Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Running Shorts in my Laundry - Part 2

*The Old and The New (running shorts buried underneath)*

Months of hardly running meant my bi-weekly laundry most likely did not include running shorts. However in the last week of 2011 and first week of 2012, I counted four running shorts in the laundry basket. Whoa! That could only mean I was pounding the pavement again though few and far between in a two week period. From zero to four runs in two weeks is an accomplishment for me nowadays and I’ll take it. At least it breaks the sometime monotony of indoor cycling (that didn’t sound quite right, but WTH).
 So how has running been like lately. Well, to give the ankle tendons a break on the road, I keep the jogging part to four minutes and walk for one minute. That is nothing new of course except nowadays, I keep the total minutes to about 50. Anything more than that and my form deteriorates. I try to use my quads more to absorb the shock but those muscles tire more easily (believe me, it's not an efficient way to run but it protects my ankles to a certain extent) than when I run in my normal stride in which I use the lower leg muscles more. I’ve also tried experimenting by skipping some of the walk breaks. Also in the past, I would stretch my hamstrings and calf muscles before and after running. This time I just stretch the hamstrings after running. I’ve always known that you are not supposed to stretch an injured muscle or joint but out of habit, I kept doing it until two weeks ago when I decided that it was time to try something else. The wobble board doesn’t work well for me either because the movement irritates the fragile posterior tibialis tendon. So far, not stretching before the run has worked except I feel very stiff at the start and it’s hard to get going. Before my ailments started I used to do plyometrics to get a bounce on my stride at the start of a run. I can’t do that anymore.
On my run last Sunday morning, I passed by my former training partner’s house and saw her on her way to her first hash run. We exchanged pleasantries and she asked how I was doing with my injuries. I told her what has been going on and she said “that’s the Noel I know”. I think she meant that I was hard headed, which I took as a compliment. Oh by the way, it used to take me about 20 minutes to run to her house but now it takes me 25. Did it matter? Not really. That day I made another contribution to my laundry basket in the form of running shorts, which is more than I can ask for. It was a joy to be running outdoors again and absorb some vitamin D from the sun.
Speaking of laundry, I finally replaced my mid 1980’s era laundry basket. I can’t believe that darn thing lasted about 25 years! If only there was a way to replace ankle tendons…

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