Friday, March 12, 2010
One High Maintenance Mutha
I'm assuming that if you're reading my blog you're most likely a runner of great distance, or one who aspires to great distances. Runners are high maintenance. And what I'm referring to here is the runner's body; not material "needs" or a certain disposition. As distance runners, our bodies require so much from us on a daily basis, and this morning as I stood behind my desk stretching out my calves, downing a Nalgene bottle's worth of water, this thought occured to me. Great scott, it takes a lot of upkeep!
Icing a few times a day
Elevating the legs at night
20 minutes of PT prescribed exercises every morning
Strength training a few times each week
Daily runs (except for during injury)
Treadmill speed-walking hill workouts (while injured)
Keeping up on vitamins, leafy greens and protein
Getting enough sleep each night to recover
Foam rolling out the wazoo
Flat fast runs
Epsom salt soaks
Taping the posterior tib when I want to wear non-running shoes to work!
Self-massage of those nagging muscle aches
LOTS of water
I could go on and on. Maybe (very likely) my habits are an exception to the rule; maybe I'm just feeding the beast by doing so much to keep going, but it feels like when I drop one thing other things start to fall apart a bit. I don't want to look back one day down the road and recall the days when I was "once a runner". I want to look forward and be excited for all the running that is still ahead of me. I want to be "always a runner."
The body is a powerful yet fragile machine. Each one of us has a different owner's manual. Some require regular upkeep, others only need an oil change every hundred thousand miles. Kinda like the difference between the Pinto and a Honda. I'm a bit of a Pinto :) So, I do what I can as often as I can to make sure my parts continue working as long as possible and as efficient as possible. I teach myself new techniques, try out new things, learn how to tape and massage. I read what's worked for others, try it out, modify it, try it again. Sometimes it's a little overwhelming and I stop and think, "why am I doing this?" Well, because I love the run, that's why. Sometimes I wish it was easier, less maintenance required, less injury-prone, but then I think about how easy I do have it compared to some and that I really have nothing to gripe about.
So, high maintenance it is. And now back to my self-administered ART on this peroneous (I think I'm going to petition to rename the peroneous muscle, and have it called the peroneASS cuz' it's a pain in my ass!).
Oh! Right quick, tomorrow is the first ever running of the Palos Hills Fat Ass 50k, brought to you by our man Tony C. and the Chicago UltraRunners Group (CHUG). I'll likely walk a lap (~8 miles) for the hill workout, but otherwise it's sidelines for me since my legs are being high maintenance and don't want to cooperate right now!