Learning to Run Again

Most of you out there, and I’m seriously jealous, know how to run.  And I know you’re thinking, “What’s to learn?  Just move your feet.”  Except if you’re me.  Remember when I said I run “like a girl”?  Well, I mean the stereotype that was featured in one of those Super Bowl ads (yes, I’m a girly girl, but yes I like pro-football, and no, I do not watch the game for the commercials like other girly girls unless both teams really…..but, I digress).

So, I run “like a girl” – legs or rather just my right leg spinning or fluttering out to the side.  My mother always used to giggle when I was little because I “ran funny”.  I’m so mad that she didn’t look into why or correcting it.  The weakness also shows up in squats as my knee turns in, or when I tried to learn to surf – I couldn’t get up straight, so down I went.  But it took me seeing my race pictures to notice the pattern.  And, needless to say, that extra little kick uses a lot of extra effort and energy whether I feel it or not.

Let me backtrack a minute:  Last week was session number 5.  At the start I was told we’re going to start engaging the core and conditioning it to respond automatically.   Harry said to me, “You might feel sore or something tomorrow, but don’t worry, it’s normal.”  Ummmm, okay……I’ve had sore abs and glutes during workouts before – if you are really working you’ll have that.  If you have a trainer, and you don’t have that, maybe it’s time to find another trainer unless you have already developed that area in full.  I spent the hour balancing, doing bridges, and planks.  First with both legs down, then on toes, one leg at a time – any variety you can think of that would shift the work to get every muscle.  Well, Friday I woke up sore as expected.  But Friday night, I had so much soreness and some muscle spasms that if Harry hadn’t warned me, I’d have thought I was sick.  That was because he had managed to get the muscles deep inside.  He told me that after the teenage years, we don’t really use the deep ones and that most of our work is on the outside.  But to run, you need the mechanics on the inside.

Now back to last night….Having successfully survived the torture of last week, we spent the first 35 minutes stretching and activating my core.  By that, it mean, hip flexor stretches, calf stretches, foam rolling everything leg, including the IT band.  Next was some “light” core work….a few bridges and planks to active the core.  Then the running….Where Harry said, “How long have you had that kick?”  Uh, 40-something years, Sir.  So we tried some changes:  Running with knees up – sort of like marching or prancing; then lowered my knees, but kept same foot position.  And what do you know!  I ran almost straight.  It definitely felt weird, but I passed and was given the go to start slowly training.

So here I am:  official training day one for the Marathon.  And by “official”, I mean the calendar started today.  One of the best things about runDisney races are the training plans/calendars they post from Jeff Galloway (former Olympic long distance runner and still running every Disney race at the age of 70, and fast!).  If you’re hesitant about whether or not you can run, his plan is for you.  Very slow build up to help you finish no matter what your pace.  And one of the great things is that weekday runs are only 30-45 minutes as opposed to a distance.  That way you can do it before work and have it scheduled neatly into your day. 11390188_10153463771253469_1569146257063751422_nThis morning started at 5:15 am where I put on my “In training” shirt for motiviation followed by  a 10 minute stretch and foam roll session as my sleepy dogs watched.  Next was their walk (and my warm up), and, finally, the 30 minute run (sans dogs – while they are small, they are faster than I am.)

My run had a lot of “new” things to track.  First was my running watch.  I recently switched watches and had to get used to feeling the vibration for my intervals, whereas my old one beeped as well.  Next were the intervals themselves.  I had met with Jeff Galloway at the Tinkerbell Expo where he advised me to do intervals of one minute running and thirty seconds walking (1:00/0:30).  This actually proved to be a great plan because while I was chanting to the tune of my music knee, foot, keep it straight and focused on that, it was about a minute before I’d start to notice I couldn’t hold it straight for much longer.  But I think I did okay.  Final results:  2.8 Miles in 34 minutes at an average pace of 12:15.  Prior to this I was averaging about 12:09 for the short runs.  So considering this was my first time back in almost two months, and I thought I was taking it slow, I wasn’t too far off.

I’m a little sore, but I’m feeling great.  I really missed the adrenaline rush after finishing a run.

Well, gotta run!

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2 thoughts on “Learning to Run Again

  1. I hear you! I have horrible running form too. Which probably a pain reason why running is so painful for me.

    I am eager to follow your journey into this training plan! Here’s to strong legs!!

    Liked by 1 person

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