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Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

My left knee decided to join the “I am the knee of a runner and I will hurt” group. It did not even bother to ask me if I wanted to join. Who does that?!? Not very happy at all!! And my hip just decided to start hurting for no reason, I guess.

I have always been pretty good at rolling before and after a run, especially after a run. I have not been very good at stretching though.

The first sign of it was last summer. Joel and I decided to run on the Auburn Trail, which I have done numerous times without any issues. Not even a mile in, my left knee started to hurt. I tried to run a bit more, but it was getting worse and worse. I had trouble even walking back to the car. But then a few days later, I ran on the trail and it was fine. I was unsure what to make of it. I thought that perhaps my road shoes were no longer fitting.

At the end of August, I ran the Midsummer Night’s Madness race as a relay with Joel and our friend Kristin. My leg was pretty much in a bunch of fields, so it was somewhat flat grassy terrain. After about 4 miles in, my knee started to hurt again. I was able to finish my leg, which was about 5 miles, but I had to walk/run pretty much the rest of it. It was very upsetting… I was doing so well too! After the race, Kristin helped me roll my muscles and any pressure on the left thigh was super painful. But then I continued running the rest of the fall with no issues.

We decided to downhill ski this past winter. We thought that it would be a good activity as a family. After about 7 or 8 visits, both my knee and my right hip started to bother me. Running was impossible too… I could only last 1 or 2 miles, if that. After another 2 ski visits, I decided to stop skiing. By this point, I was in constant pain… knee and hip. I was trying to think what I have done differently compared to previous years. I have never experienced so much pain before. Skiing was the only new thing, so it must have been the culprit. Both my knee and hip did get a bit better, but the pain was still there. I was so sad! I was not ready to give up running. It is my go to activity in the winter.

I was chatting with my friend Anna and she suggested that I should go to a chiropractor. I was super surprised that she recommended a chiropractor… I did not even think to do that. Usually chiropractors are for back and neck issues, no? She further mentioned that a bunch of runners go to this one particular chiropractor, Dr Burton, at Focused Health Chiropractic. I was also chatting with Molly, my yoga instructor, and she had only good things to say about that same chiropractor, so I decided to give him a try.

After a quick inspection, he mentioned that I had great flexibility and that I was experiencing IT band syndrome in my left knee. He also mentioned that I had weak hips so I was overcompensating in my legs/stabilizers. And sure enough, skiing was the culprit since my bad form caused pressure on my hips and legs.

“Easy stuff.” he said. I was so relieved! He suggested Active Release Therapy. I have read a bit about it and Molly also mentioned it, so I was set. After about 5 sessions and my home care of rolling, stretching, and icing, I finally started to see some results. I was so happy when I was able to run 4.33 miles without any pain! I did have a setback once, and that is when Dr Burton mentioned that I might have some cartilage issues in my knee. He also mentioned that I will have some bad days from time to time. I guess that I will just have to deal with that.

I am glad that my running days are not done quite yet. I do enjoy trail running a bunch. Now that the warm weather is here, I can start cycling as well, which the cross training will hopefully balance my knees and hips more.

So if you are having IT band issues, see a chiropractor and ask for the Active Release Therapy.

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It has been almost 4 weeks since Julia arrived. I love having her around. She is a good baby and is super cute. :) The postpartum period has been a bit frustrating though, since I was told to take it easy (I know… I’m crazy!).

I hated being in bed after I delivered Julia (I had to settle for a c-section, since she was breech and was unable to turn her). I could not wait to walk around, which was encouraged. As soon as the leg compressions were removed, I was up and walking. In fact, during the second day of my hospital stay, the nurse commented that she has seen me more out of bed than in bed. She added that my goal for the day was to rest. But I hated just sitting in bed. I did rest for a bit that day but walked at least twice a day for the remainder of my hospital stay.

As soon as I came home, I became a little more active. Going up and down the stairs was a little challenging at first, but it got better fast. Also, I started to walk outside with Julia. I love taking walks with her. Joel never liked to walk with me, so now I have a companion. :) I went from walking for 10 minutes to power walking for an hour. It feels so great to be out!

During my 4 week checkup on Wednesday, my doctor gave the ok to start exercising. In fact she told me that I am completely healed and that I can do anything. “Anything”, I said. “Yes, anything.”, she said. “Biking, running, yoga, pilates… no restrictions whatsoever.”, she added. I could not believe it!!

So yesterday I went on the most amazing hike. I was not sure how I would feel, but I felt so good during and after the hike. The trail was fairly hilly, but that did not matter. I even ran for a bit and felt fine. I am so excited!!

