Happy Friday! How has your week been? This week had some ups (sunshine) and some down (minor case of plantar fasciitis!), but as always, I’m just happy that it’s Friday!
Most running-related injuries are due to biomechanical irregularities such as muscle imbalances – which means you can prevent these injuries from happening with a little bit of preventative strength training. My latest post over at Runkeeper demonstrates 6 bodyweight exercises that you can use to prevent injury – no gym membership necessary.
Bread, bread, and more bread. My sourdough starter is going strong, especially since the weather has warmed up a bit. Ryan and I are both obsessed with hummus, cheese, and veggie sandwiches for lunch right now, so I’m baking two loaves per week (!) – which is actually perfect because I am minimizing the amount of time my starter spends in the fridge.
I’m admittedly obsessed with sourdough. I don’t think I can ever return to making bread with only commercial yeast. Bread is easier to bake, more consistent in its rise, and tastes better with sourdough – and, as Michael Pollan suggests, is easier to digest and improves gut health thanks to the fermentation.
Meanwhile, Ryan has started explaining to our friends that the starter is our third pet.
“Why Sometimes Running Without Racing is the Best Thing You Can Do” by Runners Connect. Allie (who many of you know from Vita Train for Life) wrote this article about what motivates runners who don’t race often and it’s well worth your read – whether you race often, infrequently, or never at all.
In my first 6 years as a runner, I never ran an official race. I did a couple loosely-organized, not accurately measured, casual campus 5Ks with one of the service organizations I was involved with on campus, but I never actually raced. From my freshman year of college through my final semester of graduate school, I ran for the sheer sake of running. Even now, I only race 2-3 times per year – and I like it that way.
Allie suggests in the article that taking time without racing will actually help you improve as a runner by avoiding burnout and overtraining. I certainly believe there’s truth to that and ultimately, races as sole motivation can only keep you dedicated to running for so long.
Now that spring has arrived and we are seeing less rain and more blue skies, I want to spend all day outside. On Sunday, after trail running at St. Edward State Park, we drank beers and soaked up the sun by our apartment’s fire pit for a few hours. After a week of working late and not seeing the sun for days, that sunshine was incredibly rejuvenating.
I have experienced some tightness in my heel on and off for a few months, and being a paranoid runner I succumbed to making a doctor’s appointment (i.e. Ryan kept telling me to go for peace of mind). It never hurt when I ran, but apparently the combination of tight calves, high arches, and walking around barefoot or in slippers most of the day (since I work from home) lead to a very minor, very early case of plantar fasciitis.
Thankfully, I can still run (as long as I don’t significantly increase mileage) and I have a conservative recovery protocol of icing, stretching, and not walking around barefoot (even inside). I was just thinking how I needed some supportive Birkenstocks for summer, so I guess I should get those now.
Do you like to race often or just a few times per year?
How are you unwinding this weekend?