Monday, September 13, 2010

Pushing Through Adversity

My first week of C25K went very well. I ran Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (with elliptical on Tuesday morning only). I did about 2 miles on each day and despite Friday had very good runs (shin splints and side stitches). I could definitely tell that I was more tired and my body very worn down from this new type of exercise. So I gave myself the weekend to rest.

And with the weekend came social events and football. My family loves football. We're big Saints fans and LSU Tiger fans so each game is a get-together. And with those types of events comes food and merriment. This is a temptation. Its not just the food that's the issue, its the atmosphere. In Louisiana, eating is an event. And when we come together at a party or football game, food is the main agenda. And when friends are around, laughing, talking, screaming at the refs on the TV, for some reason old habits come back quickly. I'm aware of this and have been for the past 11 months, but its easy for me to slip up. My solutions for this are to (1) eat before the game - this lessens the likeliness that I'll eat during (2) focus on hunger vs. non-hunger - if the stomach is not hungry, then don't eat! (3) gum and water - oral fixations help the temptations, a piece of mint gum and a water bottle can prevent the "snack urge".

The good news is that its Monday, a new week, new challenges to face. I had my morning run. (Week 2, Day 1 of C25K) It was nice and cool this morning which made it pleasant. However, I got some sharp knee pain on the inside of my knee about half way through my run. I was able to finish, but found that my last minute and a half of jogging I was favoring my knee. After reading up some articles on the Internet it seems knee pain is a symptom of bad shoes and/or weak quadriceps/hamstrings.

Since I purchased my shoes in August at New Balance, with the high arch insoles, I know that's not the cause. And considering my weight (technically obese) and lack of strength conditioning I'm fairly certain its my legs that aren't strong enough to support my knees and the weight of my body while I'm pounding the pavement. Each step when I jog is 2 to 3 times my weight on my knee and not having the muscle in my legs to support that is what is causing the knee pain. Of course this is a self diagnosis and could be totally off target, but it seems logical and until my body indicates otherwise we're going to stick with this theory.

So what does that mean for me? Well two things, really. I need to take it more slowly on the C25K program... instead of a 9 week program, I may have to repeat weeks one and two. And, Interval Strength training focusing on quads and hammies. I could do this on Tues and Thurs, and the weekends to allow myself time to heal before running on the opposite days. Neither of these I'm happy about. The idea of having sore quads and hamstrings makes me cringe, but it's better than running with knee pain.

I'm going to make the decision at the end of this week. If my knee(s) are to the point of pain that I can't push through, then I'll add on another week of running (repeating Week 1 or Week 2). The strength training needs to be added regardless, so that means squats and lunges. (My thighs already hurt thinking about it.)

As far as stats go, due to my weekend of high calorie, high sodium, high fat food, my weigh in this morning was less than desirable. But again, its a new week so a new chance to be successful. I've decided to take measurements once a month on the 15th. So that will be exciting to see since I haven't measured since last month (August). Emotionally, I'm still going strong, it's been 11 months since I started this journey and I'm still just as motivated to keep going. Bad habits are easy to collect but good habits take time and focus. And that's where I'm at: focused.

(P.S. The tattoo itches like crazy!)

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