Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Got Lost on the Road of Life

Time: 45:07 min.
Distance: 3.76 mi.
Pace: 12:01 m/mi
Time of Day: 6:19 a.m.
Weather: 76°F. humid

I've been running. Honest I have. It's just that a combination of unrelated factors have hindered my blogging here.

First, The Son got engaged and married so I have been caught in the wedding crazies since April. Then, Google did some kind of update-thingy and I couldn't figure out how to access my blog. Anytime I tried to sign on I got a message that said I wasn't "authorized" to "access" this area. Hmmm? But today I was determined and, why, just look at what a little determination will do.

So, back to running…

I'm training for the St. Louis Rock & Roll half-marathon in October. I'm pretty excited. I've made changes in my overall fitness training which are having a huge impact on my running.

First, I am working out at the gym 1 day a week with a personal trainer, Kelly. She's pretty awesome and I love working out with her even when I can't lift my arms the next day. I started with Kelly to improve my appearance for the wedding, but it has been such a positive impact on more than just my fitness level that I'm keeping up with it. It's expensive so it is a sacrifice in other areas, but even The Love thinks it is worthwhile. The biggest area the strength training has impacted is my upper body strength. Even though Kelly works my legs till they quiver, the improvement in my upper body has had a significant impact on my running. I am more upright which helps my breathing, improves my form, and I hunch over less when I get tired. It's awesome! (BTW, I can now do 23 push ups and I just started body weight pull-ups. Oh yeah!)

Also, Kelly has taught me the importance of stretching after I work out. Both with her and on my own and also when I run. That has really helped my recovery after my runs.

Second, I incorporate short sprints in my warm up runs at the gym. I seriously don't understand how 2 30-second sprints 2x a week improves my speed, but it does. My shorter runs are almost 60 sec. faster than last winter. My long runs are still over 13 min/mile, but I am still adding miles at this point and am not worried about the speed.

Third, I went to a podiatrist about all the foot pain I had. My feet reached a point of hurting almost all the time. I bought new running shoes when my old pair had only 250 miles on them because I thought that was the problem. But the aches and pains continued. So I broke down, sucked it up and made an appointment. My last visit to the podiatrist was in 2002. And, you know those whitish-yellow orthotics he gave me back then? Well, who knew they were designed to be temporary, lasting only 6-12 months, not 10 years. The official diagnosis is plantar facsiatis. Oh joy. :-(

So the podiatrist gave me the following instructions:
  • No going barefoot at all—not even to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Get a pair of Crocs to use as house slippers.
  • Give up the floppy flip-flops. (Boo-hoo. I love my flip-flops all summer long!)
  • Wear only shoes with an arch in them, or
  • Use the "new" temporary orthotic insert until I get permanent inserts, or
  • Wear shoes with a 2" heel or higher.
  • Do 4 specific stretches before I run.
The immediate good news was that I had to go buy a couple new pairs of shoes to get me through the rest of the summer. The doctor also gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine to help heal the current inflammation. Now I'm taking some kind of mega-strength Advil-type medicine. I go back in 3 weeks to get my feet cast for the permanent inserts.

So all of this sounds old lady-like and ugly-shoe-like and no-more-cute-shoes-like. But it really isn't. I found some cute Crocs to use as my house slippers. Who knew there were like 50-million different styles of Crocs. And, I found a nice pair of Merrell sandals to finish out the summer. And, the absolute most important thing is that my feet don't hurt! At all! Anymore! Oh my gosh-it's a miracle! Well, OK, not really a miracle, but darn close. I love my podiatrist!

So now I am running pain free. My feet dont' hurt and with the stretching I do, my hips feel better. D*** life is good these days!

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