This morning the knots in my calves disappeared!! While this may not sound like a big deal, it a huge step forward. I started noticing after my first marathon 2 years ago that I get a lot of really bad knots in my calves after a run. I would stretch and use my massage stick, but I could never really get rid of them. Until this week. I have done more squats, push ups, lunges, and sit ups than I have ever done in my life this week, and I can tell they are making a difference. I suspect that the combination of squats, lunges, some awesome stretching, and my massage stick have made the difference. Despite a less than stellar run this morning (everyone has a bad one from time to time) I currently do not have any knots in my calves! Despite some tired legs from strength training it feels really awesome. If this is a sign of what is to come, I’m pretty darn excited!
On a completely unrelated topic, I found a few things yesterday that I wanted to share:
The New York Times had an article yesterday about figure skater Tanith Belbin. She talks a lot about her struggles with eating and how it affected her training. I think it’s so brave to share such an important message. I started running as a way to get healthy, and to try and avoid the health problems that have plagued my parents. Within the last year I started making small changes to how I eat so that I can be an even stronger runner. I think that’s part of the reason this article has been on my mind so much. How you eat can play a huge roll in how you feel.
The other is a video made by a fellow Team in Training member about her honored hero. It is so beautiful and moving. There were a few tears while watching it.
I hit me this morning as I was doing my post run strength training that it’s been exactly a year since I started adding push ups, sit ups, and other such exercises into my regular fitness plan. Recently I rearranged things to go back to some more traditional strengthening exercises, and I immediately noticed a difference, in my violin playing! Yes, I said my violin playing. Not that it isn’t already showing up in my running, but you wouldn’t believe the difference it can make in other walks of life as well. A lesson I realized yesterday as one of my students and I were on the floor of my violin studio doing push ups. She busted out 4 of those bad boys (she’s only 7!! I should also mention that I don’t actually make any student do push ups. She brought it up).
So what’s so great about strength training?
- Posture, posture, posture! If you can’t stand up straight it’s going to start hurting at some point. It’s the sad reality and one of the primary reasons I got hurt in high school right before all of my college auditions (can you say really bad timing!!). Even the smallest adjustment, or strengthening can make a difference
- Those push ups sure do make my arms stronger! Which is a really good thing cause I have all of these audition excerpts that require the bow to bounce, which needs some serious arm strength when you on the 5th one and still have 5 more to go…
- Musicians are like athletes. Don’t want to get injured? Get those muscles stronger and make sure you’re using them the right way!! (same goes for runners)
- Are you tired after that 3 hour rehearsal or concert? You have to hold that instrument up some how…
- Hills? What hills? (okay this is clearly a running one)
- You’ll be ready when you end up in a push up contest with a 7 year old!
Oh, Nutella how I love you!!!! I rediscovered Nutella back in June on a family vacation to Italy. There is nothing like starting your day with a little Nutella =). I had some for dessert Friday night before my awesome 18 mile run, so I decided at the grocery store on Sunday to splurge on a jar. That beautiful jar cost almost $10. So, it is hidden away from the rest of the family because I’m scared it could be gone in a week if others are allowed to enjoy it as well. So far I’ve discovered it’s great on pretzels and toast!
It’s tempo run Tuesday. The first half of my run was great!! Unfortunately my right calf cramped up on me half way through mile 3. So, I stopped and walked for a little bit, and iced it when I got home. Around lunch time yesterday I realized that I had done a very poor job of stretching since Saturday’s run, but I still didn’t do anything about it. Lesson learned!! Stretching has made such a difference in my training this time around! I’ve really started getting into yoga, and have made strength training a big priority. I’m tired of getting hurt, and I’m ready to start working on speeding up. I did decide to skip lunges and squats today and just do some core and arm strengthening. No since in pushing my calf. We’ll see how it does today and then make a decision about tomorrow’s run. I’m sure being on my feet for so long yesterday didn’t help anything either. So here’s the low down:
distance: 4 miles
total time: 36:47
average pace: 9:11
mile 1: 8:13
mile 2: 8:13
mile 3: 8:13
mile 4: 9:52
Also here’s a link to one of my favorite core workouts from one of my favorite blogs:
And my favorite post run 15 yoga flexibility stretches are available on iTunes:
Yoga for Runners: Express Flexibility Workout with Kimberly Fowler