Day 95 – Happy runner’s feet

5 04 2010

I just registered for the Colfax Half Marathon. After 11 weeks of training that seems like a good commitment to finally make, and the price goes up April 30.

$59.30 to be at City Park for a 6:45 a.m. 13.1-mile run — on my birthday. That feels a bit insane right now! Let’s hope for a killer t-shirt. I’m going to wear it all day even if it’s hideous. The good news is I should be finished by 9 a.m. when I hope to be heading to Snooze for pancakes. And then napping by noon — proudly in my ugly t-shirt.

I think I’ve been afraid that once I paid for the race, I’d injure myself. Haven’t wanted to jinx it…Today’s “rest” exercise was Classical Stretch, and I wanted to share a link to an article in Canadian Running by Classical Stretch’s Miranda on preventing running injuries by strengthening your feet:

“All movement begins and ends with our feet, the foundation of our body. A runner’s feet need to be strong and flexible enough to supply a powerful takeoff and withstand the impact of each landing. As a repetitive-motion sport, running often results in aches, pains and chronic injuries, many of which could be diminished or better controlled simply by increasing the strength and flexibility of the feet.”

The article has instructions and photos on a few exercises you can do to strengthen your feet, shins, ankles and calves — whether you’re a runner or not. I swear by these — in week 11 anyway when my calves are feeling tight but — thankfully — not injured.

I mention Classical Stretch all the time, and I get the 23-minute workouts for free on PBS. You can check out for more demonstrations, DVDs and info. on this ballet/tai chi/pilates-style stretching and toning. has more, but the Essentrics site is a bit hipper with Miranda’s daughter taking the spotlight. Find her blog at


Day 25 – Rest day stretch in Jamaica

25 01 2010

Mondays are “rest” or cross training days on my half-marathon training plan. Trying to exercise daily means Mondays (following long runs on Sunday) are for stretching/strengthening and a dog walk. I know the dog walk is not going to help my run, but it does help my dog and is better than sitting all day.

This morning I did Classical Stretch -abs version – and had to laugh. As Miranda was exercising peacefully on a beautiful Jamaican beach, I was in my living room trying to convince the dog not to sit on me during the crunches and answering my five-year-old’s 20 questions. “Where is my Lego guy?” “Are you finished yet?” “Can I have a cookie?”

Throwing the dog’s ball continuously to keep her out of the way, I told my son I was pretending to be in Jamaica for just 10 more minutes at which time I would be finished, find the MIA Lego guy and NOT give him a cookie at 9:30 in the morning!

Worth my perseverance in the end when I felt SOOO good from stretching to the classical music and watching those far-away waves that cleared my mind – if only for 10 more minutes!

Day 4 – Walk, don’t run

4 01 2010

In an effort to take a “rest” day and still exercise, I opted for a very long walk — much to the delight of my faithful, fit friend Lottie the Labrador. She is ALWAYS up for exercising and thrilled to loop the park tracking birds and bunnies hiding in the winter grasses.

We walked for an hour before heading to pick up the kids to walk the 1/2 mile home from school. Lottie requires at least one walk a day. She usually gets the school-and-back route if weather permits. Since we adopted her in June, she has definitely kept me motivated to at least walk most days (Scott often does take turns though.)

I don’t technically count walking as real exercise, although overdressed in a down coat today I was sweating. It was hard to force a day off from running while the temps are still in the upper 30s and the sun is out. But I know from reading lots on the subject that muscles need to recoup – especially after a holiday hiatus like mine.

My longtime friend Wendy, who is loyal enough to read my blog, suggested a “Shred” DVD for days off that seems worth the $8 price. I think that would feel more like a workout to me than my long walk did.

I do have to say that walking and running both allow for much-needed quiet time away from my computer and household chores (will someone please pack up those ornaments already?). Time with my happy puppy to listen to the slower songs on my iPod and take in the beautiful Colorado mountain view is mental therapy that may be one of my favorite perks of this resolution!