4/13/17

Piriformis Syndrome

After the Kaiser half, I had been feeling some pain in my hip, lower back, and down my left leg. This was really frustrating, (a real pain in the butt!) and took some time to figure out. My self-diagnosis was piriformis syndrome. The pain would come and go but I could still run. In fact, it's better when I stay moderately active rather than laying around. What seems to be working is decreased easy mileage, stretching, warming up, and strength training. Here are some of the stretches and things I do every day, twice a day.
  • Cat and Cow Pose
  • Child's Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Leg and calf stretches from the floor, with or without band
  • Hip crossover stretch
Basically, any yoga stretches for your back. Fish oil really helps, in the morning and evening. Every now and then, I have to take an Advil. After a few weeks of stretching, I can incorporate some strength training:
  • Clamshells (with resistance band)
  • Glute Bridges (with resistance band)
  • Side leg lift (with resistance band)
  • Lunges
  • Goblet Squats, Pistol squats with TRX, Bulgarian Split Squat and other squat variations
Some good piriformis info here.

Swimming: At first,  my back would cramp up and I couldn't do flip turns. I would just stretch on the wall and incorporate some vertical kicking and dolphin kicks, with or without fins. Remember the stretching and warmup before. The cold water feels good, but have to be careful of cramps.

Cycling: Riding a bike actually offers a bit of relief and is a good activity before and after running. It helps loosen things up. It may hurt initially but then it feels really great.

Lots of rest days, especially after races. I was able to train and do the Oakland Half, just not at race pace and keeping low mileage. I can't do jumping jacks on that leg but I'm hoping the strength training will help. Though I'm not 100%, I have to count my blessings, as I have never been seriously injured and am still pretty active.

UPDATE: The doctor said I may have pulled a muscle in my low back, which is why it's taking so long for the pains to go away. I upped the protein and will do more PT.

4/3/17

Oakland Half-Marathon 2017

This is my 6th year participating in The Oakland Running Festival and the event seems to be getting bigger and better every year! The new venue at East Shore Park was definitely an upgrade.

RECAP:
I took public transportation to Oakland and rode my bike to East Shore Park. Luckily I found parking parked in front of the Pergola. There I met up with other BoMF runners Danielle and Brittney. They were on the fast track to finish under 2 hours but my goal was to be conservative and save it for the end. My last half marathon wasn't so great and I was walking a lot at the end so I wanted to run smarter this time. Still getting over a little hip pain. We did a build this week at BoMF morning runs, gradually increasing the distance of each run. So I peaked out this week with 31 miles, which is my max this year so far!

I stuck with traditional fueling, having a high carb meal before the race and packed gu and electrolytes. It was such a beautiful warm spring day, which means scorching hot when running in the sun. Before the run, I had some pre-game Endurolytes Extreme and Endurance Aminos. I felt pretty steady throughout the race. I brought my hydration belt with me and had refilled it twice, adding in the S.O.S. electrolytes. The course seemed to go by quickly, because of all the turns and variety. I was going at selfie-pace and took lots of photos!

The first mile

Our pacer

Taiko drummers!

The Crucible

Brown Sugar Kitchen!


Post-race Celebration

BoMF Girls at the finish - Planking?!

The post-race celebration was perfect - Tons of food options, space to chill out and meet up with your friends, great music, and really good DJs all along the course. Volunteers did a great job and there was cheering all along the course. The packet pickup was very well organized and I didn't have to wait at all. I love the diversity in Oakland. But they also have many homeless tent encampments that we ran past. I see them every day in the San Francisco and Oakland on my bike commute to work. That is why I run for a cause this year - Back on My Feet. I've been running with them since the end of last year and it's been keeping me consistent and focused. What a great volunteer opportunity for health of our community. We just launched Team SOMA and are exploring routes in that area. We also have team Geary and Team Tenderloin. Feel free to join us!

ORF History:
2012: 21:47 5k
2013: Half-Marathon 2:04:00
2014: 21:17 5k
2015: We Run The Town Challenge 2:34:46 (21:08 5k)
2016: 21:57 5k
2017: Half-Marathon 2:10:00 



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