Kayla’s Running Analysis

As some of you may remember, I had some hip/groin issues during the end of my marathon training. I went to physical therapy at Campbell Clinic here in Memphis. I had two great PTs Nicole and Phillip!

Toward the end of my therapy, they told me about this really great service their clinic offered, a running analysis. Of course, my first thought was Amy Schumer in Trainwreck when she visits Bill Hader at his clinic.

It was not like this, but I will say that every time a doctor tells me to walk normal, I strut for like a split second and have to remind myself I’m not Beyonce!

Instead! It was a wireless system that the analysis guru stuck on my shins that would communicate with a pager like device I carried in my pocket while I ran around the block for about 30 minutes.

 

The analyst, Drew, also watched me run for a bit to notate any physical markers the system might not track. When I got done running for 30 mins, Drew took the pager and connected it to the computer to get the details about my awesome running skills!

IMG_3189Then I was given a ton of information, that made me go huh?! But Drew was great in explaining. My cadence, which is steps per minute, is slow but this doesn’t mean I am slow. It just means that I do not open my stride wide to get more steps in per minute. I take about 100-120 steps per minute and I have an average speed of 6mph.

I favor my right side, which makes sense since I am always injured on my left side. In the photos below you can see that the time I spend with my left foot on the ground is more than the right. Some suggestions he had for this first eval was that I can download a metronome app for running that would help me increase my cadence and stride. This will also help the time I spend from foot to ground to back up. Like, I said, a lot of information!!

 

I had to come back for the final eval which included Drew watching my form on squats, push ups, wall sits, shoulder rotation, neck rotation, trunk rotation and more. All of this information is put into the system and then you are given an at home training plan through the Fusionetics app. Which is really cool.

They give you specific exercises to strengthen your weaknesses. They focus on the area you originally came into physical therapy for. So for me, the hip and groin area. Then they give you exercises to stretch, strengthen and stable your weak areas. They also make you foam roll! And each exercise comes with a video you can watch.

 

 

So all of this is sent directly to the app on your phone. It syncs with your calendar so you know what days you are supposed to be doing it. And the goal is to make a routine you commit to BEFORE running or working out. Which if you know me, you know I am bad about!

So I had to go buy some things, foam roller, resistant bands, exercise ball (which I still need!). I am trying to change my routine to carve out ten minutes before a run to do the stretches and exercises. Since I run at work I was told that you can split up the exercises. Do the static stretches and strength stuff before the run and then the ones that require props, do that evening at home. You can make it work for your schedule.

Now while it seems like a lot and you do have to change your routine I said something to the analysis like “How can I fit this all in?!” He said, “It’s only ten minutes once you get the hang of it. And think about all the time you spent in physical therapy, you don’t really want to come back here do you?!” Touché, Drew, touché.

So huge thanks to the crew at Campbell Clinic for keeping me in tip top shape. Now if I could stop hurting myself when I am not running! *cough* kickboxing *cough*

With healing,

Kayla

Running is Always There for Us

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to Kelly Roberts’ podcast  where she had Coach John Honerkamp as a guest. I have been tuning in to the ones he has been a part of because those episodes are specific to marathon training. Really good stuff, I highly recommend it if you are in a training process for a race.

On Episode 74 they specifically talk about when life gets in the way. He said something along the lines of “When you’re having that bad day or bad week, it’s okay to be selfish and take time for yourself. Running is always there for you.”

And damn! That just washed over me. Running is always there for you. It can be great therapy. It can be a way to refocus on a number of things in your life. When I have that quiet morning while the sun rises, it allows me to be grateful for the good in my life.

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I think it is time I just get it out there. Some people close to me know what I am going through right now, but most people don’t. I am currently in the process of getting a divorce. From my high school sweetheart. Although it is somewhat mutual and we both know this is for the best, it’s still really hard and sad to end an 11 year relationship.

So talk about life getting in the way… Sometimes I feel guilty taking the time to train while I know I need to finish painting my house, make sure the roofers show up, the lawn gets mowed and the weeds get pulled so we can get it on the market. But I need to run. I have to run. I think we have to figure out ways to balance training and life. Running isn’t easy and life definitely isn’t easy.

For example, this morning, I woke up to my pool completely drained therefore flooding my back yard. I just stood there, in the dark, like “Well, what the fuck now?!” Still have to go to work. Still have to get a run in. So I thought back to what Coach Honerkamp said and told myself, “Just run. Run through this.”

So that’s what I did. I pushed through a five mile run with too many thoughts spinning in my head. By the last mile, I broke down in tears. But I kept running. I cried on that last mile. It wasn’t pretty. But it helped cleanse my soul. A wise woman told me this morning that crying can heal us as long as we don’t linger there too long and let it render us helpless.

It also helped when Beyonce’s “Freedom” started playing during this break down. I mean, “I’m telling these tears, Go and fall away, fall away May the last one burn into flames.” “I break chains all by myself Won’t let my freedom rot in hell I’ma keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.” YASSS Queen. Listen below. Seriously, listen to this song!

During this time, I think one of the things I am most grateful for (besides my amazing family) is running. There have been mornings where I am so angry at the whole situation I knock out a 6 mile tempo run and know that this divorce isn’t going to kill me. There are mornings when I am so sad, that I slowly meander through a 5 mile run and even though it’s slow, I kept moving. It helps me know that this divorce isn’t going to drown me. There’s mornings where I have to run 10 plus miles and then immediately work on a house in order to sell and I know that this divorce will only make me stronger.

