Last month, I had hoped to improve my sleep habits and even set up a little challenge to get myself there. Well, I outright failed that challenge, not only not improving my own sleep habits but also failing to help out the others who signed on to this with me (some of them did just fine without me--good for them!--and I apologize for being so little help).
This month will be different. I've set up some new challenges...and I hope not to fail at them.
1. The first challenge: to run again....for real....outside....before midnight on July 1. I believe I'm close. My back has been feeling (dare I say it?) good. I haven't had a pain-free day yet, but the pain I have has been much less. The Pilates exercises that I learned last week are the first that consistently make my back feel better immediately after I do them, and this effect seems to linger. I'm still VERY stiff when I wake up in the morning, but I'm trying to mitigate that with some yoga poses (child's pose and cat/cow) before I even climb out of bed. I've also eliminated the glute exercise that seemed to make things worse (the standing side leg swing) and am trying to hit only the ones that do no harm.
So fingers crossed!
2. The second challenge I signed up for is a formal one. Amanda at Run to the Finish has been leading a healthy challenge every month this year. I haven't been able to do the exercise-specific ones, but June's Green Smoothie Challenge is right up my alley.
Five days into June, I've found this surprisingly painless given how disorganized with eating I usually am. I acquired some greens-enhanced protein powder, a bag of pre-washed spinach, some bananas, some almond milk.....and that's all I've needed. The protein powder I'm using is called Vega One, and it's working for me because it tastes good and has all the needed nutrients but contains no artificial sweeteners. I tried a different brand on the first day and felt terrible; I discovered later that it contained both maltitol and xylitol, which work like laxatives. Sugar alcohols are the reason I can't drink Nuun before or during runs (it has another sugar alcohol, sorbitol).
This is a helpful challenge to me because I start off the day ahead of the game on getting enough vegetables into my diet. Throw in a glass of low-sodium V8 and/or a salad for lunch, and I'm truly good to go. For an indifferent cook (sometimes you could say I'm even hostile to cooking!), it's a lifesaver.
Tomorrow is National Running Day and I'm planning to celebrate with 30 minutes on the Alter-G, hopefully at 90% body weight. I'm glad to be able to celebrate at all! What are your plans for National Running Day?