January 13, 2013
Well I don’t have any marathons or even halves on my calendar for 2013 yet. As a result it has been hard to stay motivated or to push myself. I have just been running a couple of days a week just to say I am running but I am slow and I don’t have much endurance. My usual run is three miles and my long run is four.
Therefore I realized I need to focus on something else. Just what that something is hasn’t revealed itself. Well that is until today. Even with my low mileage running has been a pain in the ass. Literally. My piriformis has been a constant nag. I have decided to do something about it. I have never been one that stretched much, before or after runs. I figured daily runs kept me loose enough and I have been blessed with only one running injury in my running tenure. A tweaked hamstring that kept me sidelined for two months until I had electricity zapped through it a couple of times. But for the most part, I lace the shoes, open the door and run.
I am now 45 and things are starting to move a little slower and ache a little more. I decided earlier today I am going to start doing some stretching and core exercises. I am modest or maybe an under-achiever, but I am going to go for 3-4 times per week.
I started earlier with some basic exercises to just start a routine. I have had several people tell me about planking and how it is an awesome core exercise. I admit I was skeptical as it looks so simple. People talk about how two minutes is awesome. I thought easy. Well I learned that planking is a lot harder than it looks. I ended up doing 4 sets of :20 seconds. I did 4 sets of a great piriformis stretch, some side planks, leg lifts and a couple of yoga poses – downward dog and prayer stretch. This isn’t a lot I know, but it is about 15 minutes more of stretching and conditioning than I have been doing. Maybe as my core gets stronger and my hamstrings loosen up I will increase the frequency and intensity of my exercises. My goal is not to have six-pack abs, but rather keep my running enjoyable and relatively pain free as I get older.