So I encourage the reader to find something to throw yourself into if you are going through a hard time. It can be running, painting, gardening, poetry, woodworking, or hell even sword fighting! Just find something that challenges you but also brings you peace. Find something that brings you joy even if it makes your heart want to explode! We are stronger than we think and our brains give up long before our bodies have to.

So I will leave you with a poem from a poet my heart connected with immediately, Rupi Kaur. Because this is not a pity me post. This is a soul cleansing one to show that I will get through this. I will get through this with running. I will get through this with my friends, my family and even the random readers of this blog by my side. Because I am strong.

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With determination and courage,

Kayla

Why I Run?

I think it is very important to know why you started something. The reason you start something and continue to do it is usually very powerful. And when you are struggling or have lack of motivation, your Why will keep you going. So as Kayla and I are training for a full freaking marathon, I think it’s time we were reminded of our Why.

Why does Sarah run?

I run because it’s FREE.  When I first started running I didn’t have much money at all and I needed to get into shape.  Running is probably one of the cheapest and best full body exercise. Later I learned that it does cost a little bit. You have to pay for shoes, clothes, gear, supplements, etc. But not all of that is really needed. Shoes are a definite must though. Please spend some money and get you some good running shoes.

I run because of the feeling after I run. The runner’s high. Yes sometimes I’m exhausted but I feel amazing. I pushed myself, I accomplished my goal, I’m fit and strong. I also run because I feel like crap when I don’t run. Seriously. After you have been running for a while, it’s like your body craves it. Not only your body, but your mind too. I just feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally because of running.

I run because I love food! For the most part I eat healthy but because of running, I don’t feel as bad when I eat some not so healthy foods. I also love running because it keeps me strong and in shape. I have a hard time controlling, maintaining, and losing weight. I know I would be miserable and not happy with my body if I didn’t run. Running helps balance everything out or so I tell myself.

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I run to run away. Run away from life, stress, hurt, chaos and I run into my own world. A world full of nature, beauty, and music. When you run you see things from another perspective. You get to notice all the natural beauty around you. I also love music. So to be able to be outside and listen to my music for an hour or longer is just heaven to me. It is definitely a stress reliever. I get to spend time with myself and my thoughts.

running cheaper than therapy

I run because others can’t. One of the main responses I get when I tell people I am a runner is, “That’s awesome! I wish I could run.” I run because I still have the ability to run. Some can’t run because of major impairments: missing limbs, paralyzed, or wheelchair bound. While others can’t run because of what could be seen as minor impairments to others but major impairments to themselves: weight, age, painful joints, feet, ankles, shins, hips, health reasons, etc. Whatever the reason, some people can not physically run. I run for them. I run because God has blessed me with the ability to run so I am going to keep running till I can no longer!

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I run because I love to challenge myself. I love to push myself to the limit and then surpass it. I never knew how strong I was till I started running. Now I know that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I can crush every obstacle in my way and accomplish any goal. My main goal in life is to inspire, motivate others, and to change lives. I run because I see how running can do all of that and more. I see how my running inspires others. I know running can change lives because it has changed mine. I have truly learned who I am because of running. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Because of running I know that I am a badass unicorn and I am unstoppable. Watch out world!

–Sarah B.

So why does Kayla run?

Some of these may end up being the same as Sarah’s or similar, but maybe that will just make someone want to start running!

I run to be in control. I get told a lot that I am a controlling person. In all honesty, though, I feel like I don’t control that much in my life. I can control running. Only I can make the choice to actually put my shoes on and get on the road. I can control how far I am going to go. I can control my breathing. I can control which direction I go in. I get to choose everything when it comes to running. And it’s pure bliss.

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I run to be closer to Mother Nature. The photo above was taken by my aunt while I was running in Cocoa Beach. All I want to do is be outside. Running gives me a chance to reconnect with the world, even if it is a solo endeavor. I am able to get in touch with nature. I see a lot of neat things while running. Sunrises, raccoons, deer, puppies, armadillos, even snakes. I travel frequently for work and running has given me the ability to fearlessly explore these new places. There is a great sense of peace and serenity in running. It really is the best form of therapy.

I run for food. And beer. As any inner fat kid turned runner knows, after spending two hours on a long run the best thing about the end is the chance to eat. When I am struggling, I like to think of what I get to eat. And I don’t feel so guilty when I want another beer! It is all about balance though. It is easy for new runners to overeat and find themselves gaining weight. I don’t think losing weight needs to be the focus, you’ll most likely shed some pounds and can brag to your friends about how strong you are. As long as you find balance in your food choices. It’s about being healthy, not skinny.

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I run to inspire people. Now, I did not start running to inspire people. I started for weight loss. I did a 5k and was hooked! Along the way, I began sharing my journey through social media and with my family. All of sudden, I had people telling me that I was the reason they started running. They were asking me for advice and wanting to hear when I ran so they would to. When you have people looking up to you in that way, it actually inspires you to be better. I was able to encourage one of my best friends to run her first 5k (Emmy and me pictured below for the Wicked Wine Run 5k). I’m seeing a pattern, there was booze at the end! The community that comes with running has been such a welcoming experience. I always thought runners were stuck up…NOPE! Most runners want everyone to be great, at any pace.

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I run to challenge myself. So my last reason is the same as Sarah’s. I think everyone can benefit from doing something that isn’t easy. Running hasn’t become easier in the last two years. I have found ways to keep it challenging *cough*marathon*cough* I love how I feel when I get done with a really hard run, hell, any run for that matter. There has never been a run I’ve regretted. There have been runs that didn’t go my way but I still come out proud of myself. I haven’t given up on myself. Being able to fail and still conquer the challenge is satisfying. I never thought I would be a runner, but here I am. Being all badass working my way to a new goal.

With love,

K