Lessons Learned

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          So I have been running for two and a half years now.  Scarily enough I started for two to three months running in my Keen hiking shoes as I was too cheep to buy running shoes.  I was convinced that I was not going to like it since I had never like running.  After I discovered it helped my joints I decided to take the plunge and buy actual decent running shoes.  I aam a cheep person so this was a big jump for me.  I even jumped to buying expensive shoes as I had had one bad shoe buying experience since treatment and learned I could not buy cheep shoes now that my joints are messed up.  I suddenly realized how important it is to buy the right gear!  While, amazingly, I was not uncomfortable running in Keen shoes I was not super comfortable.  Once I took my first run in actual running shoes I knew there was no turning back! 
          Flash forward to today as I wear a knee brace on my left knee.  I am a mere four weeks  from my Moab trail race and I my whole left leg is out of whack.  My knee is sore and tight…not injured…no not injured…hopefully.  I have tight calves, shins, and left hamstring/quads.  I am fairly confident that my knee issue is due to my tight muscles as soon as I do a good round of stretching or yoga I am immensely improved.  My left hips pops in an unsettling way but I was still able to do a 11 mile run this week.  Last week on my long run they downhills were painful.   So my husband told me I was just getting older… He has a good sense of humor but on this one point I believe he was wrong.  As we brainstormed the injury we have come to the conclusion that it is all due to a cheep pair of shoes.  I wanted to put off purchasing another pair of trail running shoes as they cost $100 so I bought a pair of $30 costco tail shoes.  Oops.  Since my long run in those shoes two or three weeks ago I have been having this knee issue.  On that run my running partner and I made one other catastrophic mistake:  we talked about our lack of injury in our training.  Double oops.  Last week my running partner ended up with a re-aggravated ankle injury.
          I have new shoes on order from REI and I hope to get the in and broken in before our race.  Until then I will be taking it somewhat easy.  The problem with that is I have to run about four days a week to keep my joints from regressing to a painful state.  So how do I rest my knee and make my other joints happy.  I am going to try the strategy of shorter runs which seem to not hurt paired with yoga on the days in between.  I will get back to you after this coming weekends long run to see how that is going.  I will also be wearing my new shoes in stints to get them broken in. 
          As usual life is all about learning and not a day goes by that we do not learn something new.  This month it is a double big whammy of lessons: 1. don’t talk about injuries until after a race, and 2. DON’T BUY THE CHEEP SHOES!!!  Ok Maybe I will have learned that lesson now.  They say writing things down helps you remember them. I will see if that is true or if it is just a reminder of ones past mistakes. 

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Fitness Defined

I have said one of my main goals is to continue to get more fit, but after some time on a few exercise groups on facebook and after listening to the commercial onslaught from the radio I feel as though I should define what I mean when I say “fitness.”  Now having four girls this is a topic I consider with great thought.  What do I want them to think about their bodies and fitness?  I said earlier that I enjoy my muscles because they show how much I can do.  But does this mean I am fit?  Yes and no.  Many people may believe that that having a fit body mean a certain measurement on some part of their body.  But do I want my girls to think that they need to go weigh and measure their body at all time?   I, of course, have been there and done that but all this gets you is a pile of numbers that may or may not mean much. These numbers are most helpful when first starting out and the out of shape body speaks louder than the small growing fitness portion of our body.  Somebody could have some small measurements but still be winded from running across the parking lot.  So to me fitness is a functional term. Fitness means being able to up and do something without being winded or too sore at the end.

So my fitness goals are:
1. to hold a heavy pan long enough to pour out the food without having to set the pan down to rest.
2. to be able to have semi good posture.  since my treatments I hunker over more than I used to and as my bone density is low this could lead to permanent posture so I want to avoid being the hunchback of New Mexico.
3. to improve my half marathon time to under 2hrs
4. to get outside to run more since I seem to have less motivation to get on the treadmill and my joints desperately need it.  Ok this isn’t a fitness goal but it’s kind of in the realm right?

So there you have a few of my fitness goals.  I am sure they will change as time goes on or as I achieve them.  I hope some of you are able to set some goals and achieve them also!  We never know what we can do until we try!