Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Run, baby, run

Hi.  Figured I'd stop in quick, before April is over.  We're getting snow - in case we forget and think it's spring or something.  Sheesh.  Thinking of the folks in and around tornado alley right now.

I've been running for about a year and a half.  I started with just a few dozen steps at a time, because it was rather chilly out and I have been known to experience exercise induced asthma.  I wish I'd known that's what it was back in seventh grade when I was trying to run track - I felt like a flailing fish, which I don't when I'm breathing through a balaclava or scarf, and working out regularly in the cold.  I don't know how far I ran today, but when I've run on the track, I've gone as far as 2.25 miles, running, then rounded it out to about 3.5 miles including the warm-up and cool-down walks.  Over the last several weeks, I've added in walking lunges, squats, etc., from past PT sessions to further antagonize those muscles.

Based on research surrounding optimal muscle building, I run sometime during the day (heh - there's no way to predict the timing, with working around the kids' schedules), then do the rest of the day's workout after the kids are in bed.  They've done parts of it with me, and it's not like it's bizarrely intense or anything - just more working of those already used muscles.  Then more stretching, because the one thing that scares me most about all this (other than the possibility of blowing out that knee) is being sore or injured and thus unable to adequately maneuver Q.

I'm thrilled that each run seems to allow me to push a little harder.  I suspect that this is almost entirely due to the extra muscle building following the runs.  Today I found that a full twenty-five minute run requires that I push Q up that last rise with both of my, by then, noodly arms - I usually run to one side, alternating arms as one tires.  And then there's the sweat.  Lovely, glorious, sopping sweat.  Pure heathen, aren't I?  Whatever.  I love it.  It's cool.

Random Running Things:
I've run - actually run - through two pairs of shoes, now.  I need to spend some money on a new pair (choke), but have been recycling old pairs I had previously used until the insoles felt too hard, but kept to use as "river shoes."  Ha ha ha.  I'm now basing my use entirely on whether or not the tread is intact.  The Nikes I'm about to toss have busted through at the pinky toes and the front third of the underside is smooth.  And the outermost layer of sole is coming completely off the middle third.  By comparison, the pair of Asics I pulled out of a box two days ago is in fabulous shape - only a little bit of tread loss, not much smoothness.  I should be able to get a couple of months out of 'em, anyway.

I have very mixed but adamant feelings about wind popping up while we're out there.  It means potential chapping for Q's fat little cheeks, so shea butter is a must for him.  It's helpful when it keeps my hair all the way out of my face and cools my wet shirt, but a total (insert favorite cuss word here) pain when it pushes one around.  Rowr.

This running thing has been somewhat intermittent, what with illness, family obligations, scheduling difficulties, and weather all weighing in alternately.  I became discouraged about this time last year and spent the summer getting in only periodic runs/walks/hikes.  Snow made it especially tough to get in a decent run even once a week around parts of November and January.  But each time I started over a little ahead of where I'd started before.

I think Q's chair isn't going to hold up for running much longer.  The frame seems to be torqued so it doesn't drive quite right - shimmying like crazy when I push it from the right side.  The chair itself isn't made anymore, so I don't know what to even think about this item.  This one has nice big wheels and has done nicely even in sand - runs well on the wetter part of the beach.   I don't like the possibility of ending up without adequate running wheels under the boy.

I don't like all the parts of the running experience.  The first couple of minutes especially suck.  As in sucking wind.  The first hill is yucky.  Sometimes I can feel that one knee get suddenly "fluffy."  (cringe)  But by that twenty minute mark it's become easier to just keep going.  And really, how cool is that!?  I'm contemplating longer distances - in part to keep using intervals, which I prefer over the longer runs because I swear I feel my metabolism ratcheting up with each set, and it lasts for hours and hours.

Running is something I can do with my kids that lets all of us be healthier.  Q benefits from the wobbling motion by having to use his wee spinal proprioceptive muscles throughout our runs - and this seems to stay with him for hours after in increased head and trunk control.  Pounding pavement or track increases my VO2 max.  My resting heart rate is now between 58 and 65.  My knee, even while making itself known via need for RICEing, is stronger and less cranky, overall.  I have new thigh muscles, gastrocs, abs.  And running is cheaper than  psychotherapy.  Or bail.

I think I may have found the proverbial running high.  (blush)  Ya think?

Next up:  latest medical and therapy developments for Q.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dead on

Here:  so I don't have to say it - and have my head explode in the process.