I finally pulled the trigger and registered for my first half marathon, Her Madison Half. I really don’t know why I waited so long. Friends and family members have been urging me to run one for years, yet it was a simple Facebook post that finally encouraged me to sign up.
I haven’t slacked, as I have been preparing for the last 10 weeks or so and nearly had a panic attack anticipating it. At less than two weeks to go, I began paying more attention to my body. For example, that annoying little side stitch/cramp got a little louder so I decided to research it on the internet.
In my stubbornness, I refused to read Runner’s World or other serious running blogs in the past, with the misconception that it catered to elite athletes. But really, they’re quite informative for beginners, intermediate, and advanced runners alike.
I knew side cramps were common, but had no idea it had to do with the expansion of the abdominal diaphragm muscle while breathing during long runs and as a result, I was suffering referred pain in my shoulder. It’s no wonder why breathing techniques in yoga are helpful with this problem. Breathing exercises help to stretch the diaphragm for efficient oxygen intake.
I have been attending yoga at least once a week but to counter my problem, I think two to three times a week would have been more beneficial as I increased my weekly mileage.
Another issue was that of my feet, specifically my right foot. Thinking I made a real steal with an online purchase of last season’s Saucony Guide 7, I sacrificed a proper fit. However, the Saucony Grid Cohesions have always been a reliable shoe for me, because I actually went to the store and tried them on, but I failed to do so with my awesome internet purchase. Consequently, my right toes became cramped, tingly and later numb shortly after I began my half training. With the race nearing, purchasing a new pair is out of the question, therefore, I am relying on my old shoes to get me through the race.
I stepped out with the oldies for my last long run before the race and felt a world of a difference! There was some slight discomfort, most likely to the shape of my foot and fall of my stride, but at least there was no tingling sensation or numbness.
Lesson learned … YOGA, TRY SHOES ON AND GET FITTED!
With the race just around the corner, I will be light on the feet and focusing more on breathing techniques and downward facing dog.