In the newest edition of Runner's World, there was the beginning of a five part series about marathon preparation, and since it was the first in the five month series, it began with a "systems check." Because I plan to run a marathon in January, I thought the systems check would be just right for me at this point in order to get a good sense of where I'm starting from. There were six questions to ask yourself as a runner: I'll address three today and three tomorrow.
1. Are you experiencing any pain? Do you suspect you might have a running related injury?
No. That was the easiest question. I haven't ever had any running injuries to speak of. I had a sore knee for a short length of time about six months ago, but I think that was more related to the heels I was wearing and not the running. In high school, I had shin splints, but they have never bothered me since. So, I guess I'm pretty lucky; I'm starting out healthy.
2. How flexible are you?
This question asks you to test yourself at www.runnersworld.com/whartons to gauge your flexibility. I did the exercises and did them easily. Yoga has been part of my life off and on for years, and I was always comfortably felxible before yoga (I've never been gymnast or dancer flexible, but I've never had any trouble), so there were no "tight" spots to note. And I figure if I continue with yoga as part of my running routine, I should be good.
3. How do you line up?
For this question, I had to line up barefoot against a wall with heels, butt, and shoulder blades against the wall. I stepped forward from the wall, and if I could hold the position without effort, it meant I had good posture, which I did. I've never had issue with posture: Partially, because it was something my mom drilled into me about a gazillion times when I was a kid (she was always poking me between the shoulder blades when I was slouching and she warned against the terrible "hump" that could form if I slouched -- I did not want to look like Quasimodo). Plus, I'm very short, so slouching doesn't help me look any taller. I've always been conscious of standing up straight with my shoulders back so that I at least appear a half inch taller or so.This is good, according to RW because posture is the beginning of good or bad form, so it looks I score again.
After completing the first three questions, I felt very good about my marathon prospectives, but the second group of three revealed some areas that perhaps need improvement. I'll talk about them in tomorrow's post.