Recovering Runner – Glutes Improved Shoulder Flexibility

The Bike! (and the sore butt muscles!)

It was time to step up the training a bit with a bit of Cross Training, and what better Cross training than …Bicycling! I love to ride; I have both a Road Bike and a Mountain Bike. Cycling hits your legs in ways that running can’t and at the same time there isn’t any impact! I was a bit concerned of the stretch involved in the rear deltoid muscles as you lean forward and the impact of the front wheel on the road.

There was no way I was going to hit a mountain bike trail, but I did decide to use the Mountain bike because of the dampening provided by the fork. For those not aware, most Mountain Bikes have Shocks on the fork. This dampens the jolting that usually accompanies aggressive Mountain Bike Riding.  (Here’s a cool article I found about how shocks work by “How Stuff Works.”)

The First Ride was pure….a-g-o-n-y!! There, I said it!   Agony!  The Fork did fine. I made it most of the 15 mile ride out and back a local paved bike trail. Most of the way, because the shoulder really started fatiguing the last 2 miles, but the real pain was well…a  pain in the ….BUTT.

Believe it or not, your butt is actually three muscles, commonly referred to as your Glutes. The Maximimus, Medius & Minimus do more than just look good when properly toned, they’re collectively the base of your power as both a Runner and a Cyclist.  It’s also the largest and arguably the strongest muscle in your body. So what happened to this Sexy, strong, large muscle? Mine fell prey to the hazards of the Bicycle Seat!! It’s been many months since I’ve been on my bike…and those muscles need a bit of “Saddle” time to remember what they’re supposed to do!

A few rides later, the pain receded and I was once again moving forward with my training and recovery. I’d ride once or twice a week, each ride I’d get farther before the dreaded pain in the rear would start! I also got to the point where my shoulder stretched out, increasing my over all flexibility! The Therapist couldn’t understand how I was making such large gains in shoulder flexibility, especially when I told her it was from Cycling…

 

But every ride got me that much closer to being…

 

The Recovering Runner!

The Bike! (and the sore butt muscles!)

It was time to step up the training a bit with a bit of Cross Training, and what better Cross training than …Bicycling! I love to ride; I have both a Road Bike and a Mountain Bike. Cycling hits your legs in ways that running can’t and at the same time there isn’t any impact! I was a bit concerned of the stretch involved in the rear deltoid muscles as you lean forward and the impact of the front wheel on the road.

There was no way I was going to hit a mountain bike trail, but I did decide to use the Mountain bike because of the dampening provided by the fork. For those not aware, most Mountain Bikes have Shocks on the fork. This dampens the jolting that usually accompanies aggressive Mountain Bike Riding.  (Here’s a cool article I found about how shocks work by “How Stuff Works.”)

The First Ride was pure….a-g-o-n-y!! There, I said it!   Agony!  The Fork did fine. I made it most of the 15 mile ride out and back a local paved bike trail. Most of the way, because the shoulder really started fatiguing the last 2 miles, but the real pain was well…a  pain in the ….BUTT.

Believe it or not, your butt is actually three muscles, commonly referred to as your Glutes. The Maximimus, Medius & Minimus do more than just look good when properly toned, they’re collectively the base of your power as both a Runner and a Cyclist.  It’s also the largest and arguably the strongest muscle in your body. So what happened to this Sexy, strong, large muscle? Mine fell prey to the hazards of the Bicycle Seat!! It’s been many months since I’ve been on my bike…and those muscles need a bit of “Saddle” time to remember what they’re supposed to do!

A few rides later, the pain receded and I was once again moving forward with my training and recovery. I’d ride once or twice a week, each ride I’d get farther before the dreaded pain in the rear would start! I also got to the point where my shoulder stretched out, increasing my over all flexibility! The Therapist couldn’t understand how I was making such large gains in shoulder flexibility, especially when I told her it was from Cycling…

 

But every ride got me that much closer to being…

 

The Recovering Runner!

