When I first started running habitually, my schedule consisted of a morning run 4-5 days a week. I liked the routine of it and found that running consecutive days made it easier to keep up the practice. Run every other day, and it's just a pinch harder to get going. However, I soon developed some painful shin splints and learned the value of alternating run days with other cardio or strength training activities. For a while I was doing mat pilates and loved it. I haven't been doing as much strength training in the past year though, and my 2.5 miles yesterday reminded me of the importance of this. After my morning run, I noticed some slight discomfort that was a bit out of the ordinary. It wasn't the normal ache and pain, but something a bit more internal. Just recently, I spoke with my medical doctor about the effects of running on women's bodies. She told me that it affects the thin natural support system in the breast tissue - therefore requiring a very supportive bra (or two at a time in some cases) and can also affect the pelvis and bladder through pressure created by the constant impact of running.
So, I did a zippy internet search and found this posting recommending the importance of core strength to balance out the effects running can have in this respect. I knew I was not on top of my strength work, so last night I took out my favorite Denise Austin pilates dvd that hadn't seen the light in a little while. I dusted it off, popped it in, and did some core strengthening exercise. I even did some yoga this morning. Now if the discomfort persists and starts to melt into more of a pain, seek medical advise. Otherwise, remember to strengthen your core about 3 times a week, and also take days off regularly during your running. Your body will thank you for it.