30 October 2013

Stretch and Rub

I've been a runner for a significant portion of my adult life. I ran my first half-marathon shortly after I graduated from college. Since then, I've completed six more half-marathons and one full marathon. I find that having a goal keeps me motivated and running more than I would otherwise. While I've had running-related injuries before (a stress fracture in my foot after the full marathon), my body has held up considerably well.

That is until about three years ago when I went skiing and fell on my hip. Hard. My hip and knee haven't been the same since. I didn't realize that having an impact injury could mess up my alignment and create all sorts of problems. Since then, I've been running in pain. Three years is a long time to be stubborn and hope that the pain will just go away.

So, when I considered running a half-marathon this year, I decided to stop running through the pain. One of my neighbors is a therapeutic masseuse and runs her practice from her home. She and I talked at a party and she mentioned that my pain was probably a result of my alignment being off. The first time I visited her, she was amazed at how off my hips actually were. I've been back three times now. And each time, I feel my alignment getting better.

And when a mom friend started teaching yoga at the local yoga studio, I figured it couldn't hurt. So I signed up (and got a teacher discount!) for the bulk package of 10 classes. I've been going for five weeks now.

I'm too cheap to buy a race photo, so I lifted the proof :).
I was a little nervous to run the Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I typically try to run a couple of double-digit runs before a half marathon, but I only managed one 10-mile run. But, with all of the stretching and rubbing, I ran a decent time (2 hours, 1 minute) and felt better and stronger while running than I have for years. I also had a good running partner, so that helped too! When I was younger, I could go out for long runs, forget to stretch and it never meant much. Running now means I have to manage a bit more in terms of recovery, but the strength and flexibility that result as a by-product aren't too shabby.

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