My Running “Comeback” has been slow and steady.
Mileage currentlybetween 20-30 per week and I am banging out between 4-5 miles before work almost every morning.
Side note – I actually headed back to the track for the first time since last April earlier today!
As I have mentioned – my glute/hip strength has been slow to return. It’s been frustrating for me both physically and mentally – as my easy pace has sped up, I have not seen the “slim down” as fast I would have liked.
BUT I continue to move forward with my running and training. As each Friday rolls around, I get excited as I wait until my coach uploads my weekly plan. I love getting that little notification on my phone and quickly open my Vdot to see what James has in store for me the next week.
This week – I had my first Hill workout at the end of my 5 miler. Granted it was only 10 x 20second bursts but my butt was feeling it at the end.
In addition to moving forward (via running) I have taken it upon my self to work on the imbalances that come with “just running”. Running is a great physical/cardiovascular activity – but it is just that cardiovascular. When done alone, running does (and I speak from experience) lead to a variety of ailments and potential injuries. From sprains to strains to tears – not making sure you are strong and aligned is a road to time off (and sadness).
So – I am (trying) to make a conscious effort to find some other activities (besides the gym) to strengthen not only my body but also my mind.
Here are 2 that have really helped strengthen my body AND mind!
First up – Body Roc in West Hartford.
I freaking love this workout. Dubbed as “the most interesting workout” it truly is. Combining running, strength and boxing – it is a power packed 50 minute workout. I had been a consistent “Body Roc’er” about 2 years ago when they first opened but I admittedly fell off the bandwagon.
Fast forward to late last fall and I “conned” Mark into taking a Body Roc class with me- on a Sunday – at 9AM. That first class was rough for both of us (I don’t think I have seen Mark sweat more than after that class) BUT we headed back the next week and have pretty much been weekly “weekenders” to Gil’s 7:15am Saturday or 9:00am Sunday class. I love that the lights are dim, the music is loud and pumping (especially when there is a live DJ) , and the treadmills are Truform – meaning that they only move if you do. It’s been great for my form as I have returned to running.
And the boxing at the end – such a good stress relief. I have not looked at myself in the mirror – as I am sure I am uncoordinated – but I love punching and jabbing my way through the combinations.
I know as my mileage picks up – especially during marathon training – I am probably going to have to move my weekend classes to during the week BUT will definitely remain.
Next – The Yoga Shop
One of the first things that I knew before I had my surgery in August was that I needed to be more flexible. Yes – he surgery repaired my torn labrum and lengthened my psoas (which had been tight and given me trouble for years) but I did not want to cycle down the same rabbit hole.
Being out of commission for 3 months was tough – mentally and physically – so it was after a random Saturday conversation with a stranger that finally helped me to bite the bullet and sign up for my first class at The Yoga Shop.
I had been wanting to practice yoga on a regular basis and I have – weekly Wednesday sweat sessions at Power Yoga (yes the HOT one) have helped me start me on the road to flexibility. I am by no means a yogi but am proud at the small improvements I have seen every week.
Practice makes perfect as they say!
However, I know my limits and although I push myself I don’t over extend myself – I am just looking to be more flexible and gain some strength – I don’t see myself doing “pretzel moves” anytime soon.
I probably will devote another blog post on how yoga has helped me – but suffice to say – my practice is my practice and it has not only a great way to stretch and strengthen but also center myself and “let go” of the outside word.
So that’s where I am 6 months post-op.
Running – yes but also trying to do all the other things to make me a better runner.
The other day a co-worker who has recently taken up running exclaimed to me that he was sore, tight and dyhydrated. When pressed – I learned he headed out the door on cold legs, came back in the house, showered, and headed out the door.
I told him (in my wise runner voice) that the reason he was feeling these things is that he did not stretch and hydrate. He exclaimed “It’s such a process – this running – why can’t you just run.”
You can, I said, BUT you definitely either won’t enjoy running or get so tight that you are sidelined for a period of time.
Guess I am learning things (albeit the hard-way sometimes) as I continue on this journey called running.