Monday, August 20, 2012

Stupid Air and Water Show

The Air and Water Show was in Chicago this weekend.  Being my last full weekend in Chicago, I was very angry at the Air and Water Show for two reasons:

1. Green City Farmer's Market was canceled.  The market takes place in a large grassy field where a lot of people would be sitting to watch the show, so they canceled the market this weekend.

2. I didn't get to run along the lakefront.  Even though the show doesn't start until 10 am, I remember form last year that the lakefront gets crowded and hard to run through even early in the morning as people and stands set up.  I opted to avoid it and skipped a lakefront run.

Despite this (and the ridiculously loud, terrifying noises from the planes), I saw part of the show on Saturday and I'll admit part of it was pretty cool.  My first few years in Chicago, I watched the show but this year I just caught parts of it as I walked around the city.

And, to be honest, it is probably better that I didn't run on the lakefront this weekend.  My knee has been starting to hurt and act up again.  This past week, I took a running hiatus and plan to not run this next week too.  Good thing I'm not running the Chicago Half Marathon anymore so that I can give my knee some time to heal and come back stronger than ever!  I have been sticking to the elliptical at the gym.  I'll admit that doing the elliptical at the gym has been a little boring. However being overwhelmed and upset about leaving Chicago, exercise is important for me for my mental sanity.

After talking to the people at Fleet Feet and reading some articles online, I have realized the importance of using the foam roller and stretching in order to prevent and lessen injury.  

A foam roller is literally what is sounds like.  It is a long circular piece of foam used to loosen your muscles.  They are usually in the stretching area of the gym.  I had the people show me the correct way to use the foam roller.  I definitely felt a difference once they showed me how to do it properly to best help my knee pain.  It is amazing what just a few minutes of rolling out my muscles can do.  

In regards to stretching, it is not something Im usually very good about.  I am the first to admit that I regularly skip out on stretching after running.  I have recently made a better effort to stretch after the gym because I know how important it is for my recovery.

For a lesson on foam rolling click here (videos included).

For good post run stretching click here.

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