Growing Apologist

Becoming a Defender of Truth

Mood Swings and Marathons

Topic 1: Mood Swings

Moody Bible Institute

Call me woman (okay actually don’t, I might bite your head off), but sometimes my moods get the better of me.  And this in itself drives me crazy.  I work in engineering, meaning a male dominated office and as a result I always feel like my mood swings stick out like this gigantic swollen, throbbing red thumb.  I try to crush the mood swing at the very start, try to compartmentalize my emotions, tag them, acknowledge them and stuff them into a closet.  No one needs those emotions to be shown in a work setting.  Yet as much as I squish them and push them aside, they come right back with a vengeance.  Usually, I manage them quite well, I think.  The other day, my work on a project was questioned– this is a normal part of the process, everyone’s work is always questioned for quality control, ‘did you consider this’, ‘why did you do it this way’, ‘are the assumptions you made reasonable’ sorts of stuff– and as we continued through the meeting to question my work, a mood swing started, and my frustration just kept rising.  My boss asked some tough questions– good questions that normally I would appreciate, but there was those emotions rising up inside me and I did everything I could to squish it down.  It didn’t go unnoticed.  Shortly after I had a meeting with my boss concerning it.  To his credit, he was trying to make sure I was okay and to acknowledge the hard work and effort that I put into the project.  Perhaps he isn’t used to working with young women.  It made me wonder, do my other work mates have to squish down their emotions?

Sometimes I have to remember, God made us male and female.  Obviously, God purposefully chose me to be different then my work mates, because He made me woman.  He made us unique and with all the strengths and weaknesses we have.  I have to remember that those same emotions that make me stick out like a sore thumb at work and can sometimes put my boyfriend and I on odd terms, those emotions are the ones that allow me to be compassionate and caring to others.  Our weaknesses are made strengths through Him who is greater than everything in this world.  Its just difficult at times to remember when the emotions grip me so hard.

Topic 2:  Marathons

I am really excited– 7 months until my first marathon.  A marathon!  26.2 miles.  Crazy.  Even I think that this is crazy.  And painful and lots of hard work.  But FUN.  LOL, maybe I don’t get out enough if I’m calling 26.2 miles fun.  As some of you know, I just finished a half marathon.  This was prep for the full, and it went quite well.  These last two weeks, I’ve gotten a couple of short runs in and my body groaned in protest, meaning that I didn’t get quite enough miles in before the half and pushed my body a little much.  This week, I’m feeling good and am ready to begin training for the full marathon coming up in May 2012.

I have heard that the greatest challenge about a marathon is arriving to the start line, healthy, fresh and uninjured.  Lord knows I tend to push too hard, do too much and am prone to injury.  Runner’s World magazine sent me a wonderful article in my email called The Ten Laws of Injury Prevention.  It is a bit long to post in full here, so I summarized it for all my running readers.  🙂

Runner's World

1:  Know your limits

Know how much running and pounding your body can take and don’t exceed it.  Personally, about 50 miles a week is my limit, but I don’t have that much time anymore.  This isn’t as much of a concern as it is to make sure I don’t do too many hills, run on too much pavement, etc.  Also, don’t increase more then 10% in mileage from week to week.  If you run 10 miles last week then the most you can run is 11 miles this week.

2:  Listen to your body

If it says “Ouch that hurts” then you say “Oh okay Body, I give you a little time to recover”.  Simple in theory, difficult in reality.

3:  Consider shortening your stride

Overstriding is considered to be a common problem with runners.  They take too large of a step.  That is what this article says.  Personally, though I am no expert, I think that the leg turnover is more important then the length of stride.  Perhaps both are connected.

4:  Use strength training to balance your body

This is incredibly important and so very overlooked.  Most injuries can be prevented at the start by just doing two 30 minute strength training a week to strengthen and stabilize the muscles that get attention from just running.  Runners knee is a common injury that I maintain can be prevented by just a little weight lifting.

5:  RICE works

No, not the white stuff that you eat.  RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate.  All four steps are critical for recovery from injury, not just one step or a few.  All four.

6:  Run on a level surface

Often times we don’t realize that paved roads are not level.  The edges of the roads are sloped in order to help water to run off it.  Not a huge deal if you only run once or twice a week on the roads, but if it is all week or your longest run, that slope on the edges of the roads causes issues with knees, ankles, hips, etc.  Try running on other surfaces, or in the middle of the road if it is safe to do so, or switch  the sides you run on again if it is safe to do so.

7:  Don’t race or do speed work too often

When you push too much, your body doesn’t have a chance to recover.  I think the rule of thumb goes, for every hard mile, take an easy mile.  If you run 5 miles hard today, then you should run 3 miles easy tomorrow and 2 miles easy the next day, or some variation there of.

8:  Stretch the back of your legs

For most people, the back of the legs tend to tighten up.  Stretching will help loosen the muscles, prevent you from losing flexibility, stave off aches and pains, and in the end prevent injuries.

9:  Cross training provides active rest and recovery

Consider throwing in a day or two of cross training into your weekly workouts.  This gives your running muscles a break from the pounding and gives your non-running muscles a chance to be exercised.  Promotes overall health, fitness and injury prevention.

10:  Get shoes that fit

Shoes are incredibly important and there are all sorts of styles and all fit differently.  Find a shoe that works best for you and go with it.  Incorrect shoes for you can be the root cause of many different injuries.

These are all great reminders to start off training with.  Enjoy!

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