Today was a good day for building race confidence for CIM.
First, I made it to the 10 AM Bikram class on time. I stayed in the room the whole time but tried to remind myself to take it easy for the taper. I opted out of second triangle and first full locust pose, but did all of the rest. Another milestone down -- No more Bikram 'til recovery.
As usual, I started counting down the minutes left in the "torture chamber" as soon as we were in the floor series (maybe even beforehand). Rather than look at the minutes as minutes and bargain with myself to tough out the remaining time like I usually do, I converted it to end of the race distances based on my goal pace and told myself things like, "Oh, 32 minutes to go? That's nothing. Less than 4 miles. More like 3.5. You've got this."
It was an interesting exercise. I'm fairly certain this type of visualization and cross-functional mental training is not at all what Bikram has in mind for how I'm supposed to orient my thoughts (or lack thereof) during practice. I'm also fairly certain it was *very* good mental training for the race.
This evening, I joined L and MeiMeiL for Ramen (carb-loading!) followed by a spa trip to Burke Williams. Much like dropping out of the 10K, the pre-race massage is another super-smart pre-CIM move. Thanks L!
My Shiatsu massage was amazing. Pressure points to loosen my tight spots, and lots of stretching by the masseuse to confirm that I'm actually quite limber right now. Some directed sports massage for my calves when she identified that they were tighter than any of the other muscles in my legs (hmmm... avoiding shin splints much?). By the end, she'd worked through most of the knots and told me she thought I could stand to stretch my calves a bit, but that in her professional opinion, I was actually in fairly ideal shape for a serious physical effort, when it came to tension in the muscles.
So, In short, I feel good, and today's non-running physical activities confirm for me that it's reasonable that I do.
Last year at this point, I'd done much better training and was 6 lbs lighter. But I was also very tight and full of pain in my hips and hamstrings, struggling through runs in the 10s and 11s to recover from a Thanksgiving Half Marathon, and nursing a cold and a bruised rib. On paper, the last 3 weeks of this training cycle look *much* smarter (and luckier) than last year.