Monday, November 28, 2016

Proctor does Pilates, part two

Doing Pilates is damn humbling. I'm now four long weeks into my Pilates workout program and I am seeing improvement, yet whenever I begin to think that I've got this Pilates thing pegged Shalene dials it up a notch making me question our friendship. Shalene has been oddly patient with me these past four weeks. In between the homicidal stares and the mumbled curse words she has calmly guided me in and out of movements and positions that shake me to my core (literally).

The past two weeks I have been picking things back up and running a bit more. Admittedly, I have been feeling more controlled at my core. When I run I don't ever think of squeezing and stabilizing my trunk but since starting Pilates with Shalene I feel that my core is more supported and all movements feel easier because of it. I'll be extending the weekly mileage over the remainder of the year and paying close attention to the messages my body is sending me. Injury prevention is a key component to having a successful running season and I feel I'm on the right track starting from the core out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Proctor does Pilates part 1

My name is Dave Proctor and I am weaker then a Tim Hortons cup of coffee. This might come as a surprise to you as I am also the Guinness world record holder for furthest distance run on a treadmill in 24 hours (260.4km), the Canadian 24 hour record holder (257.093km) and hold a number of ultramarathon course records but in reality when the wind picks up I lack the strength to remain upright and coordinate my limbs. I have perfected the balance of doing just barely enough to wobble my way through these events while creating the illusion that I am a lean mean fighting machine. All was going to plan until the end of my 2016 season when a back spasm rocked my world and made all adjoining structures useless to it's owner. This was a major dose of reality. My 5 year old daughter reminds me on the daily "Dad, you are an old man with old bones", I now more then ever am believing her. The days of putting my body through unreal stresses and ignoring that lack of strength and the role it plays in the stability of the bodies structures is now a reality I can no longer dismiss.

Shalene and me
Hours ago I left the Pilates studio at LIVACTIV after shamefully suffering through my second session in as many weeks. The instructor Shalene Melnychuk patiently guided me through a routine of what should be easy peasy exercises and 'squeeze this' and 'breathe here' prompting. Admittedly I've given myself a failing grade. I know what you are thinking, Dave stop being a self deprecating asshole, but in reality people I REALLY REALLY suck at this stuff. When Shalene describes to me that she wants my soft tissues to hug my spine while I move my limbs independently all the while using my diaphragm anchoring with every breathe. Angrily I look up at her quivering like a leaf in a cold sweat wanting this lady to just leave me alone all the while questioning why I can run a hundred miles but can't simply move my body in and out of these simple positions. Either this woman is the sadist who likes making me feel an inferior weak little man or is really onto something here.

The way that Shalene has described it to me is that a runner should be able to anchor and stabilize every step of his run. If there's a weakness or a break in the chain an injury or inefficiency will occur. Shalene has already picked up on a number of deficiencies and is already formulating a plan to address these problems. I am committed to this Pilates program for at least the next three months. In order to reach my goal of running 265 kms at the world 24 hour championships in Ireland in July I must be strong as an ox and that strength will start from my center out. I'll be writing a post every other week to update you about my suffering (I mean progress).