Dear bike and running shoes… oh how I have missed you!!

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Since my pregnancy is coming close to the end, I started reminiscing about it. I have been so lucky to have such an easy pregnancy, which allowed me to stay fit all along. As I look back, I did do a lot of things as far as fitness goes.

I ran my first race when I was a little over a month pregnant in the Webster Turkey Trot. That was definitely an experience in itself. I did enjoy it more since I ran it with my sister. I told my sister that I was pregnant that same weekend and I remember her saying that she felt bad that she pushed me to keep going. HA!

At the end of the race…

I kept running for quite a while after that, since it was a fairly mild winter. Unfortunately at about 21 weeks, I had to stop running since my legs and feet hurt. I guess my legs and feet could not handle the extra weight that I was carrying. I tried trail running, but that did not feel any better. It was fine though, since there were other activities that I could still do.

During the winter months, Joel started to rock climb indoors. I decided to join him one day. We went to the Red Barn at RIT. Most of the climbing there is bouldering and not wall climbing. That part was a little better since I could not really wear a harness. It was definitely fun, but my belly kind of got in the way. :) Bouldering requires you to be close to the wall to keep your balance. Since my belly was sticking out, I could not really do that. HA! I did have fun, nonetheless, but I realized that it was not a good idea to keep it up.

Climbing at the Red Barn (16 weeks pregnant).

Cross country skiing was another activity that I did during the winter months. Although we did not have much snow this winter, I did manage to get out at least 4 or 5 times. The place to be this winter was at Bristol Mountain, since they made the snow for the cross country ski trails too. Even though the trail was not too long, it was still fun. I was lucky enough to have a few friends come with me, which made the outing more fun.

Cross country skiing at Bristol Mountain (17 weeks pregnant).

Once the warmer weather arrived, I started to bike again. There were actually a few times that I was able to ride in March due to the warm weather. I was able to ride a fair amount throughout my pregnancy. However, the closer I got to the last few weeks of my pregnancy, the more uncomfortable it got. I also felt tired more easily.

Riding belly shot! :) (22 weeks pregnant)

The last ride that I did was at 34 weeks. That was pretty good in my opinion. :) I felt lucky to be able to ride at all, especially as I was getting closer and closer to the end of my pregnancy. I was also lucky to have Joel and my friend Jane ride with me, since I did not think that riding by myself was a good idea. The miles went from 24 miles to 9.5 miles. It was interesting to experience the effects of pregnancy on my riding. The fact that your hips change greatly affects the sitting bones. The outcome is an uncomfortable saddle. Also, as my belly grew, I could feel it more and more while pedaling. That part was not uncomfortable, but I felt bad for hitting the girl with every pedal stroke. She probably did not appreciate that too much. :) It was also interesting how easily tired I got. This was even more noticeable during the rides that I did closer to the 34th week. I could only tolerate about 45 minutes of riding by that point. I must admit that I was a bit sad to give it up, since I really love cycling. But I am sure that I will be able to ride soon after the girl arrives.

After the ride (31 weeks pregnant).

I started taking a yoga class before I found out that I was pregnant. I think that the class has been helping a ton. I am always relaxed due to it, since the class is a restorative class. The poses have changed a bunch throughout my pregnancy. I no longer can lay on my back, among other things, and most of the poses are very supportive. Nevertheless, I still feel great after every class, so it is definitely beneficial. We have also been practicing breathing a bunch, which is good no matter what. I also think that the class has helped keep my balance intact. Everyone mentioned to me how pregnancy causes your balance to be off. That was not the case for me at all. I wonder if cycling helped with it as well.

32 weeks and 1 day pregnant…

Aside from all the activities that I mentioned above, walking and hiking was something that I always did, since they were tame on my legs and feet. I was lucky to have my friend Kristin join me a fair amount of times. I remember a couple of times we decided to go for a run, but then it turned into a hike or a walk. She has been super supportive of my changing body and abilities. We were always just happy to enjoy the outdoors and chat (of course!). :) Mendon Ponds Park, the Crescent Trail, and Dryer Road Park have been my favorite spots to hike. The canal has been a good spot for walking.

Hiking at Dryer Road Park.

As I mentioned already, I have been super lucky to  have such an easy pregnancy, which in turn allowed me to be stay active. I feel like being active was great for me as well as for the girl. I hope that it will continue after the girl arrives too. I am also looking forward to introducing the girl to all of these awesome activities. :)

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