Monday, September 27, 2004

I've started reading and enjoying poetry again. And it all started with the poem below so I figured I should include it here. Most people know it from "G.I. Jane". As I was flipping channels the other day, I managed to catch the last minute or so of the movie, when the poem plays an active role. Upon hearing it I found myself sobbing like a baby. It's like the best words of advice anyone could give me in the form of this beautiful poem, and it just touches something deep inside of me. Amazing. So the first line has become my running mantra. It just repeats in my head, "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself ... I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself ... etc." It's helpful, keeps in my mind the important parts of what I'm doing.

Speaking of which, today starts week two of the run/walk program. I have to admit that I'm fairly nervous to see how it's going to go. Today I start doing run one minute, walk one minute over and over and over again. Seems pretty daunting. I just don't think that walking for one minute is really going to give me enough time to catch my breath. Crap. I have so many questions that I need to ask! How about if I post them here and if any of y'all know the answers then just let me know, ok?

1. If I'm thinking that one minute isn't going to be enough time to catch my breath between minutes running, does that mean I'm going too fast?

2. How do I protect myself from shin splints? Especially because the slower I run, the more my shins hurt. Someone recently told me that's because I'm running up on my toes (like a sprinter does) so I'm going to check out my stride today and then figure out if that's the truth.

3. Why do my knees hurt when I run slower? The difference in knee pain between running 5 miles/hour and running 4.8 miles/hour is most definitely noticeable.

I think that the absolute best thing for me right now would be to get some sessions with a personal trainer. I've got so many questions related to fitness and nobody to ask them to. I need someone who's right there with me, you know? And, especially right now, it's just so super important that I don't hurt myself. Hmmmm ... maybe that's something I'll look into. See how much it costs.


Blogger bicia said...

1) I REALLY think you should run as fast as you can while still having normal breath patterns. As soon as you have to huff and puff, you are going too fast. You should be able to just BARELY hold a conversation, that level is good to shoot for. That way you can go for longer and longer each time.

2) Shin splints are a new runner's evil injury. Altering stride will help, but very important, strengthen the muscles. Do 20-40 toe lifts and heel lifts a day, and that will REALLY help, if they hurt, ice afterwards. Other thing, get outside as soon as possible and run on dirt. Much better.

3) You probably alter your stride a little when you go a little faster, using different muscles, etc. Run where you are comfortable, and ease into doing a faster minute, slower minute, etc., give your muscles time to catch up to what you are doing.

oh, and I needed to see that poem today. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, feeling that it is unfair that I look the way I do. Too easy to do now that I am still not running. I hope I will be so happy running again that maybe I will focus less on getting thinner, and just be thankful that I can run.

10:09 AM  
Blogger bicia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Mia Goddess said...

Hi Margaret! I think you'll be very (happily) surprised at how quickly your body improves in running just by running. Do the 1 minute/1 minute, and even if it SUCKS mightily the first time, by the second time you will already notice an improvement. I promise this. By the third and fourth time, you won't remember what all the fuss was about. 5th or 6th time, you'll be ready to stretch the runs even further. Possibly before that. It's not just my experience (which it is) but it's the nature of running. The act of running - at all - makes you a better runner. Immediately.

Shin splints are satan's spawn. There's a lot of info on the internet, I found a couple of good sources when I googled it recently. There's also the whole "shoe" angle. I know people who run half marathons in old school converse sneakers with the soles duct taped on. Other people have to wear mega-engineered running shoes or they seize up after 2 miles. It's weird. In the Bay Area, there are many shoe stores that specialize in running shoes (don't think "foot locker", but more like Hoy's Sports in SF on Haight St.) These kinds of places, they will watch you run across the store (you will feel like mega-dork, but they are only checking your stride!) and they can tell you immediately if you over- or under-pronate, tilt, short stride, etc. You can work on form, and you can buy a shoe that will help correct it for you by compensating for your foot action. I would bet there is a source near you that can and will do the same thing. Whether or not you have the money for the shoes, it's a good idea to go and get their info and expertise.

Good luck! You can totally do this. Remember: the trick to running is to start. Then, once you've started, the trick is to not stop. That's it!
- Mia

1:39 PM  
Blogger margaret said...

Thank you both tons and tons. It's nice knowing I have a support system of people who can answer my questions and always be there for me.

You guys are the best... :)

8:57 AM  

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