Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - The Next Chapter

So I did something to my left leg during last Wednesday's workout that hurt. A lot. Not just muscle soreness, but wincing-type pain that originated from the muscle above my knee. It was ok to stand and walk, but bending (as in sitting, stepping onto a curb, or, as I found out Saturday night, climbing stairs) really really hurt. And I was mad. You see, I knew that what we were doing on Wednesday always made me hurt in the past - it's weird, but after all of that time working out, my quads are still a problem area when it comes to muscle strength. So doing single-leg lunges AND squat thrusters AND kettlebell swings AND tire flips...that was tempting fate, and yet I continued to complete the workout. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Because, hey - let's get all messed up right before we start a new running program! Argh - sometimes I really make myself mad when I don't listen to what my body is trying to tell me. I wish I had read this post sooner - I might have been better about trusting myself.

Understandably, I was really apprehensive about my first running club meeting on Saturday morning - honestly, I wasn't sure I would be able to run at all, and hello, what a lame-o I am, walking into the first day with an injury! Sigh. I swear, this could only happen to me.

But...the running club went great! It was a perfect fit for me - the coaches were all so friendly and welcoming; the other runners were nice and it was fun to mill around and chat with everyone, comparing what races we had done and whether we were going to go for a half or full marathon. The head coach of Texas A&M's cross country team was there to give us a little inspiration and motivation, and then they had a drawing for doorprizes, where I inadvertently won a Nathan Fuel Belt! Side story: the woman I was chatting with during the drawings said, when they held up the fuel belt as the next prize, "I don't like those - if I win, you can have it" - and then they pulled her name! Woohoo - I've been wanting to try one (and Helen has been encouraging me to get one) but I didn't want to spend the money, not knowing if I'd really like it. Apparently it's a rule with this running club (USA Fit, btw) that you have to carry hydration with you on all runs with them.
I made Jenny take a picture of the fuel belt before our run on Tuesday - gah...when did I get wrinkly elbows?!? I carried water in one bottle and Vitacoco in the other and except for the "Dunlap factor" (my belly done lapped over the belt, lol), I didn't notice that I was wearing something around my waist at all. The pouch in the back was great for holding my lip balm, key, driver's license and money, and I could easily have fit some Gu or Sports Beans in it as well.

After we warmed up by doing leg swings, big skips (yes, I'm sure we all looked like dorks doing this but hey - it was a big group of in numbers, right?) and a couple of other moves that got the blood flowing to our muscles, we split into two groups - the marathoners and the half marathoners. The marathoners had to run three miles for pace, while we halfs (halves?) only had to run 1.5 miles. Luckily, although my leg felt a little stiff, it didn't hurt to run (now, sitting down afterward? that hurt). I ended up running next to a nice woman named Tiffany and we fell into an easy pace, chatting most of the time. Although we were told to run at our normal pace, I couldn't help it when we were approaching the "finish line" - I had to kick it! So she and I blasted our way in, was fun!

Afterward, there were refreshments in the form of sports drink, bottled water, bananas and bagels waiting for us - I had everything except the bagel, as I really didn't feel like I'd expended that much energy. I'm sure as the miles build up I will be needing the bagel! Once everyone was back we did our post-run stretches - this is when they want you to do the traditional runner's stretching like holding your heel to your glutes for 30 seconds per leg, etc. Apparently it's better to do these after the run when your muscles are nice and warm and loose - less chance of pulling something this way. Good to know - I didn't realize this and have been doing these stretches before my runs.

This week's running schedule was to run three times (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) for 20 minutes. I can do that, no problem. Except that I didn't on Monday...I was really worn out from our whirlwind weekend, so I rested. But Jenny and I ran on Tuesday for more than 20 minutes, and we have plans to meet up again for another run...I know that the running club coaches are easing us into this and it will pick up quite a bit in the weeks to come, so I'm enjoying these sanctioned shorter runs.

As far as strength training, I did a little this morning - push ups, bicep curls using a tube, tricep dips and crunches. No lower body work (other than runnning) as I want to get that sore muscle healed. We are going to move the weight bench into one of the spare bedrooms so I can do some more exercises with weights, but that hasn't happened yet, and as it's in the attic, I can't do it by myself.

The first week in the next chapter of my journey to fitness has gone well and I'm excited to see where I will be in a few months!


