Because I am extremely cautious – although that can also be categorized as being a worrier (it runs in my genes), I decided that when doing the full marathon training that maybe I should seek the opinion of a running coach to improve my form. I am also aware that as a girly-girl non-athlete, I’ve completely slacked off in the gym when it came to core training and that my knees and joints might start to pay. This is especially concerning to me since, when I first started this journey, I had suffered a hairline fracture in my leg which was likely caused be severe bruising in my bones that I could see on a very cloudy MRI. I walked down to the Starting Line in Venice Beach to ask for a recommendation. In addition to being shoe experts, they also are the starting point for the Marina Del Rey Running Club that meets three times a week for socializing and training runs. (Note: I went once about 18 months ago, and they are a fast group. I was very intimidated and did not go back, but am working towards not delaying their after run food and drink.)
After speaking with them, I was escorted up two flights of stairs over the store where I was introduced to Harry of HM Sports Performance. I told him why I was there and what I was hoping to achieve. He took one look at me and told me, “Your alignment is all off.” What? Yes, I sit at a computer all day, yes I also have some slight scoliosis that wasn’t corrected, but was it that visible?
Harry explained how his system works: he does a full assessment and then a set of 10 sessions minimum of twice a week. The goal is to discover exactly what might be out of alignment, and to correct it through exercise. His degree is in Human Movement with a certification in Corrective Exercise. I needed to think about all of this and get through the Pixie Dust Challenge before starting something brand new, but I was definitely interested.
I did some other shopping of “personal trainers” – the more educated ones at the higher end facilities said almost the same thing, but none of them seemed to have a running background and would understand the work toward 26.2 miles.
I decided to take the plunge: I met with Harry on Monday and got my assessment. Not only did he spot the above issues, but also found that I have inflammation in my knee and should be icing daily and that one leg is possibly shorter than the other which is why I could be misaligned and will be seeing a foot doctor he works with for assessment for orthotics that will help me shift back. That won’t be for several weeks though. We also talked about my medical history and my specific goal for the full marathon (to finish without being swept – under seven hours – and to not get injured while participating or training for it).
Then the blow: Stop running for the next several weeks. What? No! I’m going to fall behind! Well, I could just go with the training plan online and not pad the time in case of illness (did I mention I was a worrier?). Breathe in slowly….exhale.
Harry assured me that taking this break will not hurt me and that I have plenty of time. By taking this break and doing the exercises to realign me will make my running more efficient and easier. So, here I am, with ice, not running (but I am walking), and waiting to be straightened out.
First session on Thursday! Gotta run, errrrr, make that walk!