Recovering Runner: 100 and 10%

So if you haven’t noticed by now, I don’t do anything half way…it’s either all or nothing. I think you got a glimpse of that as I started walking. I wasn’t satisfied with being able to walk, I had to push the boundaries of what I could and couldn’t do. I wasn’t satisfied with just walking, I had to see how fast and how long I could walk…right up until I could run again… at which point I stopped walking and started to run.

 Runner’s World/Running Times…as well as every running guide will tell you about the 10% Rule. Quite simple…The 10-percent rule is one of the most important and time-proven principles in running. It states that you should never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent over the previous week. (Yes….I ignore it….)

Being an experienced runner, you’d think I would have followed this time honored advice…(Remember that part about not doing anything halfway?)  So as I felt better, my mileage was going up, my very slow running pace was speeding up to a blistering..LESS Slow pace…. and then one day I felt it. Those warning signs of a stiff ankle… did I listen? Of course not! I’m a Runner….I can run thru this!

And yet I couldn’t.  My old friend Achilles Tendonitis had stopped in for a visit! I knew all the treatments, Stretching, Icing, Massaging… I pulled out my old Pro-Stretch and spent the next two weeks rehabbing my Achilles and ….ugh…walking…(Notice how the mentality of the Runner took over in a few short weeks?

It really only took a few short weeks before I was over that bout of Achilles Tendonitis and back on my way to becoming….

 

The Recovering Runner

Perfect Gifts for Runners

Do you have a runner in your family?  Do you know nothing about the sport of running or just can’t figure out what to give them for Christmas?  Here is a list compiled by the 2Toms staff of some of the perfect gifts for runners.  They will appreciate anything on this list.  Trust us….

 

Give the gift of safety!  Knuckle Lights, available by Christmas, is a great accessory to add to your favorite runners bucket.

 

 

Give the gift of relief!  No more pain from chafing and rubbing with  2Toms SportShield.  You’ll be the hero of the day helping your runner to go longer and further with more comfort!

 

 

Does your runner complain about aches and pains?  Plantar Fascitis, IT Band Issues, Knee Pain?  Be the Hero and give them  KT Tape this year.  It will relieve pain, increase circulation and best .. get them back out training for that marathon!

 

 

Be Prepared!  Thats the scout motto and Road ID!  Life can always throw you lemons so make sure your loved ones are always identifiable!  Give them the gift of safety.

 

 

Runner’s shoes STINK!  Make your runner more confident with 2Toms Stink Free! Our odor eliminator is guaranteed to remove the smell left by sweat in those stinky, smelly running shoes!

 

And don’t forget about the 2Toms “Be a Hero” Fundraising challenge we have going.  Help us to give back by purchasing from 2Toms online thru 12/21.  10% of the profits of all online sales will go to Bikes Belong Foundation – who’s goal is to make bicycling safer and get more kids riding.  Help us to help them!

 

Have fun SHOPPING!!!

Walking to Run Faster

Walking to Run faster…

With my first foray back into the world of running under my feet…literally, I was excited to get back to it. My mind swirled with images of Races from my past… Honolulu Marathon, Blue Berry Stomp (Plymouth, IN), Howl at the Moon 8 Hour Run (Danville, IL), not to mention the Chicago Marathon… but back to reality! If I wanted do any of those again I would need to start running…and soon.

My first week I alternated between walking and running every other time out, which was really hard to do! I was running again…why did I need to walk? Because I didn’t want to get hurt… like all good little running boys and girls, I know the 10% rule. Don’t increase your running by more than 10%.

My first few weeks of running weren’t easy either. I knew it would be a long haul back but I was determined to do it. 2-3 mile runs were the staple of the first few weeks, but I was getting itchy to do my fall back run…one known as “Big Square”. It’s essentially a Big Square in Portage (thus the name…). I took off on my first run… and felt great for the first couple miles… The last 2 miles were work. My pace had slowed to a shuffle and I thought my heart would burst!! I was having some serious doubts as if this were going to be possible.

