Friday, 25 April 2008

pure muscle

i've been having some problems lately with muscle pain & cramps, mainly in my calves. & it's been getting quite frustrating - a lot of the runs that i've been doing, i've felt that i could have kept going for a bit longer, if it weren't for my calves cramping up. i'm pretty sure that this has to do with not stretching properly, combined with the fact that my calves & hamstrings are shorter than normal (i was a toe-walker for a while when i was little, which may have something to do with it!). what would be a normal range of motion for most people has always been a stretch for me (literally!) - i've never even been able to touch my toes. & although i knew this was most likely the cause of the cramping, i thought it might be a good idea to get some professional help - i've read some books & website about proper stretching exercises, but i'm not that great at following static pictured instructions, & find it much easier to learn something if i can see someone else do it.
so, i went to see emma, the lovely physiotherapist at achilles heel in glasgow, for some stretching advice. & i knew the situation was grim right from the start of the appointment - no matter what you've gone in for, it's never good when the professional takes one look at the offending body part & exclaims "oh my GOD!!!!". so it's confirmed - my calves, hamstrings, and hips are incredibly tight & tense, and a strict & extensive stretching regime was prescribed & demonstrated (& then i was tested on it to make sure i was doing them all properly). then, the session was topped off with a quick sports massage on my tight & crampy calves, which is when i was given the good news - although they're far too tight, which needs sorting, my calves have officially been proclaimed as "pure, solid muscle"!!!
now, i've always been a bit self-conscious about my calves - they're pretty chunky, compared to most people's. i can't buy boots higher than ankle-length unless they lace up - anything that pulls on or zips up simply won't go over my enormous calves (not even wellies, which are usually pretty wide at the top!). but now, i know the reason for my larger-than-life legs - an excess of muscle.
too bad then same can't be said of the rest of me - but at least i know now that from the knees down, i'm doing ok.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

eight minutes baby!!

yes, it's true - although i don't blame you for being sceptical. i was actually there, and even i don't believe it...

yesterday, i ran for eight minutes. (i'll allow a little pause for your shocked gasps, & even, possibly, some fainting from surprise).

& it didn't end there - after i did that, i walked for five minutes, and ran for eight minutes again.

seriously, can you believe it? i can't, and i saw it happen! i'm so impressed with myself i can't even tell you. & tomorrow, i'm going to do it again!!

next week, i conquer a ten-minute run....

Monday, 7 April 2008

(just like) starting over

well, that chest infection sure kicked my butt. i'm back into the running now, at long last, but my lungs still aren't quite back to normal, so i've had to take a few steps back in the training. i'm a bit discouraged, as i had made it all the way up to running for five whole minutes (!!!!), and now, even a couple of minutes at a time is a struggle. but i'm plodding on nonetheless, hoping that i'll get back on track soon...