The Carlsbad 5000 is Sunday. I'm going for it. My knee is feeling better and better. It's still tentative, and I definitely won't be setting a PR but I can go and enjoy it and get a cool t-shirt. Plus, I can improve my time next year.
I ran on the treadmill yesterday. 3 miles. I kept it at 6 mph. It did so much better than last time. It didn't hurt at all! Not only that, my knees don't hurt at all today! All this is such an improvement: running 3 miles without pain, running faster, not hurting afterwards or the next day. It's awesome.
I have to really focus on form. When I lean slightly forward from my hips to engage my glutes more, it seems to take some of the pressure off my knees. Plus, I try to pull my legs back before landing so that my feet are under me, allowing my center of gravity to balance me more. That way, my body can help take the impact off my knees. That seemed to really help. Hopefully, all the treadmill running will end up helping me improve my form and prevent future injuries. Treadmill running is so boring; I have nothing to think about but form and knees.
After the treadmill yesterday, I got on the trainer and biked. The fact that I felt energized enough to do that (and had a solid bike as well) is a great sign. My endurance is up, and my body is finally ready for some bricks. It feels good. So good. Afterwards, I did some Yoga and stretching to loosen my hams, quads, and hips. That's been helping a lot. I'm starting a gentle Yoga class this Saturday to enforce my new stretching program.
I lifted weights today. It actually helped that it was my only workout because I could really focus on the weight-lifting session. My intensity was higher, and I focused on the quality of my form. Slow and controlled lifting. Abs contracted. Felt good. My left lower rib is still very sore, and it is hard to do oblique exercises on that side so I kept that pretty minimal. However, I was able to do light chest and ab exercises. That's an improvement. I only worked on abductors for lower body. I don't want to stress my knees out yet with the race on Sunday. Beginning next week, I'll try to do some squats and see how that goes.
After my swim Monday, my lower ribs actually felt better. I think the hot tub soak helped a lot too. However, I started feeling like I was having a heart attack Monday night as I went to bed. Turns out, I strained my upper left chest muscle. Compensation injuries, anyone? Tuesday sucked. My ribs felt better but my chest ached a lot! Sneezing was murder. Luckily, it was a minor strain because I did some chest presses today, and it felt fine. I think I'll be able to hit the pool again this week.
Everything else is pretty good. I'm really trying to eat healthier. Small, frequent meals. Everything I eat counts so I try to make sure it has nutritional quality. I still allow for 1 dessert. I can't give up chocolate! Still, I'm trying to skip dessert some nights. Sleep has been hard with daylight savings. I'm such a night owl. I was doing great beforehand. Not needing naps, feeling more energized, going to bed by midnight, waking up 8-9 hours later. I know. I sleep a lot. What's up with that? However, between the clocks changing this weekend and noisy college students as neighbors (who stay up to all hours having loud conversations on their balcony so that their echoes reverberate around the stucco building), I've been sleeping like crap. I am totally refusing to resort to sleeping pills this time so instead, I've resorted to late afternoon, 2-hour naps. I feel very well-rested, and I'm able to get all my stuff done, but it has totally thrown my schedule off. Why is this so hard for me?
All in all, my injuries are healing, and I actually feel stronger than I did a few weeks ago. My energy levels are starting to rise, and I actually am starting to get ancy if I don't do some sort of exercise in the day. All good signs.
In lab, I'm breeding mice, and I think some of my females are going to have pups next week. This will be my first time. I'm so excited! I don't think they like me checking on them every day though. Anyway, I almost feel like they're my own pups. I've been telling everyone in lab that I'm going to have pups next week!