Fish Oil

Some things I’ve been dealing with since beginning the Paleo lifestyle and running has been a pulled muscle in my left gluteus maximus (also known as the left butt cheek muscle), some joint pain, and (ehem) bowel movements that weren’t very regular.

For the glute, it’s a deep muscle pull, sort of a dull pain, and has been aching for months. Since I run every other day, it hasn’t had much of a chance to really rest and heal, but its been slowly getting better.

My joints? I’m getting older, and I figured it was something that we deal with as we get older. At least that’s what everyone tells me.

As for the bowel movements? They didn’t come daily like they used to, and when they did, they were often quite a laborious experience.

I spoke with my cousin Sarah, a PA, about these things, and she recommended that I start taking a fish oil supplement. More specifically, she recommended SFH which I quickly purchased. It’s been less than a week, but here are the changes I’ve noticed:

  • Muscle pain is greatly reduced. I have been running hard and longer distances on my past few runs, so it’s not from resting it.
  • Less joint pain/no joint pain in the mornings. This is something I have been dealing with for years. Over the past week since taking the fish oil, my joints feel much better.
  • Digestion: greatly improved. Bowel movements are regular again.

I can’t really believe that these three things have all changed so dramatically in so little time. I am hoping that it is related to the fish oil, because these are all very positive things that have a very marked effect on my happiness and general well-being.

I will be monitoring these three areas closely in the coming weeks and I will report back here on my blog with how it’s going. Sherry said she might try taking it too as she’s having some issues with her knee and some tendons/ligaments as well as the bowel issues.

Why do I run?

I’ve had people ask me why I run instead of riding a bicycle, rollerblading, or other lower impact exercise. Mostly, it’s because I prefer to do exercise that requires minimal equipment. I’ve never been a gym rat or someone who likes to use equipment to work out with. While I used to ride a bicycle a lot as a kid, it was more a means to an end: it got me around town efficiently and quickly.

There’s also the fact that as a National Guard soldier, I am required to maintain a level of fitness that is measured through an annual physical fitness test that includes a two-mile run. Therefore, it’s important for me to run on my own to keep my fitness levels high and to keep me prepared for anything that may come.

Then there’s the fact that running is one of the most physically demanding exercises you can do. Sure, there is super high intensity training that folks can do on a stair stepper, elliptical, or rowing machine, but again, those require you to use equipment. Meh. Running takes a lot of effort, and you can’t coast when running. If you stop moving your feet and legs, you stop.

I watch people who ride their bikes around the very same park I run in. Every corner they go into, they’re coasting. I watch them peddle and then just coast. I’d say they’re coasting 1/4-1/5th of the time. The amount of sweat on me versus them is noticeable. I know not everyone can run or likes to run, but seeing bike riders only makes me feel better about my decision to run.

I enjoy riding bikes, but not primarily for exercise. I prefer to run to get my exercise and ride bikes for fun. I have a nice mountain bike. I need to get it off the ceiling of the garage and take it out sometime. I hear there are some trails around here that I need to go discover.

Cooler weather means better running

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It was overcast and cooler out this afternoon due to some cold fronts rolling through, and while it was raining in some parts of the Houston area, we didn’t get any rain where I live and run. That made for a perfect afternoon of running! I hit the deck with 90 push ups and set out for my run with the goal of running faster than my last few runs. Good news: I accomplished my goal with an average over the three miles of an 8:41/mile pace. Better yet; my pace stayed pretty consistent for all three miles, with only a few seconds of variance between miles 2 and 3.

I used to worry about my form, but I don’t anymore. I now concentrate on my breathing and pace, and it seems to be helping. I am not really working toward a run or APFT, so I’m not doing sprints yet. When I have an event to work towards, I’ll formulate a good plan and work on it, but for now, I run to run for my health and heart’s sake. Nothing more, nothing less. Oh, and because I like it.

More push ups, felt great during run

Today, I started the day with 100 push ups. That makes me feel good, because I haven’t been able to do 100 in a while. Not because I couldn’t do them, but because I like to go as far as I can without straining. Today, I got to 100 like that. Feels good.

I hit the “Lake track” (what I call the sidewalk circle around the pond in front of our house) with a decent pace, but nothing too fast. I concentrated on being comfortable on the edge of working hard. It paid off. While my overall pace was an 8:56/mile average, I felt great, had no pain or discomfort in my legs, and my breathing was easy. It was actually a really nice run. I wore new shorts and a new hat for today’s run, and I like this new hat a lot more than my old one which was too big. Also, it was cooler out today; about 10 degrees cooler than the last 5 runs or so. I know this weather won’t last, so I enjoyed it while I could.

Faster run, more push ups

This run started with more push ups than my last run with 90, but still not back to 100 yet. I don’t know why; I think it’s because I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately coupled with a lack of carbs. Either way, it’s something I’m working on. I like being in 100+ push up territory more than I like being in the 80-95 range.

The run itself was pretty darned good. I set out to do a little bit faster pace than my last run and also a little bit more than 3 miles, and I succeeded in both. The best part: my second to last quarter mile was the closest I’ve been in a runner’s high in a long time. I felt myself gliding alone, cognizant of foot strikes, but not really feeling them. I felt great! I was floating along for an entire quarter mile, and it was glorious. The last quarter mile wasn’t nearly as effortless, but still pretty decent. At the end, I felt great, and I felt as if I’d accomplished something.

My next run will be Tuesday to give my legs and arms a chance to heal and prepare.

Good run, longer distance

This run started off with 80 push ups. I was very tired, having only 5 hours of sleep for the previous two nights, but I was determined to get out and complete a run. On top of that, I decided to go for a little longer distance than I’ve been doing in the past few weeks. Crazy, right?

Since I was setting out in some serious heat, I decided to wear a personal hydration system (like a Camelback) for the first time. I was pleased that there was no chafing or rubbing. Even though I never drink water before or during a run, since it was so hot, I decided I’d rather be safe than sorry on this run in the event I started feeling heat exhaustion coming on.

My pace was slower than usual, but it felt good. Really good. My pace was very consistent throughout the run, as well, which is something else I’ve been working on. Overall, I’m very pleased with this run and I look forward to running again soon.