Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Rules of My Body

Typically when I am presented with a conflict I spend hours at once trying to fix it. I work hard, get it fixed, and go on with my life.

Running injuries are not like this at all. This year I have had a few injuries, specifically right toward the end of the year. I enjoy running a lot, and I overdo it sometimes. When I had a hurt heal I took a month off. I felt much better when I came back. I hit the ground running and started doing 7 mile runs daily. I thought because I could do it before that I could do it now. I forgot to listen to my body.

For the past week or so my knee has been bugging me. It doesn't hurt unless I'm running. I make it about 1/8 of a mile and it starts to hurt. I know, I must be doing it wrong. I must be running wrong.

I have tried a ton of different form suggestions that all lead to the same thing: knee pain. It sucks to say this again, but I am going to have to take another break. I guess it will be another month. I need to ice it more(I don't have an ice pack). After this I need to come back slow. I am strongly considering starting out doing 2 mile runs every other day and increasing by 10% per week. I have never followed the 10% rule. I need to though. I want to come back stronger than ever. I want to cross train on my off days.

So the thing that has been on my mind: Is this a set back? At first it sounds like it. Looking at it with a more open mind, I feel that it is an opportunity to start fresh and follow the rules of my body. I know things will get better. I just need to be more patient. I really want to be good at running, but I am slowly learning that over-training and hurting myself is not a good way to be a better runner.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I haven't been running lately. I have every intention to, but with finals coming up and a sore knee I haven't had time. I will have time in the next few days to go out and experiment though!

I have been doing squats to strengthen my legs and knees. I have seen an improvement. My knee is much less sensitive to downhill movements.

I have been reviewing some barefoot running tips just to make sure I am doing everything right. Sure enought I stumbled across a few things that I find need improvement.

  • Cadence: My cadence isn't as consistent as I would like it to be. I just need to practice running and paying attention to it. I think around 200 steps-per-minute fits me well.
  • Lifting: I never pay attention to this. I need to be focusing on lifting my feet, not putting them down. 
These plus some forward hip lean will get me running right.

Since I have had all these injuries I don't know if I am going to be able to run the 50K. My mind is telling me to start small again (5K days for a bit until I am comfortable) and build up to the longer distances. I think I lost a lot more than I thought on my time off, but still believe I can run the distances, which will get me hurt in the long run(no pun intended).

Today I experimented with a vegan diet. I found a book on OrganicAthlete that is completely free(PDF download) and informative. Am I magically a vegan now? Heck no! Turkey day is right around the corner! Am I going to make an honest effort to eat more vegan-styled meals? Sure! My health is very important to me and anything to give me an edge over the "I just ate McDonalds now I want to run a 5K" guy is just what I need. I figure I will also appreciate those non-vegan meals I eat from time to time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snap, Crackle and Pop: Chiropractors Rule!

Last night a buddy of mine and I were looking through an anatomy book for what was bothering me. I tied it down to 2, well technically 3, muscles: my IT(illiotibial) band and my iliopsoas(a combination of the psoas major, psoas minor, and iliacus).

The pain in my IT band had moved from the side of my leg to the spot where it connects to my knee. I could really feel it when I walked down hills. The iliopsoas hurt when I lifted my knee up toward my chest.

I went to my favorite chiropractor, who aligned me like usual, then looked at my situation. The first thing he noticed was my fibula. How surprising, a professional knows more about my body than I could find in a book! I suspect this is the problem I thought was my IT band since they connect in similar areas.

He then looked at my iliopsoas. He first warned me that it was going to hurt. I then told him to never tell me that again. He made me lay on my back with my knees up and resist his hands, which were on the outside of my knees. I felt a slight pop. I looked at him like with a "Is that it?" look. He said, "Ah that wasn't so bad!"
I had actually watched a video of someone doing the pop on themselves, and tried it, but was afraid to push too hard since I didn't have anyone around me. I'm glad I went to a professional though.

I walked out of there feeling great. I was laughing at how loose I felt and how comfortable I was.  My fibula is still bothering me a bit. I suspect what the chiropractor did is knock it into a place where it can recover. I am strongly considering running tonight and just seeing how it goes. Not today... Chiropractor told me to wait a day to let the muscles relax. Maybe tomorrow!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Barefoot Tyler Business Cards!

Today I got bored and created a business card to hand out to people so I can promote my site. Vistaprint is having a special: 250 cards with anything you want on them(gloss or matte) for $3.99 + shipping and handling. Righteous bucks!1

I created the card using GIMP and the Feetish font.

1. Must be said in a Jeff Spicoli voice

Hip/Pelvic Pain

I am essentially posting this so I can show the great people of reddit where my pain is. It hurts when I kick my leg up. I have a feeling they are just muscles that aren't used to being used as much as I used them yesterday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Long Days, Blistered, and Rollin'!

