I was so excited about my upcoming run on Friday that in my last post I completely forgot to talk about all my Thursday night purchases (the ones I made killing time while Alli was at volleyball practice. I know….dangerous LOL)!!!
First, I bought heavier hand weights. I don’t think it is a secret that I have tried (successfully, I might add) to avoid strength training like the plague. But, I realize that it is so important to keeping me out on the pavement. And when I consistently strength train, I feel so much better and so much stronger! I have been doing the strength exercises that were listed in the book I bought. They have given me a great place to start and each week, I add a bit more weight. I am beginning to notice a real difference! Now that I have a base, I am going to start experimenting with some different exercies. I never imagined I would look forward to it, but oddly, I am!!
Then, I bought a heavier resistance band. I haven’t used my resistance band much because I bought a lightweight one and it just doesn’t seem to be a challenge. I’m pretty excited to try out the new one!
The muscles between my shoulders are so knotty and tight. ALL. THE. TIME. This is quite a bit larger than a therapy ball, and to get your back, you roll with the ball in between you and a wall. I must say it works very well! And it is easier than the foam roller for getting into the glutes, plus it is easier (for me) to find those spots in my glutes than with a therapy ball (OK, maybe not easier, just less painful).
Foam rolling has been almost a breeze lately. I have to work very hard to find spots that need attention and that is a REALLY good sign! Of course, there are still spots, but not many and they aren’t too painful! #progress
Did I mention that I ran on Friday?? IT. WAS. AMAZING!!! I actually felt like myself. I stuck with the 5 min run/5 min walk intervals, and was terribly sad when the run was over. I would gladly have gone a couple more intervals. I think this is a great sign that my body is healing nicely. The heart rate training is going to be good for me, as I have said before. I had to hold myself back to keep that little devil from beeping at me (it went off 6 times within the first 3 min of my first interval). Had I not had my heart rate set, I am SURE that I would have over-exerted myself. I believe this will be one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle to keeping me injury-free going forward.
Now, I have to admit that Crazy Jen tried to make an appearance. During my run, I began having that internal debate regarding what heart rate zone I had set for my run and how (at the time) Crazy Jen thought it was too low. After the run, Smart Jen realized that my heart rate is set in the right place for this point in my recovery. Thank goodness I don’t know how to change all that mid-run!
Since I can’t really blow the top off my pace (or the bottom, as it may be), I am trying to concentrate on correcting issues with mechanics. I have been able to keep my left arm from crossing my body (which, if you remember DRIVES ME INSANE, and is not good form). Cadence is always on my mind, but I have been doing a decent job there, considering the turtle’s pace to which my heart rate is keeping me constrained. (Another plus to heart rate training……I can’t see my pace!) Something else I noticed was that I could feel my glutes, which means they are actually awake and firing…..always a plus!
Even with the walk breaks and my phone in my FlipBelt (as opposed to an armband), I am still having logistical issues when attempting to take pictures. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to overcome this, so don’t expect many spectacular “seen on my run” photos.
Saturday morning, I got up early so that I could do my strength training and get all my stretching and foam rolling in before I left to referee a volleyball tournament. I felt great!! No soreness whatsoever from the Friday run!! Another plus is that after standing for 8ish hours on Saturday and about the same on Sunday, I didn’t have any soreness or aches (like I did with my last tournament). Overall I am VERY encouraged by my progress!
Many people have been asking about my peanut butter consumption and the absence of peanut butter jar pics. Let’s just say that Alli, my almost 10 year-old, “scolded” me regarding the number of peanut butter jar pics I had posted! LOL. So, for now, rest assured I am still consuming peanut butter like a wild person, even though the consumption is undocumented.