In January of 2013, I decided to become a runner. Sounds crazy right??? I was looking for a way to exercise early in the morning that didn’t involve having to drive somewhere. I wanted an intense workout and thought running was just the thing. Now, I was the girl who used to complain the mile we had to walk/run around the track when I was in high school. I used to think that folks who would willingly run 1 mile, let alone 13.1miles, were crazy! Then I laced up my running shoes for the first time. The world was still sleeping, the sun had just began to peek over the horizon. I had great music playing in my ears and no one asking me for a thing. It was pure bliss. So I ran and ran and ran some more. In 2013, I ran 13 races. Distances from 5K to half marathon. I ran in the heat of the summer and in the snow on Thanksgiving Day. Throughout that year, I became a runner. Goal accomplished. My soul loved the pavement but my legs did not.
I struggled with all sorts of common running injuries. Blisters…new shoes. Chafing…hello Body Glide. Sore legs…enter my love/hate relationship with my foam roller. But my sore legs eventually became painful. Really painful. So I tried compression socks… they felt amazing but my legs still hurt. I rested (as much as a runner rests) but the pain would wake me up at night. Finally, after running the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in the spring of 2014, the pain became unbearable. I cried on the shoulder of a great friend at the finish line. The next two weeks I really rested. But the pain continued. Runners and nurses may be the world’s most stubborn patients and I was the combination of both. I submitted to the pain, went to the doctor, got an MRI and a fancy boot, ruled out a stress fracture and started physical therapy. I was positive he was going to tell me it was my stride, my heel strike, my form. Louis (physical therapist extrodinare) watched me on the treadmill for a minute before he diagnosed the cause of all my pain. A weak core!! What?!?! What did my core have to do with my legs? Turns out, if you are a runner, it has everything to do with your legs. So that day everything changed. He told me to ditch the boot, fit me in a stability shoe (I love you deeply Mizunos) and gave me a plan to strengthen my core and return to running.
During the fall of 2014, I was introduced to Piyo. I have said many times that meeting Piyo was like meeting my husband. I knew in a moment it was going to be in my life for the long haul. Piyo was the antithesis to running. Barefoot on a yoga mat, stretching and strengthening. An amped up version of yoga for us runners who love the endorphin rush of high intensity workouts. But Piyo is no impact. My still-recovering legs got a break from the pounding of the pavement. It was amazing!! Over time, I noticed that my core was stronger, my legs and glutes were visibly stronger. My runs were easier. My legs never bothered me again. I knew that I would develop a training plan for my next big race that incorporated Piyo. So race season is here and the Indianapolis Mini Marathon is 2 months away. My runs will be countered by time barefoot on a mat. The perfect ying yang. I will run that half marathon on 5/2/2015 healthy, well trained, and pain free alongside the girl who let me cry on her shoulder the year before. I created this training plan based on my current level of fitness. Follow along if you’d like. Or shoot me and email and I can help you develop a plan for your next race!
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