Hip Update

I’m almost 8 months post hip replacement.  I am relieved and grateful at my progress.  I have been able to do everything I wanted to do (bicycling, yoga, pilates, squats and lunges), except to run.  As a matter of fact, I do run a little bit.  Every so often during my daily walks I will break into an easy trot, maybe for a quarter of a mile.  It feels pretty good. No pain, just a little tweaked in my gait*.  What I do like is that when I stop running and start walking again I feel very loosened up and my walking feels effortless.  My surgeon has said that I am not to run, and I intend to basically stick by that.   I do think a little bit of running is a great enhancement to walking, helps to elevate my heart rate, and just feels great.  What do you think?

*My gait is still a little off.  I feel I am still not smooth on my right side.  I think this is something that I want to change, and know that with the right elements, I can re-program my brain and body to find a balance.  I discovered an amazing new type of work called “Anatomy in Motion”, or AIM.  The guy who does this work is called Gary Ward, and he basically loves feet.  He believes the feet are the secret to eliminating pain and imbalance throughout the body.  He will be here in San Francisco at the end of March.   Here is his link if you are interested in more information: http://www.anatomyinmotion.co.uk/

Training for the NYC Marathon

On the morning or October 16, 2011 I went out for my long run of  the week, in preparation for the New York City Marathon on November 6.   It was to be 18 miles, and should have taken me about 2 1/2 hours.  I went to bed early, hydrated and take a couple of  Advil to reduce any inflammation and soreness.  Still, this morning, my body did not feel like going outside.  So, instead of leaving the house at 6, I dragged myself out at 7:30.  San Francisco was hosting the Nike Womens’ Marathon this morning, which was running along my usual path along the Embarcadero toward the Golden Gate Bridge.  I decided I wanted a more solitary run, so I went in the opposite direction,  south along third street, and toward SFO.  Almost right from the start, I felt heavy and slow.  The run was rolling up and down hills, and after a couple miles I got into a pattern, although it was slow, and my breathing erratic.  I made it to 8 miles, and decided to walk and get some Gatorade at a gas station in South City.  By the time I got to the station, I knew that I could not go another mile forward, and certainly couldn’t make it back.  I asked the attendant at the gas station if there was a pay phone, as I wanted to call my partner and ask him to take me home.  There was no pay phone, but she would let me use the store phone.  I left a message for Thomas, and within 2 minutes, he was calling me back. He was going south to San Mateo for his weekly tennis lessons, and would come around and pick me up, and I could watch him in his tennis lesson.  I was grateful to have a ride, and I guess I would just say that some days are harder than the next, and not to get upset or depressed about it, but be happy for the chance to be able to run.

Happy New Year!

I don’t have any right to complain, but it was really cold here today in San Francisco!   I needed my warm top, gloves, a cap, and plenty of kleenex for a runny nose as I left my warm comfortable apartment for my run.  I challenged myself  today from my usual going out and running for 4 miles at a semi-comfortable pace.  What I did was that I ran comfortably for seven minutes, and then sprinted for a minute, then repeated this sequence.  At my pace, each sequence is about a mile, so by the end of the run I would complete four sequences and run for four miles.  The benefit?  This is a relatively short run for me, so instead of trying to run for a long time and increasing my endurance,  I am working on my ability to generate speed.  I am making my muscles get out of their comfort zone for a minute each mile, and increasing the muscles’ ability to tolerate speed.   Doing this is not easy!  My heart rate races and my breath accelerates, but it feels great when I have run back to my apartment, and can stop and stretch.  And, to my amazement, it’s not  so cold outside any more!

Post-Run Stretching part 3

4). Supine bridge-ups. Laying on your back, bend your knees and bring your feet flat, almost against your butt, and about 3 inches apart. Toes are pointing forward and feet are parallel. On an exhale, peal your butt, low and mid back off the floor. Lengthen the back of your neck. Belly button to spine. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds. On an exhale, lower your upper back, mid and lower back and butt to the floor (visualize each individual vertebrae peeling down one at a time). Repeat two more times. Going a little deeper into the stretch each time, and always relaxed in the neck and shoulders.

Stretching Post Run (Part 2)

Next area to focus on stretching after a run:

3) Standing on one leg and holding on to a wall or chair, or using no help like the below picture. The supporting leg is slightly bent, not locked, and the pelvis is Neutral (This is very important, as the pelvis likes to tilt forward in this position). Hold the stretch for at least 60 seconds each leg. Alternate between flexing the quad and pushing the foot into your hand, and exhaling and pulling the foot even tighter toward, or past, your butt.

Stretching after a run

Running is a great way to get a quick dose of a high intensity, calorie-burning activity.  Wherever you are, you pull on your shorts and t-shirt and shoes, and you are out of the door.  The only draw back to this instant gratification  is that when I don’t include that 10 to 15 minutes after my run to cool down and stretch,  eventually I run into trouble.   So, take the time to do a few simple stretches:

1)  Your feet! These guys just carried you 4 miles!  They need to be stretched and moved into some different directions.   Lay on your back and put the back of your legs against a wall.  Circle your feet in both directions, and wave your feet back and forth.

2) Your calves! Stand on the edge of  a stair, and hold onto a wall.  Lower your heel and hold the stretch for 30 seconds each foot,  and 60 seconds lowering both heels.

In my next posts, I will talk about stretches for the quads, hamstrings, knees, arms and head and neck.