And I like to kick. And stretch. And kick some more!
Sally O’Malley had the right idea. Age is just a number. It’s important to keep moving.
And kicking and stretching of course.
What I’m finding is that the stretching and the strengthening, all those things that runners need to do, are probably just all that more important as we age.
I recently started going to a weekly Hip Mobility class at FLEET FEET St. Louis #ffstl and I immediately noticed a difference. I had nagging knee issues all throughout my last marathon training. Strengthening my hips and glutes = MAGIC. My knees are so much better!!
Excuse me for a moment. I feel the need to knock on wood here.
But I digress. I feel looser when I run. Free-er. (Is that a word??) This is awesome. I don’t know why I ever stopped doing these types of exercises. Duh. They make a huge difference. This free-er (there it is again) looser version of me can run a little faster!! This gives me hope that all is not lost. LOL
The Clams. The Bridges. The Inchworms. Oh my!
Simple, yet extraordinary exercises. Good for everyone, vital as we age. My instructor recommends one Strength class (such as Hip Mobility) and one Stretching class per week for optimal results. Basically, it’s just good maintenance. Keeps everything moving smoothly. And if you’ve veered off course towards injury (EGADS), it can bring you back.
Next up for my arsenal against age decline, I heard about a book on nutrition for the aging athlete. Gotta do some research on that!
– runner girl
My longest run to date on this comeback is 7 miles. It started out like any other run and ended up being a breakthrough. Oh, praise the running gods! There is life left in these legs!
Thus far, I’d say every single step has pretty much been a struggle. What is it, like 1500 steps per mile? That’s a lot of struggle. A whole lot of struggle it seems to me. This run was the same. Pushing myself to keep going. Doing all sorts of negotiating with myself. Am I really going to run 7? Maybe 6 like last week is enough. Heck, maybe 5.
And then it happened. After 3, maybe 3.5 miles, I FINALLY felt like my legs were moving on their own. I found the Magic. I got into a rhythm. A glorious rhythm. I had forgotten what that felt like. It had been sooo long. There was no more negotiating. I was doing 7.
This got me to thinking about my recent runs. Was there something I was or wasn’t doing that was hindering my progress? I run around the streets. I sometimes get stopped by traffic, by trains, etc even early in the morning. I thought maybe it was time to head back to the track. I used to do a lot of running there. The consistent motion of going around the track was how I picked up some speed (relative term). Sort of like a hamster in a wheel I guess.
Consistency. Rhythm. Track. OK.
The past two Wednesdays I have taken 2 classes at the new FLEET FEET training center in Des Peres, MO. Functional Strength for Runners and Running from the Core. The premise of the classes is to isolate the muscles that runners use and thus strengthen these specific muscles.
The exercises are those things that we should do as runners and just don’t do. Or don’t do enough. The first week my abs were sore for days. Today I am feeling my butt, my hammies, my quads. The most painful (or one could say hated) exercise yesterday was 3 sets of 12, Bulvarian Split Squat, knee all the way to the floor, back leg raised on a box, arms behind head. YIKES. My partner and I cheated a little on the second set and only went to 10. Don’t tell Brandi. I have a feeling she’d make us pay (someone recently told her the back of her shirt should say ‘BITCH’ instead of ‘COACH’). Yeah, she doesn’t need to know.
A lot of core work. A lot of hips. A LOT of squats.
This is going to be good.
Yay FLEET FEET!
It’s long run day. Well. Long is a relative term.
Last night I checked the weather forecast for this morning. Rain. Rain. And more rain. Lovely. So I thought I could do an Insanity workout instead and do my long run before work on Sunday. This being decided, I didn’t even get my running clothes ready. Fast forward to early AM.
It’s not raining.
And … my head is not in the game. I thought it was going to be raining. I thought I was going to do the Insanity DVD. But … it’s not raining. I should run. I want to run. Of course I do. Don’t I??
So I lay in bed and flip through my phone, trying to will myself out of bed to run.
Then I saw it.
I have friends running various races this weekend. One in Louisville posted that he saw a girl wearing a t-shirt that said “Suck it up, buttercup”.
That’s it!! That’s the thing that reached me and pulled me out of bed to run 6 miles today. Hey, what moves you, moves you.
Thanks Buttercup. Hope you got a PR.
So. I went to a Fleetwood Mac concert recently. Some of you may wonder what this has to do with running. Others may wonder just who the heck is Fleetwood Mac. For the first group, let me explain. For the latter group. Sigh. I have no words.
