Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finally a Race....well sort of

I'm so excited the first race of the season is coming up on Saturday, Point Bock 5 miler and I actually get to do it this year. Thank you skiing injury for ruining my knee last year and holding me out of it, but I won't let it happen again. Granted I'm only going to speedwalk the race this year at least I am DOING IT!!!

I'm just happy to get out there and get back in the game since my next race will be a 5K in May and should be my first running race of the year. Gearing myself up this week to get my mind back in track for the season and really hoping to keep myself injury free. I'm definitely listening to my body more and if I feel the slightest bit of pain that is abnormal I'm letting it rest. I know my fitness will not suffer if I end taking an extra day off during the week than planned. I'm not risking injury anymore.

Hope all my fellow racers do great this weekend!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Turtle Power!!

Ok, so lately I've been feeling like a turtle since this whole recovering from an injury is a very long and slow process. But it is Wednesday and I'm finally feeling like I'm getting over the large hump and rolling back into it. Did my "No More Trouble Zones" dvd workout with Jillian Michaels and I am sooo impressed with myself. I was able to get into the 4th circuit of 6 before I couldn't finish one of the items out completely. For anyone that knows this one, can we say "vicious plank circuit" did me in. She's got that one right!!

I was able to increase my running intervals last night to 3 min. walking/ 2 min. running and still have no pain. I'm starting to feel giddy about all of this and I'm definitely in better shape than I was at the beginning of the year even though I haven't been able to run. I'm really pushing myself with my cross training workouts to get the same effect I would when I would push myself on longer runs. Tomorrow will be my second weekend of doing a mini-triathalon at the gym (only in reverse order since my PT told me to not run tired until I'm fully healed up).

Happy Hump Day Everyone!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Giving it a TRI!!

Since my injury I have been doing a ton of cross training and have decided to actually learn how to properly swim freestyle. I've grown up with water around me all my childhood and I'm a total fish when I'm around it. As a kid you could not get me out of it long enough and still could just be in it for hours if I could.

I'm finally able to do 4 min. speed walking/ 1 min. running for 30 minutes without pain and I decided the other night, why not do a mini triathlon at the gym, only I did it in reverse. Not a fan of swimming, showering and then working out some more, which i will have to get over if I ever really do a triathalon. I did my 30 minutes on the treadmill, followed by 20 minutes on the bike and 20 minutes swimming laps (with some breaks in between).

It was a long workout but it brought me back to the day of the half marathon and since I can't run that far this was definitely the closest thing to it. I'm thinking I am going to do this cycle at least once a week and my other 2 running days that week I will either bike or swim after it. Slowly working on all 3 will help my cardio level stay up without putting all the impact miles that I can't do right now.

My off days I work on strength and usually end up doing Jillian Michael's "No More Trouble Zones" DVD to have her kick my butt and give me a good overall strenght workout and I usually add some of my own moves on those days where I can peel myself from the floor after my workout. I tried the "Killer Buns and Thighs" DVD of hers since that is my problem area, and the cause of my injury too but didn't care for it.

What is your favorite workout DVD or cross training workout?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Different Mindset and my Aha Moment

This morning started off not the greatest, feeling kinda sluggish and my workout buddy had to cancel on me. So I took off my swimsuit and decided to have a lazy morning. I got myself motivated to get to the gym anyways and told myself "I'm going to have a great workout today". I mean I already had everything packed for this morning so there was no excuse.

I made sure to stretch out nicely and proceeded to speed walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. After about 2 minutes in I realized I was feeling great and why not try running for a minute to see how things felt. So 4 minutes in I bumped up the pace and began running and felt no pain. I swear I had the biggest smile on my face after that minute was up. So I preceded to do the 4 min. walking/1 min. running my PT gave me to start slowly back into running.

The most amazing thing happened is I think I finally found my natural form.....after 3 years of running. I realized during my speedwalking how my body was naturally leaning forward and my steps were coming even and frequently.....MOST of what was wrong with my running form. The lightbulb literally went off in my head and everything just made sense to me.

I proceed to take on my 400 meter swim determined to make progress and slow myself down to help me get the freestyle stoke down. In doing so I was able to focus on my breathing and was much more relaxed. I was able to get down the lane so much easier and make it to the end (25 yds) not feeling like I'd just sprinted for a half mile. It's amazing how powerful our minds really are when we use them in the right ways!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yes, I'm Special

I've been seeing a physical therapist for about a month now and last week I was cleared to start running again with 4 minutes walking/ 1 minute running intervals for 30 minutes. I was feeling overwhelmed with all the stuff wrong with my form that I was so worried about that during my runs. I guess I should have been more concerned about my injury in the first place. I tried running outside first (since that has always seemed less painful on my injured leg in the past) and of course I felt a minor pain in that area. Being the stubborn individual I am, I kept going for the entire 30 minutes thinking "It will go away, I just haven't run in awhile and not warmed up yet". Obviously not the case, so I thought let's try this on my treadmill.  Was I seriously thinking that it would be any different?? Oh the things we tell ourselves so we can simply run!! As I was running on the treadmill, I tried to tune into what was hurting to at least help my PT diagnosis the cause of all this.

So I show up at my appointment today and hope for some good news (i know like i'm going to get good news when I tell her it hurts when I run) and she starts to feel around for the pain. It has now moved itself to my ankle bone on the inside of my leg and she begins to do her series of tests finding my strengths and weaknesses. At the end of it, she tells me "I'm stumped. I don't know what is causing this and have never seen this before. I will ask around and may have another set of eyes look at you next week".

The meaning I've taken out of this is I'm special and I know it!!    Just one more case of the doctor telling me I don't know. If only you could charge them if they didn't figure out what was wrong I'd have free healthcare.

In light of all this, the intervals changed my perspective on the "just one more minute" mentality in my running (for when I actually get back to doing that). That minute seemed to just fly right by and was over before you know it. I don't know how many times on my long runs I had to tell myself this to keep going and it always felt like 10 but it worked. Now I can think back to this moment and tell myself I always have 1 more minute in me :)

What is your favorite running mantra?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gait and Cadence Analysis

The 1st of February I went into the physical therapists office thinking this month was going to start off great. Was hoping to get the news I could start running and she said YES!!! I wanted to start jumping up and down right there but held it back, it was hard. I'm sure I had a huge smile on my face.

......AND then I realized they were going to put me on the treadmill and have my running gait analyzed and check my cadence. I wasn't feeling too thrilled about having 2 ladies starting at my backside while running and staring at a wall. I really don't enjoy running on a treadmill and I'm much happier outside that I think I run totally different, but I tried to make myself as comfortable as possible.

So here is everything that is apparently wrong with my form (at least on a treadmill):

1. I'm a loud treadmill runner (my foot is striking hard and not using enough muscle to balance my stride)
2. I'm a foot whipper, with my left foot only
3. I land mid-foot on my right foot and more between my mid and heel on my left
4. I run on a very narrow base - morso with the left than the right (cross my feet too much to my middle)
5. I basically don't move my right leg from it's form during running (probably from my knee injury last year and I keep that leg as stiff as possible)
6. My cadence is at 160 and should be closer to 180, so I need to speed my little legs up!!

ALL of these are contributing factors to what caused my left leg inner shin splints and now that I can finally start running, I have to try and correct all of these things now!! I'm feeling slighly overwhelmed by all these issues and really nervous I will start to feel the dreaded pain again since it's come back twice now. Tonight will be my first attempt at 4 minutes walking/1 minute running for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I really need to learn how to make that device my friend.

Remind me never to go through that again, since my form pretty much blows!!!