Goodbye October, Hello November

I can honestly say I can't remember much of October. The things that stick out are: * Attempting to run with my Heart Rate Monitor again, but giving up after a week because of terrible chafing - yet again.

* The soul-crushing Nike Half Marathon

* Buying a bike and taking a "Learn How to Ride A Bike" class at REI that I never blogged about (maybe I'll write a post on this over the weekend).

It's a good thing I track everything because October was actually a very good month. I ran the most miles that I ever have in a single month - 140! And for the most part, my body held up. Well, sort of...

Ever since Nike, my right hip/glute has been bothering me more than usual. Yoga has definitely helped but if I don't go to Yoga religiously it flares up. After my 15-miler 2 weeks ago, I started to feel referral pain down in my hamstring. Then last week I started to feel more referral pain in my hip flexor - something that I've never felt before but 100% knew it was related to the Piriformis. I wouldn't say it's been painful, but would describe it as "growing discomfort."

I had a massage last night where my massage therapist told me that I was smart to come in when I did because I "avoided a train wreck." I also went to see my chiro this morning who did ART on the area. Both agreed that I was spot-on in my self-diagnosis and was smart to get it taken cared of before it turned into an injury.

Both advised me to continue with the yoga classes (I might bump up to 6-days/week) and have weekly massages up until race week, then I'll be fine. I don't have to miss any workouts and I only need to see my chiro one more time before race day for a tune-up. It's also a good thing I have discounted massages through my annual membership!

November is going to be a hard month leading up to CIM on December 4th. My weekends will be filled with long runs, and it'll be a fine balance of fitting in all of my weekday workouts, yoga classes and my non-running related responsibilities, while still trying to maintain some sort of life balance. I'm not even sure it's possible. But what I do know is that there are 3 things I am going to focus on:

1. Sleep

Over the past year, sleep has been a major health issue for me to the point where I even had to start seeing a therapist for it. Luckily, I'm now at a point where I know how to manage my insomnia and can identify what the triggers are.

I usually don't start to feel worn down until the last 2 weeks before a marathon, but somehow it's hit me hard in the past week. I have felt so exhausted and yesterday even felt like I was coming down with a cold or something. I left work after lunch, came home and took a 2-hour nap which is just short of a miracle because I *never* nap. It did wonders and I felt like a new person.

2. Record my diet

After much trial and error, I know what I need to eat before a run to control my GI issues. It's a very bland and not very balanced diet. My nutritionist (and chiro!) are both encouraging me to find ways to reintroduce small amounts of healthy fats and fiber back into my diet. While I'm very nervous to do this (especially with the longest runs of my training cycle coming up), they both think it will help with the whole "Why am I feeling so exhausted" situation.

I've been slacking on logging my food, but I think it if I start using My Fitness Pal again, it will help me figure out ways to balance out my diet.

3. Have more gratitude

Last night I was the designated candy distributor at my cousin's house for Halloween. This is how most of the night went down:

1. Multiple doorbell rings 2. I open the door and the kids don't even say, "Trick or Treat". Instead, they just hold out their bags. 3. I give them 1 piece of candy (we had to ration) and they reach in my bowl for more. 4. They turn and leave. 5. I yell, "You're welcome" as they walk away.

I was so shocked by this behavior and it made me feel like I need to be more thankful. So it being the month of Thanksgiving I am going to resume posting my daily gratitude list on my "Attitude of Gratitude" blog.

But overall, I just want to be more mindful and in-tune to my mind and body so that I can make it to December 4th still standing!