I am on a ‘comeback trail’. Many of us find ourselves on this trail for one reason or another – injury, work issues, personal life issues – that knocks us out of our running habit for a time. And the comeback trail is fragile at best. It is so easy to come up with a myriad of excuses as to why you can’t run today – it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s raining, I’m too tired. You know the drill, you are out of the habit. When you’re coming back there is always the danger that you might listen to these excuses. You might lack the power and resolve to beat them down. And that is exactly where I found myself. Contemplating getting out of bed to run. All of these reasons why I really didn’t have to playing out in my head.
Then I remembered the concert. Stevie Nicks told a story on stage of a teenage girl who gave a TEDx Teen talk on being a strong female character. She ended the speech saying – “Just be Stevie Nicks”. She said she admired that Stevie was unapologetically herself. Unapologetically flawed. A strong female to be emulated. Stevie felt that this young girl not only listened to her music, listened to the words, but that she understood what she was trying to say. Be a powerful woman. Support other powerful women.
Just be Stevie Nicks.
Ahh! This thought got me out of bed and running. No more excuses. Just me and the road, flawed and slow though I am. I ran. I didn’t cut my mileage short. I ran. Every time you conquer the demon voices in your head, you get a little stronger and they get a little weaker. Victory.
Just be Stevie Nicks.
Inspiration and motivation can come in varied and crazy forms. It might be the vision of crossing a finish line, it might be that PR you’re working for. It just might be Stevie Nicks. Whatever it is, wherever it comes from, grab onto it and run with it. Don’t ever let go.
Rock on Gold Dust Woman.
Mile 9.5 Felt like I could run all day.
Mile 10.5 Felt like walking.
Mile 14 Knew I was going to make it.
Mile 15 Thought I’d be perfectly content to walk the last 5.
Mile 18 Dropped my water bottle. Stared at it. Wanted to leave it. Realized it was the only one with any liquid left. Picked the damn thing up.
Mile 20 Whew! Didn’t cuss God or man. Victory.
How was the race? Hmmm. Forgot a food pantry item, got lost and biked 13 extra miles, had 2 flat tires, ditched bikes and ran 3 extra miles, ran into a tree mountain biking, ended up with ghastly heat rash on my legs. 7 hours and 10 minutes. And we can’t wait to do it again.
Yes, Mom, I paid money to do this.
Goomna. Nepalese meaning to roam, to wander, to explore. We certainly did that.
– Runner girl
All of a sudden I think my plan is working!
Overnight?? Ha Ha! No.
I came up with this plan in December 2009 after my Memphis marathon. I put it in motion January 2010. It is now April 2011.
Countless hours of working out. Of believing. Of re-evaluating and then re-evaluating again. Of injuries, setbacks, and plateaus.
This morning when I was doing a 3 miler, I glanced down on my garmin to see a “7” appear as the first number on my minute/mile pace. Oh yes. I did a double take. I knew that I was running fast but I was not sprinting or going all out; I was breathing well and feeling good. I have hit 7’s before but it has been awhile. Based on how I felt, I now think that I am getting to the point where I can go faster – easier. And that is what I want. That is where I have been headed. If I can maintain a faster pace, easier, that will make a big difference in my next marathon.
Shaun T is my hero.
I have taken to writing my WOD on my wrist when I hit the gym every morning.
It’s part of my bad-ass look.
It’s also very convenient. I don’t have to think. And that’s always nice at 5:30 AM. I just look on my wrist to see what is next.
CrossFit. Makes me work HARD. HUMBLES me. ENERGIZES me. Makes me feel ALIVE. STRONG. DEDICATED. FREAKING FANTASTIC-O.
Get your CrossFit on –
I’m feeling all bad-ass.
It’s the Crossfit I did today. Today’s routine was “Eva”: 5 rounds for time of run 800 meters, 30 rep kettlebell swing, 30 pullups. I had to modify this to fit my current situation. I used a 15 lb dumbbell in place of the kettlebell (I do not have access to kettlebells, and I needed less weight); and I did 15 pullups instead of 30 (PLENTY for me). And they were assisted pullups.
It was fun; it was hard; it seriously kicked my butt. Round 5 was a killer. YOWZA.
I like having something new to do everyday. I can’t wait to look it up and see what the WOD is. It keeps my workout fresh and challenging. It is AWESOME. I feel strong. I feel bad ass. I am loving me some Crossfit.
I read somewhere that you are what you continually do. YAY! I am going to be so damn fit. And bad ass. You’re not going to want to mess with me.
– Runner girl