First of all, I found my new favorite drink today:
|Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappucino|
Yes, that is chocolate whip cream on top. And yes, you should go buy one right now. It was life-changing.
I've been making progress (albeit slow progress) with my ITBS as of late. You may remember that I had scheduled an appointment with a physical therapist last week. Well, after finding out that it would cost $200 out of pocket for the initial consultation, I decided to just stick with deep tissue massage and my own strengthening exercises. And, I'm happy to say that over the last two weeks I've gotten three pain-free 3-mile runs in. My knee has still been sore, but no debilitating pain, which I couldn't be happier about.
I feel that I owe at least some of the credit for my pain-free runs to a little movement you may have heard about called "Chi Running." I haven't read the book (although I'm contemplating buying it), but the Chi Running website features a little blurb about IT band syndrome and how you can alter your running form to help keep the pain at bay. The two main things it talks about is keeping your pelvis level (both front-to-back and side-to-side), as well as making sure your feet are landing midfoot either directly below your body or right behind it. I've been mostly concentrating on the pelvis part, because I think the side-to-side movement is what's really screwing with IT band. On my 3 mile run yesterday, I noticed that I felt a slight twinge when I got lazy and started ignoring my hip movement, but as soon as I corrected it, the pain was gone! I'm going to continue to implement these Chi Running principles into my training, and hopefully once I'm fully healed it will keep me from suffering from this injury in the future.
I have a bit of sad news, although it comes accompanied by much happier news! I won't be running the Med-City half-marathon on May 27th, because we're going to California to meet my new nephew, Henry! :) He's two months old now, and we can't wait to see him. There will be many more races to sign up for, but we'll never get to see Henry this little again.
Alright, time for a more serious topic- yes, even more serious than my injury ;) Lately I've been struggling with comparing myself to other runners- whether it be people I know personally, people I don't know at the gym, or other running bloggers I've never even met. And I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Racing brings out the competitive nature in all of us, whether we're racing against others to place in our age group, or just racing against ourselves for a new PR. It can be disappointing when we don't meet a time goal, especially if someone running their first race ever makes the time goal we missed look silly. Or if someone runs a much better time than you (a time you'd kill for!) and yet they're disappointed about it. But that's the thing- we all fall differently on the spectrum when it comes to talent. For example, I just read in the most recent issue of Runner's World that if you can run a sub-25:00 5K, you're a "serious runner." I was confused- by whose standards am I a "serious runner?" I definitely don't consider myself one, but I know that some of my friends might, based solely on my race times. In comparison, I consider women who run sub-20:00 5Ks serious runners. It's all about personal perception. Another example- last fall while running a half-marathon, I passed two girls with shirts on that said "Friends don't let friends run 5Ks." I wanted to smack them across the face- especially since I had three friends who were running their first ever 5K that day, which is a HUGE accomplishment!
My point is, some of us have to work really hard for a sub-30:00 5K, while others might run a sub-2:00 half marathon with minimal training. But as one of my friends told me today, it's those of us who have to work harder for our goals that achieve the greater satisfaction. I definitely think a sub-1:50 half marathon is within my reach, once I'm 100% again. Even though that may not be fast by some people's standards, I've worked hard for it, and endured injuries for it. And when I DO run a sub-1:50 half, I'm going to be ecstatic about it, no matter what everyone else's finishing times are. But first I have to focus on getting healthy :)
What was the highlight of your week?
Any long runs/races this past weekend?
Have you ever struggled with comparing yourselves to other runners?