Tuesday, April 27, 2010

strong women

Yesterday someone on Dailymile posted an article, something about "myths about weight-lifting."  I LOVE the picture under myth 1.  Do you think that lifting once a week is going to do that to your body?  There'd be a lot more people walking around in strong-man bikinis if it did.  It takes tons of significant effort to look like a body builder!  But it added to the thoughts I've been having over the past month, as I've added a significant amount of lifting into my routine.

Almost without exception, I've done some very light lifting alongside my running.  Even in college, I would hop off the treadmill and hit the major leg muscles, or a few arm exercises with barbells.  I wasn't serious about it, but I included it.  After knee surgery, I added yoga to my running, and I loved how strong my body became from this.  I would leave yoga feeling relaxed and balanced and like I just got my ass handed to me.  And it wasn't a month after I stopped going to yoga that I got hurt - coincidence?  

Right now, as I'm fighting this IT injury, I think I'm probably stronger than I've ever been.  I've been doing probably 90 minutes a day - at least - of lifting, core work, stretching, and other exercises that just use the weight of my own body (squats, for example).  I've never had this much cross-training before.  And I've only been doing it for a month, but I can already see and feel the positive differences in my body.  I can make my quads "pop" out of my legs, which is hilarious!!!  I've lost around 5lbs (maybe more - I'm scared to weight myself after last night's homemade pizza/baked brownie incident).  The few times I've run, I can tell that my hips are stronger and looser, and my pace has been significantly faster with less effort.  The creaky feeling that I would have in my knees after even 2 miles has completely disappeared.  It's also gotten me to do a lot more work on my recovering shoulder than I maybe would have, whining and complaining from the couch about my knee, and I'm hoping it's going to put me back in the pool that much sooner.

Over the winter, I was probably doing some light lifting about once a week, and I can see now that wasn't enough.  This somehow makes this injury a blessing.  I've found a way to be thankful.  Without fighting the IT band problems, I would never have added this to my routine.  Once I'm running more, I will probably back down from the 6-7x a week that it is now, but I will definitely keep it as an important part of my training.  I've had a tendency to be injured a lot, and I'm hoping that with a more balanced approach to running, I will be able to stay on my feet (and off the couch).

Many, many people have been very generous with their advice as far as hip/core work and other IT-related exercises, and I'm always looking for more!  Post your favorites in the comments!

4 comments:

  1. In the "things that make you sorry you asked" department, I present to you my IT-band plan A: http://amyreinink.com/2009/10/06/my-revamped-it-band-plan/ and B: http://amyreinink.com/2010/01/21/physical-therapy-geek-my-new-core-hip-lineup/
    I credit the first to allowing me to run the Marine Corps Marathon last year without my ITB snapping in half.

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  2. Finding a way to be thankful...

    Good job, kid. :)

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  3. Hmm... you may just have inspired me to do more lifting!

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  4. Now a days women have became very strong so that they can face any problem on their own and they do not have to depend on any one. This story is really inspiring to other women so that they can know about their strength.
    yoga pants

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