Dreaming of getting fit takes work, and having your fitness equipment work against you will make you crazy. I am recovering from my first Olympic distance triathlon yesterday. While I gather my notes for an amazing post to share soon, I though I’d share a funny and stupid training story with you.
Fitness Tip: Before you go running, check your equipment
This happened a couple months back as my husband Ray and I were away from our Bay Area home. We took advantage of my parents guest house in the toasty Palm Springs area. It was a vacation of sorts, but I knew that I would be keeping up with my triathlon training.
The trick to working out in the great outdoors in the desert is to do it early in the morning.
I didn’t get moving as early as planned and the mid-morning sun was warming up the day fast. Long, straight, and lightly traveled roads surround my parents home. It was easy go running for distance when each “block” was about a half mile.
I laced up my running shoes, slathered on the sunscreen and headed out into the 80 degree morning.
Heading out I enjoyed the sounds of the desert. A small breeze made the palm fronds chatter at the date palm farm. Just a little farther down the road I ran by the pretty ponies at the polo boarding stables who were enjoying a fresh pile of hay.
The workout plan had no challenge from hills, but this was a speed workout so I was all set.
Using the power poles as markings, I sprinted to one, jogged past two, and sprinted again. By the time I reached the next intersection the sweating had kicked in.
I turned to head back the same way repeating the pattern. Sprint, jog, wave to the horses.
About half way back I was having trouble lifting my left leg. The front of my hip was locking up. If you’ve ever tried to pick your leg up when those muscles aren’t working, it ends up looking more like a Quasimodo leg drag.
Another sprint section was coming up and I put on the speed. In my mind. My hips were officially not with the program and I had to slow to a walk.
I paused and stretched, hoping to release whatever evil muscle spirit had taken over my left hip joint.
Walking again I attempted a jog but nothing was cooperating. I kept walking the almost half mile back to the house, limping the last few houses until I dragged into my parents guest house.
What the hell happened? I didn’t step in a pothole, twist anything, or fall. My know my hips are tight, thanks to a jobs that keep me in front of a computer all day. I try to manage by stretching and having deep tissue massage. But this sudden pain with inability to even finish the run was a new sensation.
This was time I planned to go running on vacation, so I kept up with other workouts. I was still being completely stumped why my hip had acted up so intense and so fast.
A few days later we were back home, unpacked and getting back in the swing of life.
I was already planning on getting new running shoes, and that last run in So Cal clinched the decision.
Fitness Tip: Want to go running? Go to your local running store for a fit.
Buying running shoes is different than day to day shoe fittings. Talk to your local running shop about how often you are planning on running and any injuries or concerns you have. They are the experts on helping you find shoes that fit your body mechanics. Plan ahead and wear an outfit something you would run in! A good shop will want to watch how you run to confirm a good fit.
My own sparkling new running shoes are bright. My friends tell me that they may be visible from space.
Breaking in the new shoes, I head out for a 5 mile run to see how I feel on the street. They are bouncy, running on clouds, and best of all, my hip is completely fine.
I feel like people are staring. I am blaming that on the shoes.
The next day I’m kicking my shoes around in the closet and notice something on the bottom of the pair of my recently retired running shoes. I’m always avoiding street gunk so now I’m grossed out about what I picked up.
I discovered the reason my run in the desert was suddenly so painful, so quickly.
If you hear a weird clicking sound every time you step, this is typically a clue something is stuck to you. It’s the same sound you hear when your car tires pick up some gravel.
When I experienced such a drastic change during my run, I hadn’t even thought to check my shoes. They felt fine, nothing was poking me. Instead I tortured myself into a sore hip that took 4 days to bounce back from.
Pain on your run? Check your shoes first.
Now I’m the runner you will see by the side of the road contorting to see what is on the bottom of my shoes. I will do this with any inkling that my form is off, or I suddenly have muscles tighten up for no darn reason.
Check. Your. Shoes.
What fitness blunder have you had recently? Share in the comments and save us all from repeating it!
Go get your fit on – Heather
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and blogger who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.