Starting Over

Published September 5, 2011 by Jasmine

Fall is in the air, and I just love this time of year. For many, tomorrow is the start of a new school year, which to me always signified a new start. I miss school dearly, and if I had someone to finance my education I would be in school forever! I will always be a lifelong student, just not always in a real classroom rather in the classroom of life. I love to learn, to read, to study.  I love sharing what I learn just as much. Just as we exercise our bodies we need to exercise our minds.

I decided that I am starting over with my running. I was on a very consistent schedule with my running up until my first half-marathon in July.  Since then I have been struggling with an IT band issue and have done very little running, or any other physical activity. I can definitely tell that my aerobic capacity has decreased, and that disgusts me. In addition to the IT band issue, I found out my hematocrit (volume of red blood cells) is low.  This explains why I am so tired and worn out by 1:00 or 2:00 everyday. Another thing that I realized was once I started running outside, hence not getting to the gym, I quit biking, stair climbing, and strength training. I need to get back to place where I am doing all of those things.

Another reason I want to start over is that I never built a solid base when I first started running in January. The only problem with starting over is that I am signed up for a 10 mile race on October 2nd. The farthest I have been able to run in the last two months is four miles due to pain in my knee caused by my IT band. So I am doing a modified “start-over.” I am sticking with the mileage that will get me prepared for the 10 mile, but am following a run-walk program from the beginning (if that makes any sense).

When I first started running I was following a program that called for running five days a week. Following this schedule I eventually stopped cross-training as well as strength training. I have since realized what a mistake that was, along with never stretching! This time around I am going to do my best to stick to three days of running, and two days of cross/strength training. I am also going to try and sneak in some pilates and yoga.  I have never tried either of them, but believe they will be beneficial.

I have learned a lot dealing with this IT band issue. The number one thing I learned was how indispensable stretching and using the foam roller are. I hated taking time to stretch as I was already at the gym for too long. I learned that my glutes were weak, and weren’t firing when they were supposed to be. For the first three months or so, I did all of my running on the treadmill. Once I ran outside for the first time, I realized how much work the treadmill was actually doing for me. I think my biggest piece of advice for new runners is stay off of the treadmill if you can, and stretch. I’ve learned that my hips are really tight. I can imagine this has an impact on my running because my range of motion is limited. I have also learned that I carry an enormous amount of stress and tension in my neck and shoulders.

So although it has sucked not being able to run without pain, it has been a learning experience. There were numerous issues I had going on that I wasn’t aware of, and this IT band issue was my body’s way of making me slow down, take note, and learn. I can’t imagine how great running is going to feel once I have a good running base, and all of these kinks worked out.

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5 comments on “Starting Over

  • Great. Patience is definitely not on my system, so whenever I read about pain or injury, I panic. So I try to be careful on my training and save a small part of my energy so I won`t get hurt. But when the time comes, the road tells you to stop, and maybe it`s just to save more fuel and burn it in a different way next time you run. Remember you have a lot of people cheering for you far far away in the rainforests of Costa Rica. : ) Keep up the spirit!

    • Thank you Marianella! I am not patient either. My injury occurred because I was naive and didn’t know better. I think it happened in April or May and I just kept running, and the band just kept getting tighter and tighter. I am cheering for you as well. I have heard that the New York marathon is simply amazing, and their are thousands of spectators out cheering. It is definitely on my list!!

  • ITB issues are no joke. I assume you are doing lots of stretching and foam roller exercises. Can you switch to a 5 or 10K in the same race? Doing a run/walk is smart. Good luck in your training. It is easy to let strength training go when you are running. I am going to start doing p90x for that aspect.

    • Angie for the most part it is much better. Although I did make the mistake of running on the treadmill the other day which aggravated it. Lots of foam rolling, icing, and stretching. I think I will be okay for race. I plan on taking it slow and dropping out at an aid station if it starts hurting. If I don’t finish it will just be a training run. I’m excited to be there because I have some friends that I am very excited to see cross the finish line for the Twin Cities marathon!!

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