Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just Noticed the Lack of Noticing

I woke up this morning earlier than normal, although I’m very likely to go back to sleep still before waking up for the day. This probably wouldn’t have happened except that I have a bit of an upset stomach and I thought that I’d be able to see the end of the eclipse. Unfortunately, my tummy still hurts and I can’t find the moon. Admittedly, not being able to find the moon is a key element of an eclipse but still.... Definitely going back to bed as soon as the kitty decides to come back in from playing outside.

On the good side, noticing the discomfort lead me to notice something else. And what I’ve noticed is what I’m not noticing. And what I’m not noticing is pain in my lower back. With some on and off, I’ve had pain in my lower back since I hurt it in late 2008. However, lately I haven’t noticed any lower back pain. Not even today after an eight-hour shift at REI. I’ve been working on core strength and glute strength as well as having regular chiropractic ART treatments and, most recently, adding monthly massage. I’ve been doing yoga and pilates for additional strength and flexibility. But I think the key factor in making this go away is my almost nightly usage of Compex Active Recovery on my back. Think of it as having a strong massage every day. And, through the use of the electrodes, being able to target that massage exactly on the point that hurts. Very exactly.

Can’t wait to see how the lack of pain benefits my training in the new season. Very excited!!

Now off to either find the moon or at least the cat.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Compex is Going to Help Me Survive the Holidays!

I just finished the 2nd day of a 5 day straight stretch at work and my legs feel as beat up as if I just finished a tough race! I know that 5 days straight doesn’t seems like much to those of you who have regular jobs but I work part-time in retail and usually don’t work more than 3 days in a week and hardly ever more than 2 days in a row. However, with the holiday shopping season, I’ve been picking up more hours and this week I was scheduled Thursday through Monday - 8-hours on my feet each day for 5 straight days. I’ve also gone back to biking to work most days. It’s not far in terms of distance but it’s at least a little something additional each day.

I didn’t think much of this until I was walking the dog this morning after just one day of work. I noticed that my legs were a little sore and a little tired. However, midway through my shift at work today, I noticed that my legs hurt from my ankles through my quads. It didn’t get any better as the day went on! Now I’m finally home and hooked up to Compex Active Recovery on my quads and planning to use it on my shins and calves as well if I can stay awake long enough. I’m sure that tomorrow I’ll feel much better and I’ll survive the next two weeks until the end of the holiday shopping season thanks to Compex. And I really hope that one of the gifts Santa brings me this year is that new job I’m looking for so that by this time next year, I won’t be working in retail anymore!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa Shuffle 5K

I ran my first stand-alone 5K in ages today and, wow - did it hurt! The Santa Shuffle 5K was a first time 5K organized by a local running store to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I was looking for a 5K time to help me set my training paces - I figured that I should start training based on my current overweight, out-of-shape body. Then as I get back in shape and to my racing weight, I can update my training paces and have a sense of accomplishment as I track my improvement.

My hope for today was to be under 24 minutes for the 5K. I know it’s not a fast time, but I didn’t think I could achieve a fast time with the condition I’m in right now. Unfortunately, race conditions weren’t even favorable for that. First, the weather this morning was in the low 30s, with a windchill down to the 20s. I can plan and bundle up for cold weather but I have asthma and sometimes when it gets that cold, my lungs just don’t want to cooperate. Next, of course after feeling great for days, my knee started to hurt today. I tried to loosen up my quad by warming up before the run and stretching but it just didn’t seem like enough - probably because it was so cold. This is where I messed up - I should have packed my Compex this morning and used the warm-up program but I didn’t think of it (possibly because it’s been a while since I’ve had to leave the house at 6:30 for a race and I’m out of practice!). Finally, the course had a pretty significant hill. The course started off with a small downhill, then a flat, then another downhill for almost the rest of the first mile. It was an out and back course which meant that most of the last mile was going to be uphill. Great fun when I knew I’d be tired and hurting by that point.

I met some interesting people before the race. One guy was trying to hit around 7 minute miles after hurting his leg at a half-marathon in September. A young girl running with her father was hoping to run at under a 9 minute pace for the first time ever. (I saw both after the race: She just hit her goal, he just missed.) A lot of people were in holiday themed costumes - I saw plenty of elves and reindeer along with milk and cookies, a wrapped present, and a whole pack of M&Ms. Made me sad that I didn’t wear my elf hat but I did have my Compex hat on.

I didn’t hit my goal - missed it by about a minute - so I definitely have a lot of work to do over the winter. But at least I have a pace to use in setting my training zones. I usually hang around after races to cheer for other finishers and socialize but it was so cold (and I had to get to work) so I changed into my dry clothes then went to Starbucks for a tea. Results weren’t posted yet so I didn’t bother sticking around to see results because I was sure that I was too slow for any of the awards. However, I just found them online and I was 2nd in my age group - and less than 15 seconds back from 1st. I guess everyone was a little slower than normal in the cold. I’m a little sad because the store usually gives out pretty good age group awards at their races but maybe this means that there is more for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.