Thursday, February 2, 2012

Running under Hypnosis?

A friend of mine recently suggested that maybe all runners need to stay healthy and injury-free is hypnosis.  You know, in light of all the mind over matter talk, maybe a little push would be helpful.  Now, I am not really willing to try it, but if you are, more power to you (and please let me know how it works out), but the whole idea did make me laugh out loud.  I can just see it now...
Hypnotist (speaking in that weird, sonorous TV hypnotist voice): You will run 10 miles without pain ... You will PR your next race ... You will ignore that popping sound and knife-like pain in your calf should it occur....
Sorry, not for me, although it would be nice to have a way to turn off the brain sometime.  It's hard when everyone is telling you to just listen to your body - that if you just do that you'll be fine and run injury-free.  The problem is that there is a fine line between listening to your body and hanging on its every word.

Once you've been injured, too, it seems particularly hard to turn off that part of your brain that is looking for trouble.  Is that twinge in my toe important?  Should I stop running?  What about that ache in my calf?  Is that the start of a tendon strain?  More times than not, it's nothing.  I've had stabbing pains that put me on high alert only to never return again.  And, I've had dull little, barely-notice-them aches that eventually turn out to be nagging tendonitis.  How's a girl to know?  I am sure that there is somewhere out there some rule for determining the detrimentality (I guess that is not a word, but it should be) of certain aches and pains.  There must be somewhere.  Must look for that.

In other news, my workouts lately seem to be going well actually.  I have run twice this past week, including a run outside for the first time in - oh - ages. That was glorious.  On the advice of a PT friend of mine, I have been wearing a patellar tendon strap, or simply "The Strap," while running.  I picked this one up a year or so ago at a drugstore for under $10 but then never used it.  (Seriously, I had to wipe the dust off of it before putting it on.)

It makes sense, though, that if my shin issue is actually an offshoot of my patellar tendonitis, then wearing the strap might relieve some of the pressure from the bone while running.  Results are still out, but after wearing it for two days it does seem somewhat promising at this point.

Rowing continues to be going well.  I wonder if there is a rower's high - similar to the fabled runner's high.  I am almost starting to believe there could be.  There is definitely a rhythm to rowing that I find lulling.  I mean, I am in no danger of falling asleep, but the movement of it is peaceful somehow.  I am starting to wonder what it would be like to actually be doing this out on the water.  I may see if I can try that once this summer.

The one thing I don't like about the rowing, I have to say, is the callouses.

After just four weeks of rowing, my hands are a wreck.  On the one hand (pun intended), the callouses do make me feel sort of badass.  On the other hand (pun still intended), they're just ugly.  I would look into wearing gloves for the rowing machine, but my husband wears gloves and his hands still have callouses.  So what is the point?

February has started a new challenge for me, the Fabulous Abs challenge, which - being a fan of the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, I have come to call the Ab Fab FAB ABS challenge.  If you want to join in, it's not too late!  The schedule comes from Simply Southern Fit Chick, found on Facebook here or on the web here.

Happy running (or whatever you are doing today!)


  1. Great post! I would definitely try the hypnosis (if it were free). We used to unsuccessfully try to hypnotize our college roommates. For some reason it has always fascinated me ever since I went to a hypnotist show at a comedy club.

    Glad you are feeling well enough to start running again! I am interested to see how that strap works. It that the kind that you wear right under the knee?

    1. Yes! The strap goes right under the knee cap and supposedly takes the pressure off of the patellar tendon. I think it might be working a bit,... it's hard to say since I have also been going full court press on a couple of other tactics. With any luck it will all work out in my favor soon. :) I am ever the optimist!