Friday, July 3, 2009

Knee Update & Book Review

Ok, so I've been wearing my patella stabilizer band for most of the day the past few days. I also upped my glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Believe it or not the temperamental sucker is feeling a lot better! SO much so that I ventured out today for an easy 2.5 mile jog to test it out. There was some pain during the run, but nothing crazy. I took it slow and easy and warmed up walking and cooled down walking for a total of a 3 mile workout. I was worried that it might swell up when I got back home but it didn't!! I'm more stoked about that! No swelling is a HUGE improvement. Fingers crossed and praying to the kneecap gods that I'm through the worst of it. Now to just ease back into running. I'm going to keep the mileage low and the pace slow for the next week and just try things out.

One of the things that I think might be contributing to my knee issues are my new shoes. Yes, my brand stinkin' new ones!! I think I'm really overpronating on my right foot. I can feel it when I run/walk in those shoes. I don't think they're giving me enough support and stability. I threw on my Asics today for the short run and I could tell a difference. The Saucony shoe I'm in now is more of a neutral shoe. So, I may go to the running store this next week and see what they recommend.

I hope, hope, hope that I can get back on track. So many great Fall races that I need to start gearing up for!

Book Review

I have read/skimmed through a number of running books in my running life. I've read through beginner's running guides, women's running guides, nutrition for runners, nutrition for endurance athletes, guides to run faster and longer. Each of the books had something to offer and I usually took away an interesting tidbit of knowledge or some valuable coaching advice, but usually it was nothing new or nothing that I couldn't find on runner's websites or magazines. This book however gave me something the other books didn't: Full on stitch-in-the-side belly laughs.

Dawn Dais writes the book as a beginning runner training for her first marathon. She takes you through her trial and tribulations and gives some helpful hints and advice along the way. She also gives a HILARIOUS look into the runner psyche. In her initial "Should I Train for a Marathon" test she asks the "real" questions:
  • "Any sport in which people have been known to literally die of exhaustion while participating is just the kind of sport I've been looking for. T/F"
  • "I'm interested in finding out exactly how many muscles I have in my legs. T/F"
  • "I have no problem being athletically inferior to someone twice my age. T/F"
  • "I've been sleeping in way too much, so I've been looking for something to take up a few hours on my Saturday mornings. T/F"
  • "I want to perfect the art of peeing in a shrub without being seen by anyone. T/F"
  • "My knee joints are overrated. T/F"
  • "Sometimes when I'm driving long distances of, say, fifteen miles or so, I feel the overwhelming urge to pull my car over and simply run the rest of the way. T/F"
  • "I have a very good health plan. T/F"
The book is just hilarious. Having completed my first full this last year as a beginner, I could TOTALLY relate to everything she was going through. Through the laughing and tears I must have said, "Oh yeah, I've done that" or "Oh yeah, I've been there" at least a dozen times. Her diatribes on spandex, chaffing and the "water-holder butt thingy" (her words - not mine) are so on the spot that you think she was somehow channeling your last few runs.

The NonRunner's Marathon Guide for Women isn't going to give you any major running revelations. The training plan is a good beginner plan and straightforward. It's the author's brutally honest portrayals of her marathon journey that make this book a must read.

Oh - and I almost forgot - I'm up to 60 push-ups and 60 sit-ups three times a week! Slowly working my way to 100.

Today I LOVE: Jelly Belly sour mix jelly beans!


Melissa said...

They have this awesome drink called Elations... It's at Wal-Mart! Great stuff!!! I think it's like $6 a six pack.

Loved that book!! I laughed my butt off!

Marlene said...

That's GREAT news!!!

Thanks for the book review - sounds like a good one.

Willie said...

Ok, so I'm not a woman but I want to read that book. If for nothing else than just to discover what the water-holder butt thingy is.

Do you wear orthotics? If not, you should look into them. If you have persistent knee issues you probably need more support than any shoe can give you. I've worn them since my first marathon and I really believe they've kept me from many injuries.

Go get that 100! You rock!

trialsoftraining said...

whoooa up to 60 already?! Nice! :)

Thanks for the Book Review - I've never heard of that and am putting it on my list!

kara said...

O Kneecap Gods - please grant Jen a speedy recovery.
Have a Happy 4th!

Jo Lynn said...

Have you tried some type of insert in your shoes (i.e. Superfeet)? I wear them in all of my shoes because I am flat footed and over-pronate terribly.

I bought my daughter that book for Christmas so she could train to do a 1/2 marathon in August with me. Um, I'm pretty sure it's still in a box somewhere. I heard it was a great book for the non-runner. Well, she's still a non-runner. LOL

Girl on Top said...

Hope you'll be able to find better shoes!

I have read that book and I love it! It was very funny.

Southbay Girl said...

OK young you run with orthotics? If not and you pronate (one way or another) you should not be running in a neutral shoe! I run in a neutral shoe-but I have orthotics which are dealing with my pronation! So go back to the Asics that you were running in for what ever pronation issue you have! Everything starts at your feet! If your feet aren't planting properly it will cause pain elsewhere ie your knee!!!

amyreinink said...

SO GLAD your knee's feeling better -- and that you've IDed the possible source of the pain! I swear by glucosamine-chondroitin for my hip, though I still suspect the benefits are all in my head. The book sounds freaking hilarious, too -- might have to pick it up!

jenna is awkward said...

Hey! I loved that book. I read it right before I ran my first marathon, and I laughed alot. I hear you on the knee thing! I love my patella band AND my Asics. Glad to see you're trying to get back out there :)