Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bosu Ball Madness

I went to the gym last Friday, armed with a barrage of BOSU Ball exercises and an iron will to do them all.

I joined a new gym recently, allowing me to perform crazy looking exercise moves on fun contraptions any time I like. The BOSU Ball doesn't come cheap, so it saves me the possibility of purchasing it and not using it at home (like my STEP purchase two years ago). At least when I'm at the gym, I am forced to do it.

Now although I had several exercises prepared to try on this stabilizing ball, very few came easily. My sit-ups included a lot of wobbling, and hardly looked as effortless as this picture:

Who is this amazingly coordinated lady? My version included rolling all over the place.

I also tried squats on it, which was an easier move. I also like using the flat surface for planks, and push-ups like this:

The most difficult move was lunges. This meant standing on the BOSU ball, and lunging backward. If you aren't embarrassed by falling all over the place willingly in front of other people, go ahead and try it. Lunging forwarding onto the ball, would be a better alternative:

Next time, I will try these side lunges:

I don't see the BOSU Ball used often at the gym. I think it is because people just don't know what to do with it. Good news for me, since I plan to use it regularly.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Disney Race - Complete with Wings

Run Disney is adding a new race to its repertoire - If you are shut out of the already sold-out Disneyland Half-Marathon labor day weekend, put on some wings and flutter through the new Tinker Bell Half-Marathon debuting January 2012. This one goes through the Disney resort and the city of Anaheim.

Penned as a women's race, I've been told that men can also participate. The press release claims that the event will attract 10,000 participants. Since it is a winter race, maybe Disney will consider free or discounted park entry during the off-season?

Only if we believe fairies really exist.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

No pain, no gain - Not!

Today was my regular physical therapy appointment with Kristy at Paulseth & Associates in Century City. I am always pumped up after these session – Yes, I will do my PT exercises at home. Yes, I will strength train regularly. Yes, yes, yes! But once I get home, all my “yesses” turn into big fat lazy “nos”. One reason? The lure of a nice comfy couch and realty TV after a long day at work.

Kristy is treating my calf pain and a more recent knee pain connected to my IT band. After today’s session, I rolled up and down a hard black foam roller under the guidance of an aide. “How does the black one feel?” she inquires, as there is also a softer white foam roller. Kristy had massaged my left IT band and it was left sore, so the rolling hurt. “No pain, no gain!” I tell the aide. “Um, that’s not really what we stand for.” True – pain is a big no-no for someone who sees injured people all day.

“No pain, no gain” needs to be qualified for runners. Physical pain is never a good thing. Soreness is OK, but not pain. That’s the sign that the body is overworked, underprepared, and on the threshold of going from “not that bad” to “bad”. Mental pain is OK, but hopefully with consistent training, that gets better.

I know I am the culprit for my problems. I have been lax on strength training, stretching and cross-training, thus resulting in more pain and less gain. The IT band, a common issue for runners, came up during the marathon, disguised as knee discomfort. My calf issue stems (amongst other things) from a tight Achilles tendon and stiff ankle. The ankle and foot exercises Kristy has taught me are very helpful, as are regular ultrasound and icing. I have already seen the benefits. I had no discomfort in my right calf at the 10K on Sunday, but still have the IT pain. Recovery doesn’t happen over night.

Now I just have to remember to do my stretches and exercises during the week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Victory for Victims 5k/10k Race Report

Sunday was my third year participating in the Center for Assault and Treatment Services (CATS) Victory for Victim 5k/10k in Balboa Park. I even had a team! Here we are:

At the start line, Julio insisted we recruit a few other people so that our team looked bigger than it actually was. These three gals – one of whom was a Pasadena Pacer – were cool enough to pose as Team Naz members:

The weather was beautiful. The crowd felt smaller than last year, but the atmosphere at this community race is always great. It attracts a lot of dedicated runners and running group members. Before the race started, we were approached by an older gentleman who asked “So who ran the Agoura Half-Marathon 6 days after the LA Marathon?” The answer? He did! It’s fun when runners brag about these things to each other. I was about to tell him that I ran the Safari Park Half-Marathon the weekend before, but he had me beat.

The course was nice. I ran into Legger Ellen who is on her way to the Boston Marathon. Julio, Susan, Sanjeev and I finished within a few minutes of each other. Great Team! After, we had multiple servings of the free rice bowls provided by the Los Torros Mexican Food booth.

Happy Running!