT bad, but it is not an easy race, and it’s not one where you’d hope to PB your 10k time at all!!
The weather was perfect and, as I said, the location is picture perfect.
I wasn’t able to meet up with Alana before the race, and I got there just in time to hear the gun go off. The course requires the runners to do 3 loops (~3.3km each) and so I stationed myself to start at the 3km mark and waited. At first, I was VERY confused because the first runners I saw did not fit the “profile” of the lead pack for a 10k…then when little kids started to appear (long before the “typical” lead pack appeared) I remembered that there was also a 3k that night! I LOVED cheering the little kids on! Then the 10k runners started to come through mixed in with the 3k runners – this little guy is checking out his chase pack! LOL!
Then I saw Alana run past looking strong and fierce!!
I then moved over about 500m to watch the runners climb a nasty gravel based hill. Ugh! Cheered VERY hard for Alana as she climbed it on her second loop!
Then I headed towards the 1.5k mark…and this is when Abby started to act like herself. She threwdown in the grass and completely refused to walk any further. And because I didn’t have all that much time to make it to where I wanted to go…yup, you guessed it, Abby got what she wanted…I carried her.
The good thing is that while it was killing me (both physically and my pride), it provided A LOT of comedic relief to the runners. They’re busting their butts running this course and I’m carrying my dog. *sigh*
Found Alana at the 1.5k mark on her third and final loop (she’s laughing and pointing at Abby!) and on her way to a PB for this particular race (she had done it twice before)!!!
And then we met up after the race and took some photos! Similar to Brad’s reaction when he first saw Abby, the first words out of Alana’s mouth when she saw Abby after the race? “Oh my, she is HUGE!”. LOL! Yes, in size and personality.
When Brad came to visit last month, he brought both me and Alana gifts – so generous. So last night I was able to give Alana her loot! We each got an awesome Timex running hat, Timex watch and CHOCOLATE. From me and Alana, “THANK YOU, BRAD!!!”
The funniest is that when I got to the race, the parking lot was full and I just parked in the first spot I saw. When we got back to the parking lot…turns out, our cars were facing each other!!
Then Alana got into her car and headed home…and Abby, well, she passed out. Hard. Afterall, it’s tiring being carried around, all night!!
This morning I woke up to better temps…(yes, my bar is MUCH lower now!)
And despite Abby’s look of “I’m not impressed to be up walking at this hour”
The sky looked promising!
But you know what? My body didn’t feel the same. For one, I found myself walking with MY EYES CLOSED. I was SO tired. And secondly, my hamstrings were just aching. Not in the “oh no, I’ve done something really bad” but more in the “my hammies are tired from a hard workout…and could get bad if not taken care of”.
I know that some people really struggle to take rest days, but I’m not one of them (taper day, now that’s a WHOLE different story!). I love rest days. And knew that I needed to take one today – and to spend some time stretching and rolling my legs out.
I started off in child’s pose and I stay in it for 3-4 minutes. You can see the difference in my flexibility from when I start to when I finish – look at the distance between my butt and feet in the two pics.
I stretched and rolled my quads, hams, and ITBs. But took pics and video of rolling my quads. For quads, I roll out my rectus femoris (middle quad) first:
Toes pointed down and, unlike what I’m doing, they should be touching the floor. I roll them out for 30-90s depending on how they’re feeling. If I find knots, I stop on top of the knots, take deep breathes (which is hard when you’re sitting on a knot!) and try to relax around the knot so that it can release.
Then I transition from that one to rolling out my vastus medialis (inside quad). I spread my legs a little further apart and point my toes outward (again, keeping them on the ground) and roll, doing the same thing as I did for the first one – breathing, stopping if need be and relaxing.
Then I finished the quads up with rolling out the vastus lateralis – very similar to the ITB rolling position except that you angle your leg in more to target the quad rather than the ITB (note: for ITB, you want to be rolling along the seam of your (imaginary) pants).
If you can’t see the video – here are still shots of the three.
And I’ll tell you. Although I didn’t feel it while walking around, my quads were ANGRY. Then I rolled out my ITB (you can’t actually stretch your ITB – but you can stretch your glutes which might be contributing to a tight ITB) and my hamstrings and then stretched out my hamstrings as best I could. To be honest, my quads were what ended up needing the most attention.
And I felt a lot better after doing it. I plan to do some more tonight and hope to be back out on the road tomorrow! 🙂
Happy Wednesday – and again, congrats to Alana on a great race last night!!