Sunday, May 25, 2014

Strength > And Finishing on the 50

My schedule at work is filling up again with injured runners. Its a little early in the season to be breaking down. Races are just getting going and there is a long season still to go. Don't get me wrong, rehabbing a stubborn injured runner (yes I've been there myself as an athlete)  and bringing them back to running is one of my greatest challenges. I love it when I can high five them out the door and say I hope I never see you again unless its at a starting line!   Recently I have been repeating myself at work as to how appropriate strength of the correct muscles is important for running strong, efficiently, maintain form and to prevent injury.  To be hurt and on the sidelines at this point in the season can be caused by one or a combination: 

1. obvious trauma like stepping in one of the crater like pot holes left behind from winter
2. coming back from injury the wrong way:  as in too fast 
2. training error; doing to much to soon, more than you are truly ready capable of, or following your friends/ training partners workouts
3. poor strength; you might get away with it for awhile but eventually, overuse and soft tissue trauma will come find you

any combination of the above can lead to an entire season of pain and dysfunction

So it takes strength to:  
1 complete the steps appropriate to recover properly from injury or prevent it in the first place
2. hold back, do the correct strength exercises and have someone check out your form
3. stick to your training plan, which should be appropriate for your level of fitness
4. not give up, with the correct therapy and intervention you can overcome it and you'll be back running again 

I recently ran out of some strength in the last few miles of my first real race of 2014; Soilder Field 10 miler. The day was perfect and I was so excited to finally be on a starting line!  Wow that race is HUGE, but I had so much fun. My time was the second fastest I have ever raced a 10 miler/ and considering I've been climbing out of the muddy polar vortex pit, I'll consider it a victory knowing how my training has gone this winter and spring. The first 8 miles were perfect and I was holding a pace very close to my PR, but my calves said you haven't done enough strength work to run that pace for the entire 10 and cramped up. I had to slow some/ walk about like a granny to shake them off a couple times during the last 2 miles. In the end I finished on the 50 feeling accomplished!  I wore my BETTY tri shorts to race in.  Quite honestly they are amazing to run in.  They are so comfortable, don't ride up, stay put, and of course looking best you can can help you feel better when you are suffering. 

Smiling at Soilder Field

perfect day to race

When I think of strength, I mostly think of physical qualities, 
but lately I realize how much strength is also mental and moral qualities.

Strength is also:

1. saying no, when you always say yes
2  being nice and smiling when you want to be mean and say naughty words
3. standing tall and firm when you want to fall and crumble
4. going to work the next day after an amazing  "Ferris Beuller Day Off" 
5. doing whats right and what your conscience tells you, instead of giving in 

3rd row behind Cubs dugout!!
Ferris Day Off!

I took a day off mid week for my own "Ferris Beuller" day.  A planned day off mid week to head to the city to a Cubs game with 2 of my amazing girlfriends made for an epic day and fun start towards a new chapter in my world.

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