I have a confession to make. Sometimes...when I set goals for myself...I like the planning and preparation process a lot more than fulfilling the actual goal. I like making lists, researching on the Internet, downloading apps or programs, shopping for necessary equipment, organizing things in my house, etc. I LOVE to plan. And sometimes, this does help me follow through with my goals. But other times, it just leaves me with a bunch of crap and information collecting dust in the basement. I think this is what made Eric a little nervous when he saw my new iPhone apps, my updated playlist of running music, my new running shoes, and my new workout clothes. He just looked at me and shook his head with a smile.
During Week 1 of the C25K program, I was out to prove him wrong. Actually, I was out to prove myself wrong. I have not been able to stick to a workout routine of any kind since I started Grad school in 2002. Yes...it has been 8 YEARS since I had any kind of consistent workout routine, so I'm sure you can imagine my hesitation and lack of confidence when starting this program a few weeks ago.
Luckily, Week 1 went better than I imagined. I made it through the run sequences and worked up a pretty great sweat in the process. I came home feeling energized and proud of myself for sticking to the program. Week 2 was just as successful and I even managed to go for a morning run which I NEVER thought I could motivate myself to do. This made me feel even better because not only was I working towards my goal, I was also challenging myself and going outside of my comfort zone. I was on fire. But sadly...so were my knees.
When I started having knee pain on Day 2 of Week 2, I thought it was just a normal ache that all new runners got. I used an ice pack, took a Motrin and went to bed. I was able to rest the next day which made my knee feel better, but when I went to run on Day 3 of that week, I was really hurting. I managed to run through the pain and complete my day, but it was obvious that this wasn't just a normal ache I could ignore.
Now, the old Jen would have used this as the perfect excuse to quit. I could pack up my shoes, arm band, and sports bras and throw then in the basement with the rest of my failed goals and just say I had to quit running because of my knees. But the funny thing is...I didn't want to quit! In fact, the thought of having to stop made me really sad! I had a plan, damn it!! I finally found a workout that was working for me and now I was going to have to quit!! I was determined to find another solution.
Enter Google...my best friend. I read a TON of information on knee pain in runners...some good, some not so good. But one suggestion that kept floating around numerous chat boards was the use of insoles to help with knee, ankle, back and pelvis pain. I had no idea where to begin choosing which insoles to buy, so I finally sucked it up and drove to a running store in my area. The guy who helped me was AWESOME!!! He watched me walk/run, confirmed that I had bought the right shoes, but that I probably could benefit from some insoles. He recommended these Berry SuperFeet insoles...
As you can see...they don't look like much. When the guy held them up I even said, "Really? These are going to help me?". He assured me they would so I reluctantly paid another $30 for "running equipment" and headed home. These babies went for their first test run today and let me just tell you, they made a HUGE difference! I couldn't believe it. How could two little insoles inside my shoes take away knee pain? I will never understand the human body. But I'm also not going to ask any questions. I am just going to be happy that I can keep running and stick to program without having to suffer through knee pain. YAY!!!!!!!
But as a disclaimer, let me just say that the running guru said that I HAVE to be better about stretching and that I would also benefit from some strength training (especially in the quad area). Not sure I am going to jump on board with the strength training right away, but my friend and fellow C25K buddy Rachel is going to share some yoga moves that will help give me a great stretch before and after running.
And speaking of my running buddies, I thought I would give you all a quick update on our FABULOUS group!! E-mails have been flying back and forth for the past two weeks and I have never seen such a diverse group of ladies come together for the same fitness goal. Many of us are moms, or hope to be moms in the future, and this plan seems to be a great fit no matter which side of the bar you are on. That is why I am still referring to this as Operation Hot Mommy Body (HMB) because I think we all want to be the hot mom in the end :-)
Everyone in our running group is striving for one thing...a healthy body. All of us have very different body types and are working at different paces. But no matter where we are starting from, the end goal is to be healthy and as in-shape as we can be for ourselves and our families. The e-mails we have all exchanged the past few weeks have been filled with funny stories, honest confessions and incredible words of motivation. I already feel like this e-mail group is keeping me on track and I know I will continue to need that support in the weeks to come.
If any of you are still thinking about starting the C25K program and would like to join our e-mail running group, just shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for spending your Wednesday night reading this incredibly long running update!! Happy Hump Day friends!