RunKeeper Stats of Today's Run I've decided to stop including the map in my blog post. It slows my site down quite a bit.

Last night I had the urge to run. I decided to wait until morning, but set my alarm for 5AM. Well something happened between 4:49 AM and 5:01 AM, because my alarm didn't go off. I suppose I zombied it off.

I ended up waking up at 7, which seemed fair enough.

I washed my face and did about 10 minutes of stretches. I drove out to my favorite run spot and started running.

It was pretty cold at first. I was told that it was 32 degrees F and that was 1 hour after I started. Nevertheless, me and my barefoot feet warmed up around mile 2. During about that time the outer part of my hip started to hurt. I decided to run with it. The pain stayed about the same for another mile.

My running buddy(who I knew was going to be there but was sleeping in) showed up and started to run with me. He set the pace at 9 minutes/mile, which was much faster than my 11 minute/mile pace. I told him about my pains. Something cool happened as I increased my speed though, my pain decreased! He explained to me that he thinks lactic acid builds up on slower runs. He used to run long runs at a 10 minute/mile pace, but found he hurt a lot the next day, while he rarely hurt after a marathon. Convinced, he switched all his practice runs to 9 minutes/mile.

Fair enough, fair enough. I trudged along at that pace, monitoring my form and such until the 11 mile mark, where I called it quits. It's the longest run I've done in a while, so it felt good(mentally) to run that far.

As I was doing some stretching on the hood of my car I noticed some blistering on the bottom of my left foot. Darnit!

I soaked them in hot saltwater, put on some socks, and went to work. All day at work my leg bothered me. Every time I swung it forward to step it hurt. Something just wasn't right!

I came home and immediately began researching some stretches and skimming through some "how to run without injury" articles. I came across some great stuff written by Olympic runners. The thing is, I seemed to be doing everything right.

The idea of a foam roller had been running through my mind all day. If I just had a foam roller... A friend of mine has one, but I feel kind of bad about mooching off his, so I made my own.

If anyone would like to buy one please notify me. They seem to be in high demand...

I watched some videos and went at it. It hurt, but in a good way. By the time I was done rolling over my bottom half twice I was laughing in pleasure(kind of like when the crazy geocaching* chiropractor cracks your neck).

*My chiropractor is a geocaching nut. He recently got his 1000's geocache! That's a lot of time looking through the woods for gold coins and happy meal toys!

And now I am sitting here, writing about how I did all this in one day. And despite the aches and pains, I feel great inside and wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Self Improvement

I haven't had the time to run this week. It's quite sad, but finals are coming up and it's all I can do to study. I have, however, been improving my habits in hope to be more productive.

I have been reading The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Reading this was inspired by Jason Robillard. It has given me a ton of lifehacks that I can implement into my life easily, without huge change.

I have recently quit drinking coffee. Why? Because I want to know how bad I am addicted to the stuff. It's day four and I have a headache and want to take a nap. I want some coffee pretty darn bad. I have replaced it with decaffeinated green tea. Until now, I thought the manufacturers added caffeine to the tea. It actually occurs naturally in it, but in the tea form has 1/2 to 1/5 of the caffeine as coffee.1

So far I have noticed an increase in concentration because I am not constantly changing from a caffeine high and crashing. I don't drink coffee with sugar or cream, so I know it is the caffeine that is doing this to me. Addiction is something I am afraid of. If I can't function properly without something I don't want it.(See the relation there to shoes? aye? aye?)

Reddit pointed me to a 30/30 work schedule that I have found effective with some manipulation. I am currently in my 30 minute of fun time with 17 minutes to go. So if this seems rushed you know why. Anyway, this is the link to the article. When I have more stuff to do I change it to a 45/15 schedule. Either way, you are rewarding yourself for working hard and giving yourself incentive to work hard to get everything done in x amount of time. It also gives you a fresh look at your work after a break. Turning your brain off sometimes helps.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Stretching It

I have been trying to stick to my schedule posted here. Unfortunately some problems have been holding me back. My hip flexor is bothering me again. I think I can fix it by stretching it more often. So what is my problem? Time.

I am a full time college student. I don't have much time to run. I need to do something with my schedule so I can have at least 2 hours every day to go from the idea of "oh I gotta go run" and taking a shower after running.
I was, however, impressed with myself by the distances I am still able to run even after a month off. I am trying a little harder than I used to, but 7 miles is really not that bad.

I was a little sore on day 3 of the schedule(7 miles, 7 miles, then 6 miles) but after the run I loosened up. I think my main problem is stretching and warming up. I should be spending more time doing that, but I feel like I am wasting my running time if I start out with a 15 minute stretch. Then again, what do I know.

I suppose today I will stretch thoroughly before I run and try to keep my form nice. I used to think I could just get out and go, but these longer distances are proving me wrong. What are your warmup routines?