Daily Run: Yes, a Run! Also, an Attempt at Answering a Question

November 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Daily Run, Training Method | 9 Comments

Time of Day: 5:50 AM

Weather: Mid-50s. Sunrise!

Duration: 53 minutes

Estimated Distance (based on assumed pace of 7:35/mile): 6.99 miles

Notes: I know there are many (crazy) people out there who don’t like this time change because it “feels late” in the evenings. To them I say, “Screw you, crazy people, get up early and go running and enjoy the light then instead.”

It was still dark when I began my run, but that just means that I get to see the sunrise. My running route felt so much friendlier at dawn and I was well rested from the extra hour this weekend. Also, the time change made it easier to fall asleep last night and easier to get out of bed this morning. I ran a glorious almost-seven miles.

So, Reasons A and B for my unenthusiasm are taken care of. Reason C, however, still has me concerned. My Achilles is much better than last week and only ached intermittently…until the last 1/2 mile or so. Then it got much worse, but I saw my ART practitioner today and he reassured me that I can indeed continue to run on it. This is good, because forcing myself to get on the elliptical once a week is difficult enough. I would gladly run in the dark until next summer if I could just get Reason C nipped in the bud.

Attempt at a Question

I got a question from Andrea, and I like answering questions, so keep them coming and I’ll take my best shot:

Hi, I have a questions for you or anyone else that has experienced this before.
I’m currently training for a marathon and I’ve noticed every time I run, I get pains along my upper diaphragm, on top of my rib cage. It’s not my stomach, so I know it doesn’t have to do with the food I eat before, but sometimes the pain would be subtle and start at the beginning of a long run and gradually get worse as I run longer. I usually just bear it and run, sometimes putting pressure on it to alleviate the pain, but it really takes away the fun of running when I am in pain the whole time. I really want to figure out what is causing it or how I can stop it because it is making it hard for me to concentrate on running especially when I am doing 30+ miles a week. Thanks for this great blog and any advice you can give me.

Thanks, Andrea! First, view my disclaimer: I am not a doctor or certified medical professional of any kind…yada yada…blah blah blah. You get the picture, right?

Now that we’ve got that cleared up…Andrea, I think this may be a breathing issue. You want to make sure that you are belly breathing, meaning that when you inhale, you should inhale deeply so that your stomach expands. Practice this when you aren’t running: take some short, shallow breaths, and only your chest will rise. Then breathe deeply and feel your stomach expand. The short, shallow breaths will cause pain in the diaphragm area, side stitches, cramps, etc.

It may be difficult to control your breathing when you are pushing yourself and struggling to get enough oxygen, so if you experience pain while running, try slowing down so that you can take deep, controlled breaths.

If you are a beginning runner, this issue might take care of itself as your fitness improves. However, I have met experienced, fast runners with this same problem. Next time you go running, pay attention to your breathing from the very beginning of the run, and hopefully with some practice you will be able to take care of this problem completely.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for Andrea?



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  1. So funny, I was just googling this yesterday after my last two runs had this problem. Both on my left side. One other thing I read was (for left side specifically ) to try to exhale when your left foot hits the ground. It is sooo soo frustrating. I had a good run yesterday but it would have been great without the 25 minutes of side cramp.

  2. I agree with the time change too!

    Also, loved your BSI recipe!

  3. Andrea,

    This might sound dumb and obvious, but it’s worth throwing out there – your sports bra might be too tight! I used to get the same type of pain, but it went away when I bought some new bras that fit a little looser. 🙂

  4. She might not have warmed up properly, either. when you exercise, blood gets cut off from your vital organs and sent to the exercising muscles. When you warm up, the blood slowly redistributes, when you dont warm up enough, it cuts off quickly, causing pains in the abdomen. I always spell that wrong.

    Kelly Turner

  5. Glad to hear 2 out of the 3 reasons are now set aside and you can get back to running more now hopefully!
    So I just got done reading your weekend posts as well and I’m assuming MSB goes to UT? I’m a genetic counseling student and we take devo with the med students and we just had our first exam in there, so after seeing that he just got done with the first block exams, I figured that (duh!) he must go to UT as well! So apparently I have devo with MSB. Crazy. And I saw you mentioned the gym, which I assume is the UT gym, which is also strange because that’s the gym I go to! Well, as of late since I’m still not back to running yet 😦 Maybe I’ll run into you on the elliptical one weekend…haha!

  6. I’ve used the exhale when the foot strikes on the same side to pretty good effect. So I can second that reccomendation. I don’t think that’s what’s goin on here though. I’d vote for the idea that she’s not warmed up. It sounds like an intensity thing. Maybe go out a little more slowly?

    Jess, thanks for the Trigger Point info. A little rich for my blood right now, but if the foam roller doesn’t work, I may try it.

  7. Good points from everyone! Andrea, maybe try starting out a little slower?

    Justy2003: That’s crazy! He does got to UT. What day/time do you have devo? I need to ask him. Hopefully we’ll both be done with the elliptical very soon.

  8. I have devo at 10 MWF…well, usually. They change it all the time. I’m pretty sure it’s all the med students in that one class though. And I totally agree about being done with the elliptical. 😦

  9. Justy2003: So does he! You should go say hi 🙂

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