Friday, October 24, 2014

Growth

The factors that impact running performance are numerous, so rarely do I head out and decide I am running __ pace today. Most of the time, I warm up and let the journey happen. Sometimes things are awesome, I knock out the set goal and feel pretty good; sometimes I look at my Garmin and think, "Hmmmph, I KNOW I was moving faster than that!" I have learned to relax about it though, because there is an almost endless list of variables that can cause the above to happen. Sometimes I am just working on tired legs, it is a necessary evil, it's really hard to space your workouts to give you fresh legs each time. 

Every run will not feel perfect, but that doesn't mean it doesn't benefit you.


Last Wednesday it was pouring rain, so I went to the gym, ran a warm up mile, and did an upper body work out for a little over an hour. I have seriously been neglecting doing any leg work, so before I left, I did this...


The leg press - two 45 lbs. on each side - 

I did notice last week it was starting to feel easier, but I decided to not challenge the weight until after my half marathon, Nov. 15th. 

This week at the gym I did the few leg things I can do without flaring up my knees*

When I got to the leg press,  I did my usual - two 45 lbs.



I realized it was silly to wait until after the half to up the weight. If I just do it I will be stronger for my race. I added a 25 lb. weight to my load and pushed it up 10 times. I did it again and realized I was cheating myself.  I was nervous, but I threw three 45 lbs. on each side, and pictured my knees stuck into my stomach while yelling for help, but I pushed it up. Eight times, and I did a second set. 

I am glad I didn't wait, procrastination simply wastes our most precious resource, time.

It's good to push past where you are comfortable. My trail run felt pretty challenging last night, because my legs were fatigued from pushing that weight, especially my glutes, but overall it's making me stronger and that can't be bad.

Getting ready to run the trail - I really felt it on the hills


Ever challenge yourself and love how it turned out?

* The story with my knees - knees isn't accurate really, the pain and stiffness are in my inner knee area. What flares up are the thin ligaments, tissue, and tendons. When it flares up, I can not bend it (ouch). The OT/PT doctor said my knee caps are unusually tight, with no flexibility. My knee caps are "slid" out a bit. He said the "slid out" thing commonly happens to older women who are inactive, so he thinks it's just how I am made, because I've always worked out. Anyway, he tried to work on the mobility in my knee caps for months, but it never really improved. He said because the knee cap is so tight it creates a lot on tension on the inside area. When it does flare up, I sit and ice until it's better. If it tears it could be a much longer rehab, or a permanent injury, according to my sports med doctor, so I just try to be careful as I can.


Certain movements where I shift my weight can cause it to flare up, like lunges, squats, and burpees,

A few months ago I decided to try one leg machine at a time, at the end of my workouts, so I could narrow down what was giving me issues. I missed a few days due to pain, but now I know exactly what works and what doesn't.


My pain level has significantly improved as I have grown stronger.




Anyone else have any physical limitations they are dealing with? 


18 comments:

  1. Like you, I find that it's best to see what my body can handle each day rather than get stressed out about hitting a certain pace. Your weight work sounds really tough!

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    1. It can be so different every day! I am trying to get stronger :)

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  2. I used to get so stressed about pace. :S Now I know that doing that is actually really not the best idea since it could lead to injury. This year I have been doing a lot of work based on how I feel. Currently my limitations are the bottom of my left foot. :( I have to tape the plantar fasciia and roll it out or it really tightens up!

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    1. You do a lot to keep that foot healthy though :) I like running and not feeling stressed about pace :)

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  3. Good job pushing yourself on the weights! I think we're stronger than we think.... My IT band is my limitation. It never hurts while running. Sometimes it hurts after speed but not always. It ALWAYS hurts when I lift lower body, which sucks. :(

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    1. That does suck :( Have you figured out if it's a certain thing that aggravates it more?

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  4. Until recently I never cared about pace and for me that led to stagnation and little speed improvement. Now I'm trying to hit target paces on most of my runs, but most days those target paces are easy paces (just a little bit harder than I was pushing on easy days before).

    I think my physical limitation is my weight. I've lost 30lbs since I started running, but because of my eating disorder which spanned across too many years from restricting to b/ping to compulsive overeating, my metabolism is shot. It can be frustrating but I know this is my journey and I'm supposed to learn something from it!

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  5. I am with you about pace. Last year I hurt so much when I was doing a lot of speed work I feared injury. There must be a happy medium somewhere in there. I understand the weight. I have battled it always. 2010 is when my blood work showed a big change (slow) and i gained 25 lbs. in a very short time. I still haven't been able to lose it all, but I gave up- I have enough off now it doesn't mess me with me. When I first started running I was struggling. Weight training and running has helped me to lose inches, but it's slow. It can take me months to lost a few lbs.

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  6. WAY to knock out that workout. I tend to be very conservative leading up to a race as well. Don't like to make changes to my routine for fear of the changes running my race lol.

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    1. I know! I have one more week to push and then it will be easy peeshy unitl race time :)

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  7. I hear you with the knee pain. I just ran MCM yesterday and my knee has been killing me since. I hope it's just from the race and not going to be a continuous problem. -L

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    1. Congrats on the race!! It's a hilly course, rest up and i hope it feels better soon :)

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  8. I am OVERLY conservative before a race.
    That is an impressive weight workout. I have decided now that my race is done, when I restart training I am once again going to try and focus on strengthening, and cross training to give the body a break (and support!).

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    1. Growing stronger is always good for us :) I have really slacked on leg workouts (over this year) because I don't want it to mess up my running, but I am trying to stay more committed now. I can take a break close to me events. I am dying to hear about your race!

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  9. I hope you had a great weekend!

    When I was running alot in 2009 and 2010, I never really worried about my pace during my long runs (Saturdays). And I probably wouldn't have done any track workouts if it hadn't been for the track club I ran with on Tuesdays. Most of my runs were just about getting out there and enjoying running. Not too much pressure on figuring out the pace, because I personally don't deal well with pressure. :-)

    Good luck with your race coming up in a few weeks!!

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    1. Weekends go toooooo quick! I am with you, I don't like pressure. I want it to be fun :) My long run was fairly slow again this weekend but I am okay with that. I did feel good.

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  10. I run a lot of feel too. I just head out and see what pace feels good that day. Sometimes I push a lot more and sometimes (like yesterday) I feel like I am working the entire time to keep any sort of pace. Probably just my body's way of saying it needed an easy run. Would yoga help your knee stiffness and flexibility? I've been trying to incorporate it more to deal with my calf tightness and it is helping.

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    1. I hear ya! I swear sometimes I work so hard and see a 10:15 lol?? I am actually working harder though on that kind of day than a feel good day :) I went to PT for months and nothing really changed, so i am not sure if I can make major improvements or not.I could use Yoga more though, overall I am not super flexible.

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