Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Daily Grind

So last week I went to the physio clinic, Kingston Body Management (KBM) for my baseline testing. I'm searching for the correct word to describe the tests and "kinematic" keeps coming to mind. So....they ran a series of kinematic tests, that is, they had me do different movements (bending, stretching, twisting, pushing and pulling against a force etc) and noted my range of motion, how key joints reacted....basically making sure that my body was working in sync. They also had me walk and run and looked to see how angles and the lines of my body worked and if, again, everything was working together properly. What they found was interesting: my upper body is slightly weak, my left shoulder pops up a little higher than the right, I have a slight scoliosis (curvature of the mum's going to have a field day with this one - she's always on about my bad posture!), my left heel and knee lifts a bit higher as I run, my left arm flicks across my body as it swings through, and my balance is off. It sounds like I'm not fit for much does it, nevermind launching an assault on Michael Phelps' individual medal record at the Olympics in 2 years time?!
Anyway, first off, this gives a testament to the ability of the body to perform at high intensities even when things are slightly off. Secondly, some of these things may be innate idiosyncrasies (always wanted to use that word...hopefully I used it proper!) that really cannot be flushed out, or to do so would hamper my running. Finally, those things that are out of whack can be easily corrected with a little work. This work includes proper stretching of muscles that I didn't believe could be stretched, medicine ball exercises (med balls are basketball sized but much heavier and used for core strength) and balance work on a Bosu ball, a fitness tool that looks like a bowl of jelly sat on a plate. Clearly, I was pretty stoked to have my flaws pointed out, but glad that they have some solutions too! I'm looking forward to becoming a flawless athlete in the near future! ;)

While this extra work is going on, running is carrying on full steam. Yesterday Kev had me throw in a few hill repetitions in the middle of my steady run. Short sprints up steep hills are great for building leg power and while the 10k XC races do not demand such power, as a miler it is important that I cultivate all aspects of my fitness throughout the year. It was a nice change from the daily grind.
However, one can't escape that grind for long, and today was back to more of the same. I ran out to a 2.5km grass loop around the Kingston psychiatric hospital and did 4 loops, each one slightly faster than the last. It was mostly on my own, although Kev did stick with as much as he could, which was most helpful. But the quads were fried and the grass was bumpy and slow beneath my feet. The world seemed to be turning away from me. The wind played its part in my agony too, despite the fact that I was running in a fairly circular loop; one would think it would act equally as friend as well as foe. However, I can only recall its negative effects. Metaphorical musing: Perhaps this just another example of the human condition: taking for granted the positives and accentuating the negatives. You never do appreciate what you have until it is gone.

On that note, its time for me to hit the books! Night all!
Be Easy.

Ps. Check out the moon tonight: it is what is known as the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that is closest to the Autumn Equinox and it is so named because farmers traditionally took advantage of the additional light to bring in their crops. Today also happens to be the date of the Autumn Equinox, and apparently it is rare for these events to fall on the same date. My math tells me the next time it will occur is in 2029. FYI: the Autumn Equinox is when the sun crosses the equator from North to South (as the nothern hemisphere tilts further away from the sun, resulting in winter) At noon on this date, the sun rises due east, sets due west and at noon is directly above the Equator. The axis of the Earth is perpendicular to the imaginary line connecting it to the sun. Wild.

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