So I did something to my left leg during last Wednesday's workout that hurt. A lot. Not just muscle soreness, but wincing-type pain that originated from the muscle above my knee. It was ok to stand and walk, but bending (as in sitting, stepping onto a curb, or, as I found out Saturday night, climbing stairs) really really hurt. And I was mad. You see, I knew that what we were doing on Wednesday always made me hurt in the past - it's weird, but after all of that time working out, my quads are still a problem area when it comes to muscle strength. So doing single-leg lunges AND squat thrusters AND kettlebell swings AND tire flips...that was tempting fate, and yet I continued to complete the workout. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Because, hey - let's get all messed up right before we start a new running program! Argh - sometimes I really make myself mad when I don't listen to what my body is trying to tell me. I wish I had read this post sooner - I might have been better about trusting myself.
Understandably, I was really apprehensive about my first running club meeting on Saturday morning - honestly, I wasn't sure I would be able to run at all, and hello, what a lame-o I am, walking into the first day with an injury! Sigh. I swear, this could only happen to me.
But...the running club went great! It was a perfect fit for me - the coaches were all so friendly and welcoming; the other runners were nice and it was fun to mill around and chat with everyone, comparing what races we had done and whether we were going to go for a half or full marathon. The head coach of Texas A&M's cross country team was there to give us a little inspiration and motivation, and then they had a drawing for doorprizes, where I inadvertently won a Nathan Fuel Belt ! Side story: the woman I was chatting with during the drawings said, when they held up the fuel belt as the next prize, "I don't like those - if I win, you can have it" - and then they pulled her name! Woohoo - I've been wanting to try one (and Helen has been encouraging me to get one) but I didn't want to spend the money, not knowing if I'd really like it. Apparently it's a rule with this running club (USA Fit, btw) that you have to carry hydration with you on all runs with them.
I made Jenny take a picture of the fuel belt before our run on Tuesday - gah...when did I get wrinkly elbows?!?I carried water in one bottle and Vitacoco in the other and except for the "Dunlap factor" (my belly done lapped over the belt, lol), I didn't notice that I was wearing something around my waist at all. The pouch in the back was great for holding my lip balm, key, driver's license and money, and I could easily have fit some Gu or Sports Beans in it as well.
After we warmed up by doing leg swings, big skips (yes, I'm sure we all looked like dorks doing this but hey - it was a big group of dorks...safety in numbers, right?) and a couple of other moves that got the blood flowing to our muscles, we split into two groups - the marathoners and the half marathoners. The marathoners had to run three miles for pace, while we halfs (halves?) only had to run 1.5 miles. Luckily, although my leg felt a little stiff, it didn't hurt to run (now, sitting down afterward? that hurt). I ended up running next to a nice woman named Tiffany and we fell into an easy pace, chatting most of the time. Although we were told to run at our normal pace, I couldn't help it when we were approaching the "finish line" - I had to kick it! So she and I blasted our way in, laughing...it was fun!
Afterward, there were refreshments in the form of sports drink, bottled water, bananas and bagels waiting for us - I had everything except the bagel, as I really didn't feel like I'd expended that much energy. I'm sure as the miles build up I will be needing the bagel! Once everyone was back we did our post-run stretches - this is when they want you to do the traditional runner's stretching like holding your heel to your glutes for 30 seconds per leg, etc. Apparently it's better to do these after the run when your muscles are nice and warm and loose - less chance of pulling something this way. Good to know - I didn't realize this and have been doing these stretches before my runs.
This week's running schedule was to run three times (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) for 20 minutes. I can do that, no problem. Except that I didn't on Monday...I was really worn out from our whirlwind weekend, so I rested. But Jenny and I ran on Tuesday for more than 20 minutes, and we have plans to meet up again for another run...I know that the running club coaches are easing us into this and it will pick up quite a bit in the weeks to come, so I'm enjoying these sanctioned shorter runs.
As far as strength training, I did a little this morning - push ups, bicep curls using a tube, tricep dips and crunches. No lower body work (other than runnning) as I want to get that sore muscle healed. We are going to move the weight bench into one of the spare bedrooms so I can do some more exercises with weights, but that hasn't happened yet, and as it's in the attic, I can't do it by myself.
The first week in the next chapter of my journey to fitness has gone well and I'm excited to see where I will be in a few months!