Saturday, March 19, 2011

Final Week of Running Program!

A few months ago, I was having shooting pains and soreness in my hips almost everytime I carried Little A around. One day, I carried her out to the car and as I was putting her in the carseat, I nearly cried out in pain. I almost couldn't get myself in and out of the driver's seat because my hips hurt so badly. Having to get her in and our of her car seat felt nearly impossible. I started doing some lower back and hip stretches, but I still felt twinges and soreness at times. It was hard to sleep on my side for any length of time.

Then I started running.

Assuming all goes as scheduled, I'll be running 30 minutes by Monday. I wasn't able to run last weekend, so I'm one day behind on the Women's Health program. I've changed up the program in a couple of other ways. I go to an hour-long class at my gym twice a week instead of doing the at-home work-outs they recommend. I've also supplemented it with two one-hour yoga classes each week.

Thoughts so far?

I feel SO much healthier, stronger, and more energized. Sure, I'm sometimes sleepy in the afternoons, but I think that's just on the 5:30 wake up days. And the hip and lower back pain? Gone. Completely gone. I haven't felt that horrid shooting pain in my hips for weeks because my lower back and hips are stronger and stretchier.

I love doing yoga again regularly. I love the hour of quiet, meditative movement in the mornings. I love that I can really feel a difference in my flexibility and my strength. I can hold plank pose longer and can move from plank into chaturanga in one fluid motion and am close to being able to move from there into up dog without putting my knees on the floor. And I'm almost able to put my heels completely down in down dog and still keep my hips lifted. One of the things I love the most about a regular yoga practice is that there are so many modifications so when I'm having a "recovery" day, I can take an easier pose. There are always options and it's easy to see your progress.

I'm slow on the track. Really, really slow. But I'm learning that there's no shame in that. I get smoked by the other runners all the time, but I'm still running and when someone passes me on the track, I think, "Someday I'll be able to run like that." And I will.

In the first two weeks I was having some problems with a side stitch on my right. It brought me back to 7th and 8th grade when we had to run around the block for PE and I'd end up walking because of getting a side stitch (and out of pure laziness, I'm sure). I looked around on-line to find out how to get rid of them, but I kept running through them. Apparently, it's a pretty common phenomenon for beginning runners. I focused on:
  • drinking loads of water, not just before a run but throughout the day
  • breathing as deeply as I could as I ran
  • not eating anything heavy the hour or so before running
Lo and behold! The stitches have ended. I still feel a slight niggling every now and again, but I think that my diaphragm has figured out what it needs to do.

I'll do another update or two next week when I get to thirty minutes.

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