Running Aid

Tuesday, 5 August 2008  |  Bullish Insights

I had just published my post on 10 Easy Ways to Get Injured when I found this in my mail…

Running Aid

See, the Pinoy Ultra Runners and I think alike!  Hope you can make it.

10 Easy Ways to Get Injured

Tuesday, 5 August 2008  |  Running + Triathlon

A friend once recommended that I write about injury prevention in running.  Was he talking to me?  Little Miss perennially injured Bullheaded Runner?  I thought that I could easily dictate the ways to do the opposite—how to get injured—because of all the mistakes I committed in my brief running experience.

Here are 10 easy ways to find yourself in the doctor’s clinic:  

  1. Buy a running shoe based on its color and look.  A doctor once asked me why I did not purchase the shoe he had recommended months ago for my flat feet, I replied “Because it didn’t look good.”  His response “Vanity thy name is injury!”
  2. Live in denial.  Your shins are sore.  Your knee is throbbing.  You’ve been feeling exhausted and tired.  Yet, you tell yourself that nothing is wrong and you lace up your shoes for yet another run or race.  Listen to your body and take a few days off if you must.
  3. Don’t stretch.  There’s still an ongoing debate over the importance of stretching.  However, I personally think that stretching after a warm up, such as a 5-minute walk, and after a run will help loosen up any tightness in the legs.
  4. Don’t do anything else but run.  Again, some runners may not agree with this.  But, I do believe in the importance of strength and cross training to work the muscles that aren’t used in running.  It is important to strengthen your core, quads, and shins to prevent injury.
  5. Increase mileage drastically.  You doubled your mileage from last week?  Hey, that’s great—if you want to get injured.  You should increase mileage only by 10% every week.  If you feel you can do more, don’t.  Stay on the conservative side.
  6. Go fast.  For beginners, some experts do not recommend that you focus on speed immediately. (I know, some of you may not agree!)  I believe it’s important to build your base through LSD (long slow distance) before you attempt to win races.  Boy, am I guilty of this one and have I suffered for it.  I was humbled when I read this great article about adult-onset athletes, I think it was written with the old, naive, and overzealous me in mind.  (Thanks Idnod for sharing!) 
  7. Join all races.  Have you noticed the popularity of races around the metro lately?  There’s a race almost every week!  Do not attempt to break your PR in every single race.  Choose specific races and train for them well.  If you must join every single race, then run some of them at training pace.
  8. Drink only when you’re thirsty.  Never underestimate the power of liquids in running.  It can make or break your run.  Make sure you are well-hydrated at all times.  If your weight drops drastically after a run, drink more liquids to compensate that water weight loss.
  9. Lessen your food intake.  Some people fall into running as a means to lose weight.  As the pounds drop, the greater the desire to speed up the weight loss by decreasing food intake.  As a runner, you will need to fuel your body with the right foods to ensure that your body can cope with the intense activities.  Eat up, I promise you that running will burn them calories!
  10. Think you are invincible.  Most people don’t give a damn about injuries—until it happens to them. Be aware of ways to prevent injuries (and practice them) in order to enjoy a fun-filled, non-stop, and pain-free running life.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008  |  Therapy + Injury

I wish I told you how ecstatic I was over my first ever mountain bike ride last Sunday where my Garmin got his first taste of a biking event and registered it at 40 min for 9km.  Or, how my first Ashtanga yoga session last Wednesday completely blew me away and gave me a peek into the spiritual side of yoga which I am all too excited to explore.  Or, how foolish I felt for thinking that the pool would be open yesterday, a holiday, so instead of doing 50-meter laps, I found myself swimming with my children complete with lifesavers and noodle floats at my in-laws little pool.

No, I couldn’t bring myself to tell you about last week’s little details because it had nothing to do with running.  This is, after all, a running blog.  

