Thursday, April 7, 2011

ChiRunning with Pete.

If you've been reading here the last few months, you know I've been trying to get in some semblance of decent shape other than round. I've been doing a weightlifting class and Pilates, and then due to my inability to stop mouthing off to the trainer, I started running at the ripe old age of 49. Things were going fine and I was making progress, and I even got to where I could run three miles, but every once in a while I had a twinge of pain in my left knee. Not wanting to be a cripple by the time I was 52, I started reading everything I could about knee pain while running. Here's what I found out:

There are 5,652,938 things that can cause knee pain, and you must see your doctor to rule out each one. Let's see, with a $12 co-pay . . .

So I did the next best thing: I asked on facebook, because the Internet—and especially facebook—has all the answers. I also consulted with a guy in our church who has done a lot of running and coaching. We came up with a plan to do a series of stretches before and after, and determined that running on pavement probably isn't the best thing right now. So I stretch and I mostly limit myself to the treadmill.

Then a friend recommended a book she had started reading, ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer, so I ordered it through the library. I've read more than half of it already and here's the gist of his method: Preventing injury is all about form, and he goes through the different body parts and what you're supposed to be doing with them while you run. These are the focuses, and he gives different exercises you do to practice each focus.

Fast forward to this week, when Man-boy has been a vegetable in his bed due to all the vicodin he's taking for his new lack of wisdom teeth. Poor Pete has been pacing around the house just waiting for someone to take him out running in the woods, and really, who does he think is going to do that now that it's warm and the snakes are waking from their long winter's nap?

So tonight I gave in and took him for a run, but not in the woods. On the forbidden pavement—I hope he appreciates it. And I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice my focuses, except trying to concentrate on one thing with a 70-pound pinball on a short leash is kind of futile. Cat? Jerk to the left! Squirrel? Jerk to the right! Kid on bike? Run circles around Mommy's legs! I think my arm got more of a workout than my legs, but at least the dog has stopped his incessant pacing.

Tomorrow I'm going back to the treadmill with no Pete. I need my chi back.

Be thankful ~


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