But let me back up.
When I last talked to my physical therapist about how broken down I was feeling while running despite having taken a lot of time off, and despite working back up to running very slowly, and despite doing a 4:1 run/walk, he made a few suggestions to me. One of them was to find a trainer who can specifically train me to strengthen the muscles I use for running.
I was a little surprised at this, because A) no one had ever told me that before, and it seemed, well, so basic, and B) I thought I was plenty strong enough, especially considering so many runners I know do little to know strength training and they aren't nearly as injured as I am! But anyways, I listened to his advice and set off to find a trainer.
Luck was on my side and I randomly came across a local-to-my-hood trainer who happens to not only be awesome at training runners, but an amazing runner herself (oh yeah, she WINS marathons). I met her about a week and a half ago and immediately had a good feeling about her . . . but I didn't want to get my hopes up until I started working with her. Right away she pointed out that I am more weak on my left side than my right, which is no bueno as a runner, and that I needed to work to balance that.
And today I finally got my butt kicked by her for the first time.
She had me meet her at a local park that just so happens to be right on the Puget Sound, so during the whole workout we had views of the ferries, the Olympic mountain range, water, ahhhh, it was just awful, you guys. It just so happened to be sunny and approaching 50*. Rough, right?
We started with a jogging warm up (note: a light jog to a blazing fast runner is more of a sprint to a slow-poke) and then got to work. She had me do some stretching, then she put me through some running drills, like skipping, butt kicks, etc etc. It was nice to have someone coach me through them so I knew what I was doing. Also? I looked like a total idiot. One move was "run with only one leg". Yeah.
Then she put me through a circuit of exercises. Holy crap. SO hard. All of the leg moves were things like fancy types of lunges, moves that forced each leg to work on its own (as opposed to something like a squat, where your weak side can hang out while your strong side does the work). This will help balance my strength imbalances, but they feel almost impossible for me to do. The workout had things like lateral lunges, bulgarian split squats, lunge jumps . . . and then after I could barely walk I moved on to some upper body stuff. Dumbbell chest presses, tricep dips, bosu ball push-ups. Man, it was a hard workout. I have to do it AGAIN, like once or twice a WEEK (depending on if I'm working out with my trainer one of my two cross-training days or need to work out both days on my own).
Even though it's really tough, it's also really exciting. I feel like this is going to open me up to a whole new world with my running and I can't wait to see how I progress. I might die, but hey, I might not!
In other news, I have completely disregarded my PT's orders to severely decrease my volume of running. Phsaw, I said, like if. Okay, I didn't really say that, I only thought that (on a side note, why don't we still use "like if!" as a comeback?). But I kept running and you know what? I haven't been in nearly as much pain the past few weeks. I am doing my PT exercises and my one new thing is I do A LOT more foam rolling, massage on my calves, and rolling out my muscles with The Stick. I guess it's all helping!
This weekend I will run 9 miles (with Sally, yay!) then a cut-back week the following week, then a 10 miler the week after. THEN the following week I should be ready to run the Mercer Island Half. I haven't registered, and if it sells out, I won't be too bummed, as I can only use it as a training run and not a race. I can instead run 13 miles on my own (which, of course, is no where near as fun!).
So, that's a lot of updates. I have some fun updates about the Ragnar team, too, so I will share those soon. Maybe even reveal our team name? The drama on that front is that we were back and forth for a while and finally agreed on a perfect name AND THEN IT WAS ALREADY TAKEN when I went to register the name! UGH! So now we are on naming: round two. Wish us luck!