Tag Archives: muscles

I’m having an extra piece of chocolate

1 Mar

I’m finishing up my lunch now, munching on a 0.2 oz piece of chocolate. It’s my mid-day treat.

The other week, I set off on a 10 mile run and made it 7.16 miles before a weird-feeling knee and bad foot cramps sent me limping back to my car.

The foot cramps are gone since I drastically upped my water and sodium intake. But that weird knee feeling has turned into knee pain. I tried running on the treadmill yesterday and only made it about 3 miles before having to switch to the elliptical. Walking is a chore, so I bought myself a compression knee brace and I brought my velcro wraparound ice pack with me to work today. I’m pretty sure it’s an IT band issue, and I’ve scheduled a sports massage this week. A massage cured my hip pain back in December… hopefully this will clear up the ITB tightness.

Instead of this week being filled with last strength workouts and tempo runs, my taper week will involve rest, ice, etc and confining myself to the elliptical once more. Hopefully staying off of it most of this week will leave me alright for the race. I’m also hoping this compression brace will help me out while I’m running.

In the meantime, I’m having an extra piece of chocolate.

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Never Too Late To Learn

23 Feb

Last night I attended a running seminar held at a nearby Lululemon Athletica about running injuries and prevention. The class was led by a physical therapist, and went over the difference between muscles, tendons and ligaments, common runner injuries, and how to treat and prevent injuries from happening. I’m a huge nerd and read and read and read about a topic until I either a) am really comfortable with it, or b) I get bored. So I’ve read a lot about running and injuries… heck, I’ve had enough injuries from my dancing days, I just might have hit each muscle group. I was familiar with a good amount of topics, but there was a good amount thrown in that I wasn’t aware of before.

Shin splints: did you know these aren’t caused by the muscle in your shin, but a muscle deep in the calf called the ‘soleus?’

If the soleus is too tight, it can pull back on the bone and cause pain out front. One way to stretch out the soleus is to do a form of a regular calf stretch, but bending the knee at least 30°.

I’ve done this stretch before this class, not knowing what its real purpose was, and thought it was stupid. I couldn’t feel a stretching in my calf, so I stopped doing it. But the stretch goes a lot deeper than a regular wall stretch, and I’m pretty sure a tight soleus is one of the causes of my crazy foot pain the other week.

The physical therapist also went over IT band issues. Since mine is acting up a bit, I was all like HOORAY! She did some foam roller demos, as well as a couple standing/floor leaning stretches.

Overall, I enjoyed the class. Many of the attendees were just starting out (after the seminar series is over, the group is starting a running club that’ll build up to a 5K), but the info was useful to beginners and veterans alike. One of the seminar organizers even had some questions, and she was a highly seasoned runner.

Hey hey hey listen

The YouBar Giveaway ends tomorrow night! Get yo entries in!

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I’m going to get back to enjoying my Alphabet Juice (apples, beets and carrots). Yum!

Muscle Cramps!

16 Feb

It’s a bit of my own fault, really… this past Sunday’s long run was my first outdoor run in about 3 weeks. My pace was also averaging at 10:09 when it’s been upwards of 10:30-10:40 in the past. And I did strength training the day before. And I’d been sick for half the week and my fluid intake wasn’t the best.

Okay, so it’s really all my fault.

I went out for a 10 mile run, and was feeling REALLY great about my pace. I kept actively slowing myself down because I’d look at my watch, realize I was running about 9:30 and back off so I didn’t burn out. My route this time was 3 times around the lake near me- taking the long path around was just about 3.33 miles. After each lap I’d stop at my car, take a drink and pop a few GU Chomps. I didn’t want to take my hydration belt with me, so lapping worked great.

After my second lap, my left knee was feeling a little weird. Not really in pain, just weird. I also had a twinge of a muscle cramp in my left foot, but I worked it out a bit and kept going. I’ve had weird muscle spasms in my feet since I was little, probably because my dance studio put me in pointe shoes at age 9.

mmm, this is healthy for young feet/legs

I set off again, and when mile 7 arrived, the cramp worsened. Ugh. Stretchstretchstretch aaaand run again. 0.10 miles later, PAIN. Yep, that was it, I threw in the towel. I turned around and started heading back to my car, only able to walk around 20 feet before having to stop and stretch again. I couldn’t flex my foot- that caused it to cramp. But I also couldn’t point it because it cramped the other way! Lose-lose situation, here. Next thing I know, BOTH FEET CRAMP UP.

Can I just tell you how embarrassing it is to be limping back to your car, stopping to stretch every 10 seconds on a high-traffic street. It’s so awesome.

It took me about 10 minutes to walk back, where I promptly stretched my legs as much as possible, guzzled my Gatorade, and prayed to Vishnu that I wouldn’t cramp up on the drive home.

The resulting numbers:
Distance: 7.16 miles
Time: 1:12:40
Splits: 10:00, 10:07, 10:19, 9:54, 10:18, 10:16, 10:08… and 1:35 ;)

All in all, some really fantastic numbers for me on a long run- a personal best! I was mostly upset by how fantastic the rest of me felt, but I couldn’t go on because of the cramping. It’s like I practically have an IV attached to me now I’m downing so much water. This won’t happen again… not with 19 days remaining. I’m also going to increase my salt intake pre-run and eat the same foods I’ll eat on race day (I’ve technically already been doing this, but not very strictly).

Do you guys have any cramp-busters you swear by? Any hidden techniques for preventing spasms?

Catch ya on the flip side!