Thursday, April 16, 2009

Running

I’ve finally begun my running program again...Why did I stop? My knees my friends, my knees…It seems that anytime I try to take up running, I suffer from anywhere to a week to a couple of months afterwards with stabbing knee pain (stairs are agony). I know, it sounds awful…well it is. So what to do? Never run again, have knee surgery, run upside down on my hands? Um, none of those are acceptable options for me. So, back when the pain began during my last running program endeavor, I had my friend Jake (yes, the ex-boyfriend / personal trainer) help me figure out WHY I was in pain, WHAT was I doing wrong, and HOW to perhaps “fix” the problem. After much trial and error he came to the conclusion that a.) The small stabilizing muscles around my knee joints were under developed, b.) That I needed to get proper footwear, and c.) I’ve got to learn to run with good form. We worked on some exercises to help strengthen the muscles for a while, but I found myself lost without his help at the gym and quickly found myself of doing other activities. I also went to the running store to get an assessment, but wasn’t completely satisfied with the shoe choices at that moment. However we did work on my running form and I feel it improved, but of course the knees couldn’t keep up so the running program went by the wayside.

Now determined to get in a good Guerilla Cardio and return to the exercise I found that I really feel challenged by and enjoy, I decided to give it another go. This time, I went to the running store and did another assessment and found that I overpronate (my feet roll in too far when I run). So we tried many different running shoes, and I chose ones that of course helped correct the overpronation (built up on the insides with a special support bar within the heel), but also a ½ size larger for toe space, narrow enough to hold my foot in place, lightweight, and has a high enough arch to give me proper support…oh yeah, and their cute too (bonus)! The next order of business was to take care of the knee stabilization issue (muscles don't build overnight...well not as much as you might need). So I purchased two knee braces with metal stability bars on either side to see if this would help keep my knees in alignment and also to keep me from hyper extending my joints when I run (yeah I have joints that hyper extend…not good for high-impact situations). Now add the corrected running form and voila I’m ready to try running again.

So last week with my new braces and running shoes, I thought I’d try it out with a work-out that I’m already familiar with, thus I “Shredded” and the outcome was a positive and interesting one. I found that I was definitely using my body and muscles differently with the new balancing and support system…This was a positive feeling and aftermath. Then on Monday I took my new additions to the gym and hit the treadmill…starting with a 3.5 walk and then slowly adjusted my speed up and down for 30 minutes testing out my new found security. No knee pain and again I felt different muscles that had been activated due to the new adjustments. Tuesday was a day off, just to be on the safe side and then another go at it on Wednesday. This time I went a little faster and longer in the running sections of my program, and again had positive results with no knee pain in the equation. So today I’m going to see if I can do two days in a row without causing injury. I’m just really listening to my body and making my adjustments accordingly…baby steps people, baby steps. I let you know how it goes!

As for NaFOS, we have our first Yoga class with GrowFromTheGround Yoga this Saturday in Central Park. It's supposed to be sunny and 72 degrees...can I order up a perfect day or what?!

Have a Great day,

-Bex

2 comments:

Rebecca Hass said...

It was great to read your post about running! I used to run, because nothing burned the pounds off quicker I found. It just jacked up my whole metabolism. But I too experienced knee pain, which moved to hip pain, then back pain. I miss it though. Running is the ideal on the road exercise for singers-shoes and outdoors equals THINNESS! I love how you have set your goal and you are workin' it! More power to you!

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