It all started a few weeks ago when I realized that my legs were misaligned again; the right leg being almost an inch shorter than the left. (This happened before a couple of years ago when I was undergoing some physical therapy for some knee pain I was experiencing. The PT never did fix the issue, by the way.) So on realizing that my legs were misaligned, I decided to seek out a chiropractor to see if what they could do for me. I had heard a lot of good things from some friends of mine and really didn’t know where else to turn to get back into running.
As luck should have it, I found a female chiropractor near my office that was in my network. Going into the consultation, I figured we’d discover something wrong with my hips/pelvic area and that would be that. Little did I know that not only is my lower spine straightening out, but also my neck. I have forward head posture—probably as a result from sitting at a desk and in front of the computer most hours of the day—which is causing all sorts of misalignment problems that is putting a lot of pressure on my knees and resulting in pain.
Since this discovery, I have been doing daily physical therapy on my spine and back, which includes stretches, strengthening exercises and spinal molding. Yep, that’s right: spinal molding. I essentially lay on foam blocks that force my spine into the natural S shape for 20 minutes. Over time, the height of the S will increase as I get more comfortable.
At first, I was a little doubtful about how chiropractic medicine would fix my knees, but let me tell you: I’m a believer! My running has improved overnight! I can run now without lingering knee pain. I still experience some knee discomfort during the run, but nothing that curtails my workout. I’ve also run some of the best 5k times I’ve ever accomplished in the last month. My first run registered a time of 30:23 and my second a time of 29:40. With only four weeks in between, and not much time for training, I think that’s fairly impressive.
My new goal is to get back into a running routine. It’s been years since I’ve been able to run with any sort of frequency. So to get me back into action, and because I’m such a goal-oriented kind of gal, I am going to sign up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 10k. This gives me about three months to train. In the meantime, I’m still doing the Lincoln Park United Run for the Zoo 5k and the Chicago Beachathon 4-mile run.
How am I getting ready for all of this running and tracking my progress? Well that gets us to the entire point of this post. I downloaded the CardioTrainer Android app, which works by using my phone’s GPS capability to not only map out my route but also track my pace. It captures each workout so I can see my progress through an online dashboard. Other program features include a weightloss goal tracker and a race yourself upgrade. Both cost extra to use, while the main app is free. Normally I don’t buy apps, but I really liked the idea of having it all in one program, giving myself additional fitness goals and the capability to race myself later on. I think this will be helpful to push me through my 5ks. Another great feature is the ability to manually enter workouts. This is helpful in case you’ve already started training or you have to workout on a treadmill. You can choose from a variety of activities too, so you’re not limited to running only. Walking and swimming are just a couple of the options.
I look forward to tracking my progress, especially since I have started training for the 10k already. I can use this to not only track my run time but also mileage—a very helpful thing when following a specified training program. Overall I would recommend this app to anyone who can download it from the market.