Truth be told, running and I haven’t been in good terms lately.  I have been furious with him since the day I learned about the shin splints.  I yelled at him from across the room (making sure my kids couldn’t hear) “After all that I’ve given to you—my heart and my soul—you give me runner’s knee and now this shin problem?!  What kind of a person are you?  Are you even human?!”  To which, he replies “Of course, I’m inhuman.  I’m a sport, dummy.”  Such disrespect!  I couldn’t take the cruelty so I packed my gym bags and took off.  (Okay, now you know why this post is entitled LQ.  Ang baduy ko, I know!  This is what happens when I don’t run.)  I haven’t seen him for a full two weeks—16 days, to be exact—since my last run. Despite therapy sessions, the lumps on my shins haven’t disappeared and continue to bother me at every step.

Since then, I have moved on.  I’ve been getting my cardio workouts from the elliptical trainer at the gym, swimming, and biking.  (Sadly though, none of these will ever compare to the workout that running gave me.  I am still gaining weight despite all these other cardio activities…grrr.)  I also have at least two sessions of either bikram yoga, ashtanga yoga (my new love), or yogilates each week.

When I recover from my shin splints (don’t ask me when because this is taking a lot longer than I expected), I’m sure I’ll be the one knocking on the door of running screaming “Let me in!  You’ve been a jerk but I love you anyway!”  

While I’m injured, please be patient with me as this “running blog” will feature posts that will discuss more of my cross training activities than actual running.  If there’s one good thing that has come out of these injuries, it is that it’s pushing me to become a triathlete ahead of schedule!

Seeing Red

Tuesday, 20 May 2008  |  Therapy + Injury

After my track run with Coach and Annie yesterday, I looked up at the red sky, changed into my red shirt, and drove home in my red car. Kissed my red husband good morning and woke up my two little red kids. I showered and saw my red self in the mirror. All I saw was red yesterday because I was the raging bull again.

Grrrrr…my injury is back…

I am not entirely sure it’s the same evil knee pain that is rearing its ugly head again. The pain is not on the knee itself but behind the right knee near my hamstrings. Coach says as long as it’s not the knee, then we are fine. I am hoping he’s right.

Trying to look at the bright side. Telling myself that all I need is more stretching (not that I’m lacking in this area because I believe I’m stretching all throughout the day) since I barely did anything while I was sick.

So, I am in full battle mode this week:

  • Monday (yesterday): Morning run/ Afternoon weights
  • Tuesday: Morning pilates/ Afternoon run hills
  • Wednseday: Morning run/ Afternoon bikram yoga

…and let’s see how it goes from there. Hopefully, I’ll be able to run Doc Fit sans any pain. If that doesn’t happen, this raging bull will just get even more furious.

Secret Training Exposed

Tuesday, 29 April 2008  |  Running + Triathlon

What have I been doing the past month? Had you looked closely, I rarely discussed my training sessions nor did I complain about my evil knee. Truth be told, I found little time to write here as running had taken over a large chunk of my idle time leaving me with the rest of the day for work and family.

A couple of running friends have dubbed my past month as “Secret Training.” You see, it’s been a month since I signed up with a new running coach, Jo-Ar, to begin rehab training for my knee yet there was no mention (just a hint) of him in this blog.

Well, now the “secret” is out. And, I’m proud to say that this has been the best month of running ever since I started.


– Me with Annie and Coach Jo-Ar after he made us do intervals that made me want to barf. –

Coach Jo-Ar has been my guide/boss/friend on this slippery road to recovery. In the beginning, it was a bit frustrating as he asked me to slow down when I felt like I could go faster or to rest for a full day when I was eager to run on the road.

After a couple of weeks, however, I had little to complain about as things got more exciting at the track. With my knee and quads a bit stronger, Coach Jo-Ar would push me to run 5 more hills…or 10 more steps…or 3 more laps…and, as I struggled to catch my breath or control my wobbly legs, I would think “Please, no more!” yet find myself achieving what seemed impossible. At the end of each session, I felt I was improving, getting stronger and fitter, and taking a step farther away from my poor injured self.

Last week, for the first time in my life, I ran everyday for six consecutive days. And, on Sunday, I was able to run 8k, my longest ever since I got injured in January. It was a tough, tiring, and challenging week (or month, actually) but it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Salamat Coach Jo-Ar!