Saturday, June 25, 2011

That Evil "I" Word

No, it hasn't happened yet.  At least not that I know of, but this week I decided not to push it too far.  Yes, you all know what I am talking about.  You go and go and go.  It starts out a little sore, then it gets worse each time you run.  The dreaded "i" word that no runner want to hear.  Injury.  I've complained about my knee before, how it's sore, slows me down etc.  Well, after my 5k on Saturday I really began to wonder if I had done too much.  My knee was KILLING me!  I iced it and massaged my legs, rubbed it down each night, but it still hurt.  So, in lew of making things worse, I decided to take the week off.  Part of the reason was that it wasn't just my knee.  Yes the knee hurt, but so did my ankles.  Each morning I would wake up sore and stiff.  The walk to the bathroom appeared to be too much until each of the ankles popped.  It seemed that every night, all my joints would loosen and shift and in the morning I had to move slowly as they re-aligned.  Then the rest of the day I would have swelling reminiscent of my pregnancy days.  Not actual visual swelling, but pressure surrounding my legs.  Yeah, not good.

My workouts this week have consisted of slowly walking around the neighborhood.  It seems to help to move, just not enduring the jarring of a run.  In fact, one day I walked four miles.  I made sure to pay attention to my legs, waiting for any pain and stopping when I needed too.  I still massaged, warmed up and stretched my legs.  Finally, on Friday, I came to the conclusion that my muscles are just getting too tight.  Never in my life have they been so big or worked so hard.  With each day, they become tighter and pull my body in ways it has never been used too.  When I was in high school I did yoga often.  I was a dancer of sorts and needed to be flexible.  Yoga was a wonderful way for me to do that.  So reverting to my "younger" days, I dug out my "Yoga Conditioning for Weight-loss" DVD and gave it a go.
See the little curve on my shin?
Didn't used to be there!
I like to call this my "muscle shelf"
I have it on both legs now

It starts out simple, breathing, standing and mild stretching.  I had forgotten how relaxing it can be.  You just focus on the in and out, loosening every part of your body.  After 15 minutes it was time for some of the standing poses.  Proud Warrior, Triangle, and others.  I went through each one, using the fully modified versions.  After about five minutes I began to notice something.  My feet HURT!  The rest of my body handled the poses just fine.  A little difficult, with a mild stretch, but oh the feet.  I have never had them feel so bad.  It was as if each muscle and tendon was stretched to the limit and was on fire.  Never having walked across hot coals, I can't be positive, but I'm pretty sure that's what my feet felt like.  In all of my stretching, even rolling my feet after each run, they have never gotten a workout like that.  You want to know the really funny part?  After I finished, my ankle pain was much better.  Apparently feet need to be stretched too.  Who knew!?   I don't know if that is a fact or if anyone would have the same experience.  I'm just glad I did it and I will definitely be adding Yoga to my workout plan. Now I just need to get a copy of the "Yoga for Runners" DVD I've been hearing about.

That said, we will see how I feel on Tuesday before I pick up the training again.  I only have one month left to my 10k and I am more than just a little nervous.  I mean, right now my distance pr is 4 miles.  Still two less than what I need.  If I have to, I will walk the course, but I really hope I can run it.

1 comment:

  1. Getting you muscles to relax is very important. Since I had my arch injury I realized that feet are the most important thing. With out their strength and flexibility you can't walk or run. I am getting a roller hopefully this week to roll out my muscles. I have been told you should roll out for as long if not longer than your workout time. I currently need to work on my tightening IT band. After you start running 4 miles consistently you will find your IT needs some work. I guess this is common for what I have heard from other runners out there. It is good to take some time out for rest. Enjoy the yoga time I am sure it will help in you running in the long run. If you get a hold of a copy of the runners yoga dvd you'll have to let me check it out as well.