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Friday, April 17, 2015

Running in Louisville

I ended up running all three days we were in Louisville last week. Our hotel had a "gym", but it consisted of two treadmills, a stationary bike, and an elliptical, all nearly touching, and all permanently occupied. It actually had an indoor pool, but I didn't do my research on that score and neglected to bring a swimsuit.
So running it was. What I've been doing when I travel is packing a resistance band for hip exercises. I'll use it for clam series, monster walks, and side steps; then I'll add in whatever else I can do reasonably in my hotel room/guest room. We were in a Holiday Inn Express, which are usually pretty large rooms, and I could do my full hip routine, minus any weights (like, a dumbbell for deadlifts).
The sidewalk from the hotel lead to a series of neighborhoods down a long, gradual hill, so that became my running route. I wore a watch to estimate distance (I'd just run for 15 minutes and turn around and come back for about 3 miles).
One thing Louisville has a lot of is apartment complexes, and the run passed several. I don't know if this is a legitimate Louisville phenomenon, or if I'm just used to NOLA, which has maybe two or three complexes total, but man, it seemed like everywhere I looked were apartment complexes. I find them marginally depressing. Something about all the same-ness - I've been in New Orleans too long if I demand everything be unique! But it made for a good running route, because it meant I had sidewalks to run on, rather than the shoulder.

After surgery on my left hip (the first surgery), I noticed that it was hard for me to activate my glutes on that side. Now, after both surgeries, I have to pay attention to both sides. During this trip, I made that my goal - tight glutes throughout extension. It really protects the hip joint, but it is shortening my stride a little: I guess it's hard to stride forward with a tight glute, and I'm not quite coordinated enough to release the muscle as I move forward yet. So I am taking smaller steps. But I'm sure the gait will adjust in time. Meanwhile, my hip is feeling pretty good, although both sides are prone to weakness and fatigue now, and I often feel stiff later in the day.

Travel usually screws recovery up, so I was happy that I felt like I improved while traveling, and I'm still patiently following my slow recovery plan. Yes, I WANT to go run ten miles this Saturday, but I'm not going to. Instead I'll run short and use the extra time to work on my core, which I have neglected terribly over the last few months thanks to costochondritis. My ribs are actually still painful, all these months later, but I'm sort of able to at least hold a plank again.

And since I have nothing better to show you, here is a picture of my niece getting her first pedicure. She was pretty good about it for a one and a half year old! And no, I didn't ask her mom's permission first. Godmother prerogatives: spoiling kids and doing things without permission.


  1. Smaller steps usually mean getting cadence closer to 180, which is a good thing for most! I need to work on that again.

  2. Maybe short and quick strides are good? I'm still trying to figure it all out as well since I have adopted a "new" running form where I actually use my glutes AND land with my foot underneath my center of mass (as opposed to my old form where my glutes were asleep, I only used my calves, and I pranced and landed with my foot way in front of my body). I still struggle with overstriding, so my hammies are working overtime, especially during speedwork. I can feel them tighten up. Super. I pretty much spend my entire run doing a constant form check.

    Bummer that you had to run in such a crappy part of Louisville. My mom lives off of Bardstown Road, so I always hit up Cherokee Park when I visit. Pretty + LOTS of hill practice.

  3. Your niece is a real cutey! What a girly girl. Curls, pink, necklaces and pedicure.