How to Make Time When You Can’t Find It

First of all, let me share a pro-tip about last week’s treadmill workout: don’t wear heels the next day. You’ll regret it if you do. You’re welcome.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

You know those weeks when you barely have time to sleep or eat or think yet alone workout? Those weeks that remind you of finals in college – you could have sleep and proper nutrition, or good grades, but definitely not both? (It’s possible that I went to college with a bunch of people just as dramatic as I am, but this is certainly how we all experienced it.)

Anyway, the point is, that’s this week for me.

As the Events Coordinator at RVC, I’ve been helping head up our efforts to fundraise for the Upper Valley Haven during the month of November. And this week is the biggest week of the month! Not only are we continuing our month long meal drive to help the Haven out with some of the 22,000 meals they provide each month, but our FitKids Pre-K classroom is hosting a daily lemonade stand and baked sale. Plus, one other little detail; our capstone event, a Member Party & Art Auction (artwork by FitKids and children participating in the Haven’s after-school program), is on Friday!

Needless to say, I’m kind of wondering where half-marathon training is going to fit into all of this.

But I like goals, so I’ve set myself a little challenge: for every mile I manage to run this week, I’m going to donate a $5 meal to the Haven meal drive. Not only that, but RVC is going to match my meal donation, and so is our Controller, Cathy Pelton! Guess I’d better get going, huh?

I’ll update you guys next week on how my little endeavor goes. How many miles do you think I can squeeze in? Would you like to join in and challenge yourself the same way? Or would you also like to match my meals? Comments are open on these posts now, so let me know!

I hope to see you at the Member Party & Art Auction this Friday, and I promise to return to writing your regularly-scheduled running-related ramblings next week.

Assuming I survive until next week, that is! Appropriately, here are five quick stretches when you’re crunched for time!

Don’t think you have time after a run? These five moves are fast, easy, and get the job done.

Avoid bouncing and do not force the movement. Stretching should be a time of relaxation, not another workout. With a regular routine, you should begin to notice improvement in your flexibility and joint range of motion within a few weeks. Via Susan Paul, a coach to 1350+ runners and an exercise physiologist and program director for the Orlando Track Shack Foundation.

1. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Stand with your back straight, shoulders back, abdominal muscles tight, and pelvis tucked under you. Hold on to a chair or wall for balance. While standing on your left leg, bend your right knee behind you bring your right heel back, grabbing your foot or ankle. Gently pull your foot toward your tailbone, and avoid arching your back. Repeat with the other leg. You’ll feel the stretch on the anterior aspect (front) of the thigh.

2. Hamstring Stretch
Begin this stretch in a seated position on the edge of a chair or while standing in a crouching position (pictured). Extend one leg out in front of you with your knee straight and your heel on the ground. Keeping your knee straight, lean forward with your back straight, toward your straight leg, bringing your chest toward your knee. You’ll feel the stretch on the posterior aspect (back) of the thigh.

3. Piriformis Stretch
Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross your left knee over your right, making a figure 4 with your legs. Grab the leg with the foot still on the floor, and gently pull your thigh toward you. You’ll feel the stretch on the back of your gluteal (butt) muscles.

4. Kneeling Psoas Stretch
Kneel on one knee, with the front leg forward and knee at a 90-degree angle. (Place a pillow under your knee for more comfort.) Keep your front foot directly below your knee as you tuck your pelvis under you and slowly lunge forward. Avoid arching your lower back. Raise your arms overhead for an added abdomen stretch. You’ll feel the stretch in your hip flexors, which are located in the anterior upper thigh and hip.

5. Bent Leg Calf stretch
Stand with your feet slightly close together, but stagger one foot behind the other. Bend both knees until you feel a comfortable stretch just above the ankle of your back leg, where you’re shifting most of your weight to. Bending the knee allows you to stretch a deeper calf muscle, the soleus.

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 Jennifer Packard
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