My next run I took a new…or old approach! Jeff Galloway claims that you can run farther…and even faster by taking strategic walk breaks. In fact I spoke with Jeff last December about it and had used it before with success. In my zeal to be a runner again…I completely forgot it. And so I set off on my next attempt at “Big Square” with a planned 60 step count every mile. Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk program literally changed the next run! When I finished, I was nearly 30 seconds per mile faster than my first run on this course a few days earlier.

So it looks like sometimes you need to walk in the middle of your runs when you aspire to be…

 

The Recovering Runner

The first run…and how far out of shape I fell in such a short time.

3 Days after my test run, I decided it was in fact, time to join the ranks of the Runners again. I went out with my wife to her favorite loop, Portage Beach. She would walk the loop, while I would run as far as I could, then walk.

The loop turned out to be a mile, which was great as I like to keep things systematic when I run. I didn’t even pretend to stretch. I just went out and ran…which was different than walking. much different. When you walk, your heel hits first and your foot follows thru. But as a runner, I’m much more of a ‘mid foot’ striker. Not having done this for a while it took the first half mile for my Achilles to stretch out.

The loop ended with a flight of stairs and as I turned the corner to start them, I bounded up them with eagerness, for all of the first half. I then plodded up the last half, my chest heaving and my heart & lungs screaming at the exertion! I walked a few steps, and then started into the 2nd loop. If anything, the 2nd loop seemed easier. As I reached the stairs, I decided to take them a bit more cautiously, no use having a heart attack the first day back running. I started into the 3rd loop completely spent, but was determined to get to my wife before stopping. As it turned out, I met her near the halfway mark, where I gladly slowed to a walk! I had run 2-1/2 miles the first day out and little did I know…I still had 2-1/2 miles left to walk before we were done!

But I was back! I was really becoming…

The Recovering Runner!

Recovering Runner – The test

I was asked by 3 Rivers Running Co in Fort Wayne, IN if I could come talk to runners and walkers about trail running. I would be one of three speakers. The first was Mike Pfefferkorn. Mike is the Race director for a new race, the Indiana Trail 100 at Chain o Lakes park in Albion, IN. Mike spoke about the trail race and what to expect when preparing for a race that long. Next was Jonathan Clinthorne. Jon is an Ultra Marathoner of exceptional talent. He is also the “Biochemical Ultrarunner”, and spoke about the nutritional needs of Ultra Marathon running. Then it was my turn. If I haven’t mentioned it before this, I’m a salesman, I sell to Running Stores and Bike shops and one line I sell is in fact 2Toms. I have been a 2Toms customer for nearly 6 years. And so I spoke about…blisters and chaffing….and how to prevent them when trail running…but that my friends, is a tale for another time.

 

Before the meeting, 3 Rivers Running held a 18 mile trail run, this was a 2 lap run thru Franke Park, just behind the Fort Wayne Zoo. As I was in the midst of stepping up my walking, I jumped into the “run”…with a 1 lap walk. My goal was simple, don’t get lapped!

The runners quickly dropped me, which left me and the trail all to our selves. I was enjoying the walk, working the up hills, careful on the down hills. An hour went by and still I was huffing along. Occasionally I could hear the runners ahead of me. They were on a different part of the trail that would double back towards me and I would think…”Hah…I’m catching them!” Only to later see that it was a double back a few miles down the trail.

A bit of frustration started to set in. Even though I was moving at 4-5 mph walking, at 6 miles/hour running, they were using less energy than I was…and pulling ahead! So I started a quick short run…just a few steps. But they were glorious steps indeed! A down and up was coming up and I ran thru the bottom and up the hill! Again, elation surged thru me…I WAS RUNNING! Even if it was just 5-10 yards at a time, I was running!

I did it a few more times always through the bottom of a hill into the uphill. And it was a good thing I did…remember my goal of not getting lapped? Less than 1 minute after I stepped out of the woods at the end…so did the first runner.

I was really sore afterward. I changed slings (the one I had walked in was soaked!) Took a few ibuprofen and then got ready for my part of the trail running presentation.

But thru it all, one thought kept coming back… I had run! I was in fact becoming…

The Recovering Runner!