  1. First: you silly girl, your elbows aren't wrinkled it's just the way you hold your arm!

    Your running group sounds great! I know that groups here in Holland don't have beverages and food afterwards, we're cheap, meaning we don't like to spend money (guess I must have been in some other country :) )

    I never stretch before a run, have read somewhere that it's not good to do before a run. I usually walk a bit first before I start running and stretch afterwards.

    I only bring water when I run more than 45 minutes because I don't like that belt around my waist at all but it's necessary above 45 minutes for me. On short runs I always have a piece of chewing gum in my mouth which I chew on from time to time during my run.

    Well done on your first week of your new workout schedule. Been looking forward to this post because I was curious how it went and it went great!

  2. Where most people have dreams of flying or falling off cliffs, I always dream of running. In my dreams, I'm a long distance runner and never get tired.
    Someday, I'll get there.
    BTW... I also dream of being on WIPEOUT. LOL But THAT, I'll NEVER do! :-)

  3. I hae been waiting for this report. YAY for the hydration belt win!

    Reading this, I felt like I was right there with you... and wished I was. I feel so excited for you and a teensy bit jealous at the same time. But so excited for you!!

    I know you're going to do great and you're smart to enjoy the shorter runs. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised at how you're able to keep up as they progress.

    Hope that quad gets to feeling better real soon.

  4. Fran stole my words. I was going to say 'you silly girl, you got wrinkled elbows when you were born!'

    This all sounds so great (except for that injury which made me mad too...) I love that you are strength training at home. I should do that more when I can't get to the gym. I will follow your progress and hopefully it will motivate me to action!

  5. I am so excited for you and this new chapter in your athletic career. The group sounds wonderful and YAY for the belt. And everyone's elbows are wrinkly when you hold your arm that way....

  6. Oh no! I'm sorry about the pain in your leg. :(
    But the running club sounds like a lot of fun! I know you'/re going to enjoy it so much. It's like running a race every week. There are refreshments afterwards and there's that whole racing spirit. You know what I mean. There's an exceitement in the air when you go to a race.

    Congrats on winning that cool belt.

  7. I'm so glad you liked running club. I LOVE my running club. I'm not sure I would have stuck with it without those ladies! And I'm signing up again for the fall group! For maybe a 10K! What?!

    Yippeeeeeee! We are runners! And I highly recommend yoga for stretching out the soreness in your legs/back/etc. My sister the yoga instructor talked me through some stretches over the phone and man alive, I felt like a million bucks when I was done.

  8. Oh - boo to injury! Really be careful with this so it doesn't snowball into something worse.

    That pack looks interesting. I hate having stuff on me when I run (even my shirt sometimes), so I am not sure if I could deal with a belt or not, but I need to think about it for longer runs when I am not at the track.

    Glad your running club is so fun! The one around here is kind of snobby, so I didn't join it.

    Stretching after a warmup, never as a warmup.

  9. Wow - get well soon, elbows and all!
    Mine are red from resting on them
    whilst blogging.

  10. Love that belt, congrats on "inadvertently" winning it. hahahah

    Great job on being a trooper and showing up to your first day!

    You inspire me.


  11. I think you should play lotto! Your luck has been good lately.

    Sorry to hear about your knee. So debilitating.

    Had to laugh at your dunlap comment! ;-D

  12. OMG, I laughed out loud at the "dunlap factor!"

    Glad the running group went well and you didn't feel intimidated - because you shouldn't - you are a runner!

    Happy Wednesday!

  13. It sounds like a really fun group. Take care of yourself, though, listen to your body. One caution on the water belt, I got one and it was great--until I stored it over the winter with the caps on tight. I was never able to get the moldy smell out and tossed them.

  14. It sounds similar to a group we have here and a little like what i did this summer.
    Have fun, and take care of your beautiful body.

  15. I'm so glad you are doing that. I'm going to join one as soon as I finish C25k. Also, love the fuel belt - I was worried how I was going to carry my Burts Bees during my half marathon!

    You're such a pro now Shelley and my inspiration every day.

  16. I seriously could not have finished 2 marathon training sessions without a group!

    I'm so glad you liked it Shelley! And awesome job on that lady giving you that water bottle pouch. I NEVER ran without one of those, you never know when a water stop will be next and you don't want to get too thirsty. I hope your leg feels better, I'm not sure what that could be?

  17. That sounds like a great running group! I really like your fuel belt...I need to get a new one and will definitely see if I can try that one :)


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