Another day, another lesson learned?

I ran farther today than i have the past few runs before i had to walk a bit.  Getting used to the new pace is not easy.

Ran 1.27 Pace 8’52” – – Walked .2, ran .4, walked

I changed my floor exercises a bit as i am trying to expand and improve these.  I am doing a different kind of crunch.  Instead of rocking out 50 crunches, these have a little less total motion and you hold the pose when you reach max crunch for 1-2 seconds.  It definitely feels more intense.

40 crunches

I added a second kind of crunch.  These are a variety of “twisty crunches”.  From standard crunch pose, lift your feet until your calves are parallel to the ground.  When you crunch bring your left arm toward your right knee and straighten your left leg, return to neutral and do other side – right elbow toward left knee, right leg straight. It looks a little like bike riding…It is taking me a bit to get used to this motion and to maintain a focus on crunching and using my abs to bring my torso/elbow toward my knee instead of bringing my knee to my elbow.

10 total twisty crunches (5 each side)

I added the concepts above to my leg lifts.  I am now moving from about one foot off the floor to 2 feet off the floor (instead of 1-3 feet) and i am doing the procedure slower than before – i can feel the difference.

25 leg lifts

10 push-ups

190 lbs.

Today’s run was weird.  I wanted to go, i was excited to go, we have nice enough weather that i ran in shorts a t-shirt, but my legs felt weird.  I did stretch and i added a few new ones, but the muscles around my knees were tight.  Around .8 miles, i had a little internal/mental fight to not vomit the ball of green onions i ate in the yard not long before running (brilliant!).  I shut that down and kept going.  I knew that my pace was still good – still under 9 minutes, but i knew it was not very near to 8 or 8.5.  Since i decided to up my pace, i have been stopping at 1.1-1.2 near the bottom of a hill and walking up that hill and then mixing run walk the rest of the way home.  Today i could not make it to the top of the hill but i made myself run farther than before.  I ran to 1.27.  True, it was only a few more telephone poles up the hill, but i will run up that hill again and at my faster pace if i have to do it one pole at a time!  (It is actually a pretty gentle hill.)

Part of my struggle right now is morale and mindset.  I am not good at not being good at things.  Most things come pretty easily and naturally to me, and when things are more difficult and i can’t figure out why, i have to fight hard to stay focused and learn to achieve.  Not many days ago i was running 1.8-2.2 miles.  Now i am struggling to reach 1.5.  I understand that running near 8 minute miles is different from running near 10 minute miles.  I understand it but i don’t ‘feel’ it.  I am trying to focus on other things and stay positive.  I made progress today.

I learned (or re-learned) that taking a day off in between running days is ok, but those cannot be days of no activity.  My legs were tight today and i didn’t really stretch yesterday or do my other non-running exercises.  That is part of why i spent more time looking at runner’s stretches/exercises/ and core strengthening workouts today.  I have incorporated some of what i found already and i need to continue to add more stuff – not for the sake of volume, but to find the right stretches for me, and to find the exercises and drills that give me the best results.

I should have a good stretch every day and some floor exercise on running days, but i should have some more intensive strengthening drills on my non-running days.  I really would like to be able to run every day (or 5-6 days in a row) and i may try some back-to-back runs again this week.  However my body tells me to handle how many days to run, i need to tell myself to exercise one way or another every day.

Hopefully – lesson learned.

I watched the two parts of “The Runner’s Six Pack” for some of the ideas found above.

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