A view from my side.
Now that I’ve successfully relocated myself (still unpacking, of course) and relocated the boys, I’ve been able to jump start my running routine. Unfortunately, it has been so hot outside that I’ve found myself inside on a treadmill. While not the best of options, it does allow for daily consistency at a time of day currently most convenient for me to run. It’s been a much slower start, at much slower times than I would like, but then, I’m not in my 40’s anymore either.
My original plan was cut short by IT Band pain. The iliotibial band runs along the lateral or outside of the thigh and is an important structure that stabilizes the knee as it flexes and extends. It can become inflamed due to many reasons, but the most common in runners are 1) overuse and 2) overpronation. Overuse is easy enough to understand. Too much, too soon. Overpronation is where the foot rolls in a bit. This causes the lower leg to turn inwards which puts the knee and hip out of alignment. Either one on its own, and left unaccounted for, is enough to put undue stress on the IT Band. When combined, well, I gotta tell you…it just plain hurts. The cure for overuse is to cut back the mileage. The cure for the mild overpronation I exhibit is to buy a stability shoe, a very common choice at any decent athletic shoe store. Overpronationis a fairly common occurrence and my case is pretty mild. But as I’ve aged, my body’s ability to handle its effects have diminished a bit. The treatment for IT Band Syndrome, in my case at least, was I&I…Ice and Ibuprofen. Oh, and the elliptical machine instead of the treadmill/track/trail. (See Iliotibial Band Syndrome for more info.)
So that has all come and gone and I’m well into my runs now, relatively pain free. I’m still building the mileage, but currently running 4 miles a day at about 8:30 a mile. Not too fast, but not too slow. I run 5-6 days a week. My training gets interrupted by life events, as do so many things, but I’ve enjoyed getting back into it again. But part of my problem is realizing that I can’t simply bounce into a rigorous program like I am used to doing. The last serious training I was able to engage in was pre-2004. I thought, surely I can just start out with an easy 5 miles a day and work my way up. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo…not to be. So here I am running about half my target distance on a daily basis. I’ll get there, but it will take more time and patience than I am used to.
One of the many side benefits is the increased calorie need to fuel the runs. In a previous post, I talked about calories and how gaining/losing weight is All About the Calories. To run the distances I want to run, I’ve got to have the fuel to do it. Now it is time to pay more attention the types of calories I consume. Runners need more carbohydrates than most people. It’s the carbs the provide the fuel for the runs. But I don’t want to just stuff down any old bread and pasta. I want quality as well. So, whole grain breads will be better for me. Fruits also provide a good source of carbs, but bananas also offer potassium, something else I need as a runner. I also need proteins to help rebuild the muscles as they work during a run, so eggs and beans work well there. The beans also provide a plant source of iron and are low in fat. Salmon is a great protein source and it also adds in the Omega-3 fats. Of course there is always peanut butter, a great source of protein and while high in fat, it’s the “good” fat with no cholesterol.
So I have an “excuse” to experiment with my menu choices and increase the total calorie intake. I try to maintain a good balance of the “right” kind of foods, but I will admit to a fried catfish type dinner every now and then. And, while obviously not the best choice in the world, when I’m training, it is very hard for me to take in too many calories. Regardless, it is nice to be Off and Running once again.