Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Brake for Runners!

Today I had the pleasure of introducing a friend to my Gazelle Running Group friends. I'm always proud to show them off. They're a little crazy, but always positive and sincerely welcoming to the new kids. We all left at different times today at varying paces, but it creates a small bond to pass a fellow runner on a bridge in mid-February wind gusts and know that although they may be faster (or slower), they're experiencing that little slice of hell right along with you.

I enjoy encouraging people. It's a slippery slope with someone just getting acclimated to the pain that running can bring. And I always feel like a little bit of an asshole when I'm chirping out an "it gets easier" to someone that I assume is thinking run-hate thoughts in their own head. But I do it anyway, because that's what I would've liked to hear. I think back to those summer days huffing it around Windmill Island way too early in the morning in already 80 degree heat. I hated busting my butt to keep up with the rest of the group and it was hard not to let the bad thoughts convince me to give up that day...or forever. Running is very truthfully a mind game but if you can defeat your own doubts, fears and excuses you will eventually be rewarded for that.

Who gets up every Saturday morning before the sun, rain, shine or snow, and suffers a lot or a little for an hour or two every week? People who realize that doing so matters for all kinds of reasons. Show me a runner who's exercise habits haven't positively influenced some other aspect of their life. I'd be interested to learn why they keep heading out there. These people know how to, according to my dad, "make it happen".

And dang it, that's why I love runners!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Physical Therapy Progress

Today my PT gave me the good news that my back was in alignment on first inspection! That would explain why for years I have felt as if one leg was longer than the other. Turns out I wasn't crazy. My tight hip was actually torquing my spine which was affecting the tracking of the opposite knee. This chain of events lead to the knee pain. So resting longer wouldn't have helped a thing.

There continue to be some tight, stubborn muscles fighting to put me off balance again but I just need to continue to stretch and release them. I also have a lot of hip strengthening to do. Now that my body is straightened out I am hoping to add some pain-free mileage. As of now I am running 1-2 miles quite happily a couple times per week but I pay for it with a stiff/sore left knee for the next day or so. It helps if I stretch before and after and if I avoid sitting with a bent knee, to avoid the dreaded "theatre sign".

Things are looking up. I'm really itching to get back to training with all my running friends! Every day my half marathon date inches closer...