Sunday, October 12, 2014

The key to a happy life (if you're a runner)

"A strong butt is the key to a happy life." -- Dr. Jordan Metzl.

Metzl is a sports medicine doc affiliated with Runner's World Magazine and has a number of incredibly helpful videos, including a series of full-body exercises to help runners avoid injury.

I'm giving the series -- he calls it IronStrength -- a twirl to see if I can build the kind of gluteal muscle strength he recommends in his piriformis syndrome video.

And by giving the videos a twirl mean I tried most of the exercises a couple of sets each today with accommodations for my bum shoulder.

At this rate, I may be able to walk again by next April.

What I like about the videos is that Metzl has an athlete show exactly how to do each exercise, then tells you how many times to repeat them and for how long. He suggests several sets of 15, for about 5-6 minutes total for each series of two or three exercises.

Yeah, if I were already in shape. Maybe.

Instead, I did two sets of 10 each, skipping a few of the exercises that call for lots of shoulder work (translation: push-ups). Instead, I did wall "push-ups" with my yoga ball. Not quite the same, but still worked the same body part.

Planks is another exercise I just can't do with my shoulder (three labrum-tear surgeries will do that to you). I just went ahead and skipped those.

Since it was my first time out, I also ignored the time suggestion, but hope to build up enough strength to get up to five or six minutes eventually. Someday. Maybe.

For now, I'm focusing on what I can do and will build on that.

All of this exercise is not nearly as fun as  running, but after watching Spirit of the Marathon yesterday, I've got to say that I am inspired by Deena Kastor who is just a year younger than me and still kicking butt, even if we're now in the senior citizen, I mean, masters level.

So when I was struggling with my squats, lunges or mountain climbers, I channeled my inner Deena.

Or I looked over at my favorite 100-pound dog.

Now, how can that face not inspire one to keep going?

Who do you look to for inspiration? What kind of exercise do you do in addition to running? What's the biggest dog you've ever had?

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