Entries in Training (79)


A Tempo Run to start the day, a Health Challenge to end it

Wednesday was an interesting day. It started on a good note. I ran a nice Tempo Run before going to work. I did my warm-up and cool-down walks as usual, but my run segment was really nice. It was only for 30:47 minutes for 3.2 miles but it just felt good. And at a 9:26/mm pace, I felt a lot better with my breathing and pacing than I did during the Soldier Field race. At the end of the run, I felt pretty energized! My heart rate was a little higher than I would have liked, but I know that will be lower once I get back into a regular run training regimen.

The other thing I did was to become a member of the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) that is located in Crystal Lake. The membership is not too expensive, and, members can participate in the club's Marathon Training Program without additional fee. The club is sponsored through the Healthbridge gym, so members get access to pool and shower facilities at the gym after Long Runs. But the best deal by far is the marathon training program, led by an awesome trainer named Cari Setzler (who was featured in Running World's June Magazine). She was the person who taught the Natural Running course I took in April, so I am looking forward to her coaching as I prepare for the Chicago Marathon.

The end of the day was a bit more thoughtful. I signed up for a health assessment at a chiropractic center near my home. They offered a very inexpensive deal for doing a physical assessment, including spinal, neck, and hip x-rays, a digital foot scan, and a health evaluation. I did that last week. Today was my meeting with the doctor to discuss the results.

I have been dealing with some discomfort (dull pain) in my left hip for the past two months. It would come and go, and it was just making me nervous not knowing the cause. Well now I know. My left hip is a bit lower than my right, and is somewhat rotated. And I have some subluxations (misalignments) in my spine at my lower back and neck areas.

She said that my active lifestyle has helped my muscles to adapt to these issues, so that should also make it easier for them to readjust to having everything back to normal. That made me feel better -- especially given how far I have come in my health journey. I can only imagine what things might have looked like when I was 110 pounds heavier!

None of these require major medical intervention, but they do need to be adjusted so that my spine is aligned properly and my hip and weight distribution are balanced. Doing these things will improve my posture, relieve any pressure on the nerves coming out of my spinal cord, and all of that will improve my overall health and fitness. And that should translate into better running performance as well.

So for the next three months, I will be going in for adjustments and physical therapy to take care of this stuff. The doctor said I should not have to adjust my run training schedule (huge sigh of relief) and that actually, this will give us a chance to see how my running is affecting my body. I start next week!

I was a little bummed out as I left the doctor's office. No one likes to get news that something is out of 'sync' with their body/health. But then I decided to look at this in a more positive light. I have another aspect of my journey to wellness that I need to address. And it is something that I CAN address without invasive action. I know this is a solvable situation and I will attack this with the same zeal as I have faced my other health challenges.

By the time I have to run the Chicago Marathon in October, my body -- as well as my mind -- will be a well-tuned instrument that will lead me across the Finish Line! It will be all the more sweet a victory!


Really? Getting in my first 'run' for May?

Believe it or not, today was the first time I have gone out for an actual "run" in the month of May. All of May has been focused on preparing for the AVON Walk, so all my trainings have been speed walks. I have walked over 71 miles this month so far.

So I figured since I am running a 10-Mile race this Saturday, perhaps I should get in a quick run just to make sure I could still "do it". The muscles and mechanics of running are different than for walking (in fact, walking involves more muscles than running, and you are on your feet for much longer).

So I went out for a quick run because I was time-challenged this morning. I did my usual 5-minute warm-up and cool-down walks, of course. I decided to just take it easy and ran for 2.09 miles at a casual pace (basically whatever my body settled into). I did not pay any attention to my sports watch during the run, I just wanted to run comfortably and see what that ended up to be.

The first 1/2 mile felt kinda strange. I was so used to walking that my rhythm felt 'off' and not in sync with my breathing. But after about 5-6 minutes, I was feeling fine and enjoying the effort. It was a nice sunny morning, 60 degrees, and breezy. I decided to wear my 'zero-drop' Instincts for the run just for a change of pace from the Newtons, and they felt good. I like the bigger toebox. :)

At the end of the run, I checked my watch. I found that I had run at a 9:58/mm pace, which given the fact I hadn't run since April 28th, I was pleased with. No pain or stiffness during or afterwards either. Since this is my first 10-Mile race, any finish time is a PR, so I am not going to worry about pacing on Saturday. I am just going to enjoy the run down Lake Shore Drive. The last thing I need is an injury a week before the AVON Walk, right?