Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Path to the Half

In four days I will be running my first half marathon.  Huh?  Yes, I will be running my first half marathon in four days.  No matter how I say it - it's true.  I started running in January and just thought it would be a good way for me to lose some more weight.  Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would become a RUNNER! Over the last 10 months I have found a new identity.  I am a runner, I like to run, I need to run, I want to run, I run because I can.  For awhile there I just thought I had lost my mind, but I honestly do really like it.  I HATED running when I was younger - mostly because it was used as a tool or punishment for a sport I loved to play so it would stand to reason that I would resent running a little bit. 

The training for this half marathon was mostly accomplished by training to run the TC 10 Mile earlier this month. I have continued to run consistently over the last few weeks to make sure I am ready for the big day. I have also been seeing a sports chiropractor to help with my hip pain that I have been dealing with for the last couple of months. I met this doctor at the TC Marathon Health and Fitness Expo - he worked on my glutes for about 10 minutes and I was instantly convinced that this treatment was what I needed in addition to the massage that I was already doing. My pain is coming from the glutes, piriformis and tight hip flexors. The treatment is primarily soft tissue based - they use Transverse Friction massage - simply put - lots of elbows across the muscle grain that helps break down adhesions. It's glorious! I have had four treatments with Dr. James and it really is working. I have been doing some exercises and stretches that he gave me and they are definitely making a difference. In fact, this past Saturday, I actually was able to run for an hour and have almost 40 minutes of pain free running. I am going to see Dr. James one last time before the race on Saturday. I may see him again after the race to just make sure things are still progressing. The best part about Dr. James is that he doesn't want to be in my life forever - he wants to make me better and see me go on my way - and have the occasional check in if I have any flare ups.

I am so thankful that I met Dr. James at the Expo and asked for his help. A year ago I would never have let myself be that vulnerable and get up on that massage table and let a perfect stranger work on my glutes!!!! He has helped me so much and I know that I am going to be able to run a great race on Saturday because of it. I don't want or need this to be an ad for Dr. James and his practice - but I want it to be a testament for asking for help. If you are in pain, the chances are that there is someone out there that would like to try and help you. Just do your research and find the right person.

Now, I find myself getting psyched up to run 13.1 miles in less than a week.  I am looking forward to pushing myself beyond anything I have done physically.  On Saturday when I go past that 10 mile mark that will officially be the longest distance I have ever run.  When I cross that finish line I will have done something physically that I never imagined myself possible.  I can not wait to be able to say that I am a half marathon finisher! 
I have another post brewing with some of my plans for after this race.  This will be my last "long" race of the year.  I have a couple of 5Ks in November and December.  I plan to run this winter - outside primarily, but will have the gym as backup if need be.  If you want to run, let me know.  I also heard today that the Metrodome is going to be starting the indoor running sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in mid-November.  It would be more fun to do that with other people!  I will update again on that once it gets closer. 
Be happy and healthy friends!

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