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April 22, 2010

fitness: time to unload

Posted by dogpossum on April 22, 2010 10:53 AM in the category bikes and fitness and lindy hop and other dances and running | Comments (0)

ld.pngWell, I recovered from the sore knee, but I'm still getting nasty pain in my right shin and in my right foot in the old injury. The shin feels like shin splints, which I had trouble with when I was into charleston hardcore. At this point, I need to rest and unload, and then start again. I'm thinking I might stay off running for a while, as it's the impact which hurts. Instead, I'll try to do some proper, regular walking so I can stay a bit fit, at least. I'm tempted to cycle in the mornings, but the roads are crazy busy when I usually run (about 7.30) and cycling in peak hour traffic is not fun. There are the bike paths along the canal and water front, though, so I should think about that. At this point, though, I'm very disappointed, but I'm also quite worried about my old foot injury. Recovering from that took a very long time. But I know that I have to be patient and just let it heal.
At any rate, this week I ran on Monday, and I won't run again for a while. I am DJing on Friday, so there's the possibility of dancing, but I'll try _not_ to dance. Yeah, right. And I'd like to do a long walk on the weekend, which might be a bit much. We'll see.
I do love running, though, and I think that the high impact + speed of running requires good core strength and stability, and that's the one thing I really like. It's super useful for dancing, and makes dancing so much more fun. I was also beginning to see the benefits of running on my latissimus dorsi, which is one of those muscles partner dancers obsess about, because it's very useful for helping you connect your arm to your hips/centre. I like figuring out how these things work when your body is in motion. I like the way movement forces you to multitask: not fall over and figure out how your body works.
The challenge for me is always to stay relaxed in the muscles that aren't working (alert but not alarmed), while also being able to activate and use the busy muscles just enough to do the job. I am continually fighting to release tension in my upper body (especially my right shoulder - a side effect of bung foot and a lifetime of hardcore writing). The best way of doing this (usually) is to stabilise my core. If hips are stable, then my upper body doesn't need to overcompensate to stop me falling over. Running has helped me isolate these two parts (which are of course actually far more complicated interconnected groups of muscles and bones and so on) and begin to get stronger in the core. I have less curve in my lower back, which is partly because my pelvis is less tilty, which is because various muscles and things in the front of my torso are more active, 'pulling' it into place. This in turn frees up muscles (like my lower back) and lets them relax.
The nicest effect has been having the chance to loosen up my shoulders, which then lets me feel how my lats are working. It's very nice and very interesting. My one concern is that stopping running will stall my progress. But the good thing about having a body, is that you have it for your whole life, so you never need stop learning about these things. And learning how to use them.

Once again, I'm surprised by how much of my life involves fitness and exercise. We have no car, so walking to the train and bus is important, and I do all my errands by bike. We like going on bike rides with our friends, we like walks, and we like dancing. We're also up for anything fun that involves exercise - games, frisbee, etc - fun stuff that gets your heart rate up. I guess that once you get a minimum level of fitness, your body becomes the perfect medium for fun. :D

(photo is from the wikipedia page linked above)

Posted by dogpossum on April 22, 2010 10:53 AM in the category bikes and fitness and lindy hop and other dances and running


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