Sunday, April 20, 2014

Exercise Diary: Lots of pain, but what's been my gain?

List of late-night random thoughts: 

  • After my glorious work-out on Monday, Tuesday brought about the most unbelievable pain I've experienced so far.  Shin splints on both legs, discomfort on ankles and knees.  I had trouble going down stairs.  The warm weather made me ditched my boots for flats, and I don't think it helped one bit.  So I took Tuesday off, constantly stretching all day and icing in the evening.
  • Wednesday (1.1 mi, treadmill) came and I thought I could handle some more exercising.  It was a short run for many reasons.  My friend was leaving for two weeks starting today, and she wanted to have dinner.  So I only had about 20 minutes for the gym.  I tried to make most of it, but after running two intervals my knee started to hurt.  It actually hurt worse than my shins that day.  Disappointing.
  • Thursday (yoga) I went to yoga thinking that the stretching and working on the rest of my body would help either reliving or even curing my leg problems.  It kind of did to some extent.  The beginning was rough.  We went through endless lunges, warrior poses, and chair poses, the last being worst to my shins.  The teacher, for some reason, had a particular affinity for those poses.  My thighs again took a big hit, my shorts soaked, my stamina fading away.  Maybe I should come to yoga more often?  But by the second half the leg pains began to fade away.  I'm not sure why that was.  I can't really attribute it all to the healing power of yoga, because when I run too hard at some point in the work out the pain would all go away.  It always comes back and hit you  harder the next day however, but at some point the pain signal seems to be blocked by a wave of adrenaline or endorphin or something that gets released.
  • After the class I tried to ask the teacher for some helpful poses for shin splints.  She really didn't tell me anything I don't already know, but she did suggest that I do my stretched in the warm.  Which I haven't been.  I've been doing the opposite in fact, since I iced my legs a lot recently.  So  on Saturday when I was stretching for running I turned my electric heater on.
  • Friday was off day.  Saturday was another 1 mile or so.  I again felt it: pain at the beginning that went away during the middle.  I was again pressed for time so I didn't feel too bad about a short workout.  Whatever that was gone during the workout quickly came back as I was walking home.  I stretched after I got home, and felt a physical knot in my left shin that corresponded to the tightness and pain I've been feeling.  I don't know what it means, feeling this knot, and I didn't know how to deal with it.  So I massaged it, pressed it, tried to make it go away.  Then I stretched it for some more while in the hot shower.  Miraculously it actually had helped a lot.  I hadn't felt any pain all day afterwards, even after going down some endless flights of stairs.  I don't know what it means other than I could keep doing this during stretches later on, but it gave me hopes again for running tomorrow.
  • Tomorrow (aka. today) is supposed to be warm in the afternoon, and sunny.  This kindled my desire to run outside again.  I've been rattling my brain trying to find somewhere that's not muddy, but also isolated and secluded in the afternoon.  So far I can't think of anywhere where I can try and run my first road run without being seen by too many people.  
  • I decided to splurge and get a pair of shoe inserts for my new running shoes.  My left foot arches have been left with weird strains after running with my new shoes, which I suspected overall contributed to my growing shin splints.  I've been buying shoes online recently, and before I could get another pair of running shoes after having my feet properly checked out by a running store professional, I'm gonna remediate by getting Dr.You-know-who's insole.  I got the same (or similar, rather) insoles for my other pair of more worn shoes, and that's probably why I feel more comfortable in them.  So hopefully that would help, especially when I'm going to run on the road and for my 5K.
  • My friend had started working out on a massive scale.  Thursday she, on her status, said that she had done an hour of zumba, 30 minutes on the elliptical, and 2 miles on the treadmill.  Yesterday she did 3 miles on the treadmill.  Which is very impressive to me and probably nothing to her, since I really suck at running and have been avoiding it for a long time before now.  But at the same time I'm worried for her.  This much workout after a long period on inactivity (according to her) probably feels great for now, but will come back to bite her in the butt if she's not careful with pacing herself and stretching.  But she's doing every other day exercising, so I don't know.  I hope she stretches.
  • My books have arrived!  I bought some books on running from China, and after a few weeks of traveling across the world I finally got them on Friday.  Will devote another post on it later.

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