Of course, the running updates are first and foremost.
Running is going REALLY well. This past week I have moved from the interval stage of recovery to running without breaks. Even though that sounds like the most exciting news ever, even more exciting is that my ankles are giving me less and less trouble after each run. I’ve known for some time that I needed to address strength and mobility issues in my ankles, I just didn’t know exactly what to do. A couple weeks ago, I read an article that suggested one-legged calf raises while holding a hand weight. I screen shotted the exercise instructions as I had EVERY intention of going home and doing them that evening. Except several days passed before I actually did the exercise. After the not-so-stellar post run stiffness (and soreness) in my ankles continued, I bit the bullet last Monday and started them.
The exercise is so simple that one wouldn’t expect it to do much at all (or at least me, anyway). Basically, you hold a hand weight in one hand and hold the other hand against a wall for balance. Then raise up as high on the balls/toes of your feet as high you can and lower slowly down only on the leg (same side as weight). Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each leg and you’re done! The weight should be just enough to cause some fatigue by the end of each set.
OH. MY. GOSH. I began feeling the difference almost immediately! The normal post-run stiffness from Tuesday’s run was at least 50% less than “normal”. I barely even noticed any stiffness after my Thursday run. Saturday I ran 6 miles – the longest since my injury – and I had ZERO post-run issues!!
During marathon training, I experienced these same issues with my calves and Achilles, so the feeling wasn’t new to me. It’s just that my ITB was a bigger problem at the time. I think that after strengthening my hips, the next weak body part in line was destined to fail and that is how I ended up in a boot in July! I never cease to be amazed at how everything in your body is connected, especially parts that you wouldn’t expect to have anything to do with each other! This reminded me of my friend Jane and one of her posts earlier this year. She actually fixed a hip issue by rolling her foot on a therapy ball!
Recovery is important, too.
I worry about calories. I know I shouldn’t, but I started this whole running gig to help with weight loss. While I wasn’t that overweight, I weighed more than I should have and I DO NOT want to go back there. So sometimes (OK, a lot of times) I don’t want to drink my recovery drink because it seems like a lot of calories to me. I know that I am eating to run and need to change my mindset accordingly. I have known this a LONG time, but actually changing my mindset is harder than one would think! I realize that I wasn’t fueling properly post-run and I know that contributed to my stress fracture. I won’t be skipping recovery fuel any more, even though I wince at the calories! These are good calories and I must remember that!
Cycling is a close second.
Something exciting happened yesterday morning. I saw a REAL cyclist on the way to church, and it wasn’t me!! (OK….I’m not saying I qualify as a *real* cyclist.) In any case, I was so excited that I had Alli snap a pic!
After a mad dash to get Logan a pair of athletic shoes, I went out for a ride myself. I checked the weather beforehand and learned that I would be facing a 15 mph headwind for the last half of the ride. That was SO exciting to me….NOT! Of course, the first half was a breeze – literally. The last half was a battle between my will power and the wind, but I WON!!
Aaaaaand….I didn’t fall off my bike! #winning
Change is difficult.
Many of you know that Alli has played for MadFrog Volleyball since she was in 2nd grade. That is going to change this season, as she will be making a move to Skyline Juniors, another club in our region.
I wanted Alli to play for our high school coach, who also coaches 11s at Skyline, but wasn’t willing to rock the boat with Madfrog for one year with him. When it became clear that MadFrog might not be the best place for Alli this season, I contacted Coach McKinney immediately.
I’m so thankful that he felt she could contribute to his team! He is an AMAZING coach and I was terribly sad that Alli wouldn’t get the experience of playing for him this year. Alli was apprehensive at first….it is so difficult to leave a place so comfortable and familiar and one that feels like home. It was difficult for her to leave her teammates whom she had grown to love. However, she is growing to love her new home at Skyline. She absolutely loves Coach McKinney and his assistant and she has realized that there are good friends to be made wherever she goes! I can’t wait to see how she grows and matures as a player throughout this upcoming club season!