Monday, July 26, 2010

Killer Dunes 2-Mile Recap

About a month before I was set to head to the Outer Banks, a coworker mentioned a dunes race that he and his brother were signing up for.  I thought nothing of it, but it piqued my curiosity as I was driving to the Outer Banks on the 3rd of July and thought maybe I would be down there for it.  So, I went online and found the Killer Dunes 2-Mile Footrace sponsored by the Outer Banks Running Club.  I asked around my fellow house dwellers to see if anyone else was interested, but I was the only crazy one of the bunch (go figure!).  I waited a little too long and was waitlisted as number 23 and waited to see if I would make it in.  Sure enough, just a few days before the race, I was in and paying my fee.

The race was held Monday, July 5th at 9a.  I arrived at 7:30a after a 45 minute drive from the house and was ready to go.  But, I had to be patient and wait until 9a.  Shortly before the race start I found my coworker and his brother, and before we knew it, we were off.

The race was probably the most fun I've had running in a while (then again, I haven't been running in a while).  The dunes were challenging and made you question your judgment.  I experienced some great camaraderie with someone cheering me on because she and I had already passed each other a few times and she told me to basically "get a move on" and pass her again.  The water station was slow and that was my downfall (I should have carried my own water).

In the end, I'm crazy enough to do it again next year if I'm there.

Top female - 15:07
My time - 25:39 (5/15 in my age group, 153/235 overall)

That's my best AG finish so far and I'm proud of that performance.  I should probably find a few more hills to train on beforehand next year...

Chiropractic Care - Week Eight and Nine

After a week off of treatment, I went back to Dr. Staley for a Monday appointment last week.  He said I was doing great and could cancel my second appointment for the week.  [For those playing at home, that's four weeks of three-per-week and three weeks of three-per-week after being told to expect six weeks of each.]  Now that I'm mostly past the healing phase and into the strengthening phase, I now have active homework as opposed to just "passive" stretching homework.

The first exercise is something familiar to those who do pilates or yoga.  On hands and knees, extend one arm out straight at the same time as you extend the opposing leg out (so left arm/right leg or right arm/left leg).  Since I was too good doing these on the soft (more challenging) surface of the table at the fast pace, Dr. Staley gave me two minutes per day of doing these at the slow pace.  I have been less than stellar about doing these exercises due to a crazy work schedule so I have to work on these more.

This week the healing continues and the homework has increased.  Now working on the vertical plane, I have five levels of an exercise to do this week, progressing to the next level only if I can finish the previous level.

(1) With shoes on, stand tall with my leg out in front either straight or with the knee slightly bent, whatever is most comfortable.  Do this for one minute.  Switch legs and repeat.  Be careful not to watch my feet but look ahead; my feet aren't going anywhere.

(2) With shoes on, stand tall and extend one leg out.  Trace out small letters of the alphabet.  Switch legs and repeat.  Don't forget to look straight ahead.

(3) Repeat the above exercise, but with larger letters.

(4) With shoes off, repeat the small letter exercise.

(5) With shoes off, repeat the large letter exercise.

And if I've completed the five exercises in five days, close my eyes and do exercises (4) and (5).  In all cases, I should start with the vertical exercise then move to the horizontal exercise from last week.  Since work should be light this week, I have no excuse for not doing my exercises.  In fact, I SHOULD have made time last week for my exercises, but what's done is done.

Chiropractic Care - Week Seven

Catching up a little after vacation and two crazy weeks at work...

During the week of July 4th I was at the Outer Banks through Tuesday evening, so I was able to keep to two treatments at the end of the week.  My migraines had yet to return so my healing continues.  I was instructed to keep up with my stretches as assigned before.

Of note was that the office was to be closed the following week so Dr. Staley could take a vacation.  He told me that based on how I did with a week off of treatments, I may be able to drop to once per week.  I signed up for two just in case I needed the second one, but my next time in the office he would evaluate and I could cancel if he didn't think I needed it.  Yay!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Chiropractic Care - Week Five and Six

The past two weeks I've been seeing Dr. Staley twice a week.  My migraines have continued to be kept at bay so I'm thrilled about that.  After some thought, I believe the cause of my everyday migraines was due my run training and a minimal amount of neck stretching after running.  The build up of stress tightened up everything at the back of my head, thus causing essentially constant headaches.  With the chiropractic treatment that I've been receiving, those muscles have become relaxed and the migraines have subsided.

I received more instruction on my neck stretching with the addition of another stretch.  The new stretch is rotational and requires rotation of my chin to one side or the other, trying to get my chin over my shoulder.  With this stretch and my other neck stretches, I'm now to incorporate proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching.  In the case of this stretch, if I rotate to the left, I place my hand on my right cheek, press against my hand using my neck muscles, then release the press and rotate into the stretch a little further.  What most people do when they stretch is called postisometric relaxation (PIR) stretching, and from what I understand, PNF adds another level to my stretching and can be applied to most stretches with little modification.

Dr. Staley continues to be amazed with how quickly my body is healing, but having known how well I have healed in the past, I'm not surprised.  I hope that continues for many years, but I suspect that I'll see a decline in my rate of healing as I change age groups.  But, I'm trying to stay healthy as best I can in my younger years in order to increase the chances of good health later in life.  Here's to good health!