Really though, I am happy with my progress and consistency so far. My biggest fear has been my knees as last October I experienced immense knee pain which made me want to quit both the half marathons I ran. (I didn’t quit! I finished one race in 2:05:15 and the other in 2:03:28.)
My knees have held up pretty well, and I think a large part is due to consistent training, foam rolling, and stretching. However, occasionally they still act up, and during my last race my hip was hurting, too. I finally decided to take my friend’s advice in visiting a recommended chiropractor who uses active release techniques in his practice, treats professional athletes, has a lot of experience with runners, and specializes in athletic injuries.
I had my initial consultation on Wednesday. He performed some preliminary assessments and watched me run. After watching me run, he discussed what he saw. He told me that most distance runners run like gazelles with their long strides. Then, he informed me that I did not. Ha. Seriously, I had to keep from laughing. I would never compare myself to a gazelle or any other graceful, speedy animal. Clearly, I went straight to Pinterest to find some funny picture or quote that had to do with running and gazelles. This is what I found:
“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle when the sun comes up, you had better be running.” (source)
Basically what the doctor explained was that I take much shorter strides. Instead of taking nice long, stretched out strides, my strides are short which causes me to lift my legs up more, in turn putting more strain on my knees. Plus, my hamstrings and hips are pretty tight and that is also making the other muscles not function as efficiently as they should. Everything in that area is a little out of whack; nothing serious, but I hope to have it fixed sooner than later. In the interim, I’ll keep stretching, foam rolling, and loving on my foam roller (because that’s not weird…).
The doctor affirmed I’m not a gazelle, so I guess that makes me a lion? I’m off for my morning run… you know, so I don’t starve.
Lion or gazelle? Lion actually does make a lot more sense for me since I’m a Leo. What’s your sign? What animal would you compare yourself to?