Saturday, March 01, 2008

March 2 - March 8 Weekly mileage: 39
3/2 Sun- Chilly Half or Long run
3/3 Mon -Easy run 8.8 miles
3/4 Tue - Intervals 6 miles
3/5 Wed-Travel NYC
3/6 Thur - cross trail
3/7 Fri - easy run 4 miles
3/8 Sat - rest day (race tomorrow)

Had to sit out the Chilly Half Marathon - Having some issues with my right leg/hip/pelvic area still after the last speed workout and I didn't want to push the envelope. I need to continue doing my Strengthening Exercises and Stretches that the trainer assigned to me. I have been a bit lazy about doing them during the Hawaii holiday and all the travel lately. Since I'm on the subject, I'll give you a little recap of his diagnosis & recommendations (in laymen terms). After returning to running, I was having extreme quad pain and alternating IT Band flare ups, pirioformis pain, etc. I felt like my stride was all wrong and clumsy. After suffering through the entire Carlsbad half marathon Christy pointed out that my quads were flaming red. During the race they became really sore (sorer than the day after Boston Marathon) and I've never experienced pain like that during any race).

I visited Chris Maund at his CHEK studio in Encinitas, California. He took tons of measurements in strength, flexibility, etc. In my own words, the reason for the pain was that I was running with a really odd posture. I had an extreme arch in my lower back (as if I was still carrying the baby in my womb) and my arms/elbows were still flaring out at the sides. My lower abdominal and core muscles are so weak after the pregnancy & delivery, so I was using my quads, hip flexors and other muscles and overcompensating for my weak lower core & hamstrings. The exercises and stretches he assigned to me are geared toward getting my body back into its pre-pregnancy alignment and flexibility. I need to correct the extreme arch in my lower spine and get the curvature in my spine back where it should be. Everything needs to be tightened and pulled in and up. I didn't realize how week my lower abs muscles were until I tried to do those hanging crunches at the gym. I couldn't even do one! This was a huge wake up call for me. I realized that I had some real work to do before I was going to just bounce back to my prepregnancy fitness & running strength.

I am happy to report that my next half marathon (surf city marathon) felt much better. I didn't have ANY quad pain this time. I have to make a mental effort to pull in my lower abs and almost tuck my rear under as I run and pull in my arms. I still like I am a bit out of whack, but I am grateful that I understand the problem and how to correct it.

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