Monday, March 7, 2011

3 weeks of pampering!

I wish I could say that pampering meant being on a beach, sipping on frozen drinks and great beer, while having Hans give me a deep tissue full body massage... but alas no. Pampering in this text refers to me being good to my body, really working on the next 3 weeks (that is how long I have until my next race) to rest, stretch, cross train, and get stronger.

First up-keeping true to my 2011 workout goals, I FINALLY tried yoga for the first time today. Both B and I had the day off, so we met at the Y for a flow yoga class- I'm told this a great version of yoga to try for beginners like myself.
Thankfully the teacher recognized that we were new faces and I told her this was my first time with yoga EVER, so that was kind of a heads up to what i was sure was going to be a great embarassment to myself.

I think I did better than I expected, however I am way more inflexible than I previously thought, so this is going to take some time for me to get near everyone else's flexibility. It amazes me how someone can go from the downward dog position, and then from there completely move one leg to the front of the mat in one single swoop- I had to readjust every time and take 3 steps or so (I'll eventually get there). I know the class is supposed to be relaxing, but I was so busy looking around or up at the teacher to figure out what the proper technique was supposed to look like, that my mind couldn't just 'let go.' I guess I should have done a bit of preparation and looked up what basic poses were so I would have some knowledge prior to this morning.

After the class was over I went into the cardio part of the Y and foam rolled my IT Band, quads (major ouch there) and my calves. I was surprised at how much easier it is to roll (another first for me this morning) than to really dig in deep with the stick, I was also surprised at how in addition to flexibility, I need to work on coordination- kept getting off balance with my body weight on the roller.

Lastly finished up the gym by some good quality stretching in the hot tub; I do have a slight  dependency to the hot tub- when looking for hotels for races, a hot tub is one of the first features we check!

After showering I head over to our Fleet Feet to get some advice on if my shoes are truly the best for my form. Although I did buy them there earlier in the fall, I just feel that they aren't the best that I need for the way I strike, especially with all these injuries popping up. Since October I have been running in Saucony Ride 3s- they aren't bad, at first my feet would go numb after 10 miles or so, but now they are adjusted. I go over what I'm looking for, whats going on with my running, etc. After he watches me run, he admits that he doesn't know how to best help me, and gets the store owner.

He comes over to me, has me put shorts on and then whips out his flip camera and videos me bending down in a squat position both with my feet together, and shoulder width apart. Just from doing that he saw how greatly I overpronate- my knees completely buckle inward (thus all my knee pain). He explained that because I have strong hip flexors and quads, they take a blunt of the force, but due to increase in mileage, knees are finally starting to be affected. He tells me that many runners have really weak glutes, more specifically the glute medius, because it isn't really used while running, unless you cross train (which i don't) then you have to make a large effort to work this muscle.
He shows me how to do a clam:
which by the way looks easy enough, but 20 of those, and I was SORE- if you don't feel it after 5, then you're using too much of your hip, really have to focus on just using the glutes.
Anyway, once my glute medius becomes stronger, it will take all that pressure off my hip flexors, which will then stop the pulling on both my IT Band and sartorius- i.e. KNEE PAIN BE GONE!!!
I think its great that in one visit, which was free, I found the exact root of my problem. Everything that was told to me previously was all accurate, but its nice to finally pin point what started the chain effect.

Afterward I pick out my new shoe Saucony Progrid Guide 4, a stability shoe vs. the neutral one I had, decide to get a trigger point roller, and PROMISED them that I would actually use my shoe inserts that I bought back in May (I know I know, I'm a horrible runner)

So despite my excitement to use my new shoes and barely worn inserts, I'm not going to be bulking up the miles anytime soon. This week I'm traveling for work, so during travel I'll just rest and then maybe on thursday or friday go to the gym for some weightlifting and perhaps cycling / elliptical, of course followed by the hot tub!

What do you do for cross training that isn't boring?!!?

How do you keep things engaging while you're not able to run as much as you'd like?


  1. I think we have several of the same issues-its my hips and glutes that are weak-and after 2 months of PT 2x’s week my knees are finally not buckling in. I need to be better about cardio cross training but i take pure barre classes, yoga, and do weights (sometimes bodypump) to work on my strength. I highly recommend pure barre-i know they have it in nashville. i also use the superfeet and the progrid. PT has me on the foam roller everyday and I have made it a habit-after neglecting it for way to long! hope this helps! enjoy some rest-you deserve it!!

  2. I had similar issues after my marathon. With the increased mileage and weak hips I got a hip bursitis. I went to PT and he showed me some exercises which really worked. Some of them are in the Runner's World latest Glute Strength article. Here:,7120,s6-238-263-266-13852-0,00.html
    I hope you feel better soon!

  3. I'm hoping that spinning class is strengthening my glutes and quads. I think yoga is really beneficial, and I remember watching the instructor (on the TV) a lot in the beginning too. You've got a smart plan for the next few weeks.

  4. I am a spin-a-holic when I'm not running...kicking blasting music and an unbeatable sweat...LOVE the cartoon! That's usually how I feel at yoga!