Friday, June 28, 2013

Dreaming of Running

For the last week I've been for short runs every second day, increasing the duration by 2 minutes each time - I'm now up to 21 minutes!  

Although I enjoy being able to run again, even if it is only for a short time, I really dream of those longer runs where I extend my immediate boundaries and explore new parts of the city again.  I came across this draft post of such a run before I got injured, which only serves to fuel the fire.....

My 8k steady run recently took me along Ponsonby Road, through historic St Mary's Bay, and down the steep steps of Jacob's Ladder, where I had options.  Right towards Victoria Park and the city, or left towards the motorway overpass - I chose left:

At the end of the overpass I emerged to this view, and descended the stairs to run around the waterfront drive:

It was a beautiful day - and there's something special about running next to the water, isn't there?  

I'm going to be running over that distant harbour bridge in November during the Auckland Half Marathon, and kind of gulp every time I look at it, but then I remind myself it is only 33m elevation - a walk in the park!

I continued around Westhaven Marina and under the southern end of the harbour bridge.   

Auckland CBD admidst a maze of masts

Then it was a climb up Shelly Beach Rd to Herne Bay, and a zig-zag home through city streets.  A route to remember.

Sigh - I really miss my running adventures, and can't wait to start plodding the pavement big time!
Patience, patience.....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Things To Do When You're Injured #3

#3 - Keep Exercising!

The first thing I did once I knew I had injured my ITB, was ring the physiotherapist I went to last time.  Not only because he is a general all-round nice guy, but he also runs.  He understands without question how important it is for world peace that this middle-aged mid-pack runner gets back to running as soon as possible!

He did a few tests and prescribed me stretches (hip flexor, gluteal) and strengthening exercises (clam sets) to help my recovery and correct my particular muscle imbalances.

 I've been really good at doing these twice a day (really good meaning I've only missed them twice!)  I look forward to my daily time on the mat so much that I take the opportunity to work on a few other areas as well - like my core and upper body.  I love doing dead bugs:

and single leg bridges:

And my foam roller is practically my best friend.  From now on it's coming on every holiday with me:

To help improve my upper body strength I bought some dumbbells, and I've been having fun with those too:

Last year when I had my month's free gym membership, the muscle tone in my arms improved from zero to passable fairly quickly, so I hope to get back there again.  I also invested in this book which I really recommend - Weight Training for Running:

Each week I try to make it along to a Lululemon Yoga session.  I really enjoy them, and they're an invigorating start to the day!

By the way - I went in there yesterday to find some yoga trousers and they happened to be on sale - whoops, danger time!  I walked out with a cute running jacket, T-shirt, underpants and a headband....  I can't believe how much money I've spent on running while not running!

There is good news on the horizon for my budget though - I ran!  I did 15x 1 min run/walk repeats with no niggles at all.  After a recovery day (hehe!) I ran 20x and just about couldn't stop myself.

Fingers crossed this will be the last of my Things To Do When You're Injured posts*!

(*  I hope I'm not speaking too soon!)
(PS - thanks to my patient Mum who is visiting for taking the photos!)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baby Steps

My Physio suggested I go for a short run/walk on Sunday - on the flat, run 1 minute, walk 1 minute, 15x, with a good warm up and cool down.

So I did.  I was champing at the bit to go, and to try out my new shoes!

I ran for 9 repeats, until my lateral quad began to tighten slightly above the knee.  It was only slight, but I took it as a sign to stop.  It probably didn't help that it rained on me and my running capris froze.

There will be other days.
There is no sense pushing.
If I did 15 repeats I might have aggravated it and be really annoyed.
Instead I did 9 repeats, tonight my knee is behaving, and I am only slightly annoyed.
Baby steps...


I had another physio session tonight, and my naughty lower quad got a really tortuous massage and acupuncture - ouch!  He is not too worried that I didn't complete 15 repeats, and I get to run on Friday again, stopping only if I get pain.  Yay!

I can't wait, this no-running is starting to get to me.  The first week I didn't mind as it was cold, wet, and windy.  But lately I've felt unmotivated, blobby and a bit down. Obviously in need of endorphins!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Things To Do When You're Injured #2

#2 - Read about Running!

Instead of running, I've been using my downtime to read about it instead!  I've raided my bookshelves, visited the library, and ransacked the bookstore for running reads to satisfy my obsession and keep me motivated while resting.   These books where found lying around the lounge while tidying up - triple that pile to include the reads on my bedside table, in the office, at work, or in my handbag!

I had been reading all about half marathons and was in the process of trying to choose a training plan.  But when you can't run, doing that became the ultimate frustration - I started getting tetchy!

Instead, my favourite books at the moment tend to be those that take my mind off my own problem and transport me into another runner's world.  Like Malcolm Law's book 'One Step Beyond', about running seven of New Zealand's Great Walks in seven days (I've read it twice now!).  Or Lisa Tamati's stories of her ultramarathons around the world in 'Running Hot'.  Or some classic Dean Karnazes - I loved 'Run!' and currently I'm whizzing my way through his '50 Marathons in 50 Days'.

Although these books tend to exponentially increase my bucket list, they also motivate me to get down on the floor and do my prescribed exercises.  I've been so good my physio said I could try a run 1 min/walk 1 min x15 on Sunday.  I'm excited about that, but nervous too - wish me luck!

How was your first run back from injury? (I'll tell you Monday...)
What's your favourite running read? (atm it's Mal Law's One Step Beyond.  Check out the link on my sidebar if you want your own copy!)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Things To Do When You're Injured #1

#1 - Go Shopping!

Going shopping in your favourite running stores is sure to cheer you up when you get injured!  Well, it did for me - here I am guilty as charged:

It has started to get cold around these parts, so a new pink Adidas t-shirt and black Nike capris were needed.  And I picked up a couple more pairs of Experia socks as I have been loving the turquoise pair I bought recently.

I bought a SPI belt because I think it is really handy, and chose the reflective version as sometimes I have to run after work and it starts to get dark by the time I get home.  I also splashed out on some pink 2XU compression socks, and some dumbbells because I thought they were cute I should start improving my upper body strength:

I have been trying on shoes for a while as my others really need replacing and are probably the cause of my injury in the first place.  Shoe Clinic kept steering me into Mizuno Wave Riders so I finally stopped procrastinating and bought them too:

They are very comfortable, and I like the way the sole at the heel tapers - I always felt this part stuck out too much on my Supernova's.  I've heard a lot of comments from runners who love their Wave Riders too.

So there we go - a bit of retail therapy to supplement the physiotherapy.  Now all I need is my IT band to get better so I can use them!

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