So enter the Cool Impossible strength program. I ended my season in 10/31/13 with persistent aches and pains that would flare even on shorter runs.  Over my 3 week break, my knee settled down, but my R achilles and heel flared a little. I was nervous that starting back up again would make things worse, that my knee would flare, that the heel pain and tight Achilles would get worse and that I wouldn't even be able to get off the ground with running again. OHHHH the humanity! ha! Enter the Cool Impossible strength program. I started the upper body while on break and the lower body 3 weeks ago. Aches and pains are subsiding week by week….as my running is increasing! I love it! I go exercise by exercise in the book. I decided to start with one easier one and then the harder ones, finishing with the easiest then I’m tired and the easy ones aren’t so easy!

My favorite exercises?  The toughest ones for me of course!  The ones I am having to really work at and be patient to gain mastery… scorpions--I’m almost there...I can do 10!  Lunges with fit ball using slant board...adding the slant board has made  these particularly challenging...And my new favorite...Pistol squats.  I can only do about 5-10 flat footed without poles. Not really sure what to do with my hands without poles, so I just pray...hands together... that I don’t bust my ass!

And, ohhhhh the 20 minute test. Coaches instructions…”make your effort comfortably hard”. He reminded me not to expect too much or place too much on this test as it is following a rest period, we haven’t really started training again. I knew this would be difficult for me. I wanted to go as far as I possibly could in 20 minutes.  And I wanted it to be farther than my last 20 min test.  My ego whispered, “Lori, the last time you did that test you went as hard as you could.. If you don’t again, you surely won’t come close to your last test”. So of course,  I probably went out to hard...who me? Never!  by 10 minutes I was considering quitting. There was nothing “comfortably anything” about what I was doing. I was not moving as fast as I wanted, and not only that, I was slowing. I could feel it, and I got mad. For the next 5 minutes I just pushed that fine line of blowing up and quitting, thinking of good excuses to give coach for not completing the test. The next 5 minutes I tried to relax and back off to “almost comfortably hard”...or at least, “not desperate to quit hard” effort...or maybe just “not fighting as hard, hard” (ahem- yes I’m crazy, I know)...I mean really, who thinks like this?!  I survived the 20 minutes. Not real pleased with anything that occurred physically or mentally in that 20 minutes, and still wondering what I learned. Right now I’m still a little huffed and disappointed...  hmmm….ego?  ego check?  anybody (LORI) listening?

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Comment by Richard McGaha on January 11, 2014 at 6:45pm

WOW!!! Good for you!!!, I am at about 6 or 7, sometimes if I am sitting down I will get up only using one leg, kind of a half pistol squat, depending on how low you are it can be really hard.  

Comment by Lori Enlow on January 11, 2014 at 7:18am

Hey richard, sticking my arms out has really helped with my balance with these, thanks! I can do about 15 now, each leg, flat foot.

Comment by Lori Enlow on December 27, 2013 at 5:06pm

Thanks Richard!

Comment by Richard McGaha on December 27, 2013 at 10:38am

Lori, try sticking your arms straight out in front of you while doing your pistols, that should give you a little more balance. 

Comment by Paul Weeks on December 27, 2013 at 9:38am

Impressive stuff! I had the same thing with starting the strength program. I had a huge knot in my left calf, and a really sore muscle in my right calf - during the very first slant board exercises, I could feel the knot ease and disappear, and the sore muscle relax and stop being sore, presumably as other muscles were activated to share the work. Amazing! I also love the fitball stuff, mainly because it makes me and my children laugh as I keep rolling off. I haven't tried pistol squats or lunges yet... maybe in the new year...

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