This past weekend, I ran the Inaugural Disneyland 10K. The course was awesome, winding through both parks and some Anaheim streets. It was a bit of an experiment on my part, as my training leading up to the race consisted of no running. Yep, I trained for a race by not running at all. And it wasn’t half bad.

I ran a half marathon in 2010 in San Francisco, and prepared for it by running 4 miles a week leading up to it. Come race day, I was completely out of shape and not prepared for the 13.1 miles UPHILL that San Francisco unleashed. I came home tired, sore, and vowed to never run again. But, and there is always a but, I started working out, and one thing led to another. After participating in a 5K training with All About You! Wellness Boot Camp, running was fun again, and I was looking for another race to keep up my fitness motivation.

I have always wanted to participate in a Disney run as the course is laid out through the parks (both Disneyland and California Adventure). The runDisney races are known for the fun courses and awesome medals. It was super fun to be at Disneyland when the whole weekend was geared towards runners. My mom came down to Anaheim with me and was the best cheer squad a girl could ever ask for!

The weekend was also made more magical by getting the opportunity to take a Marc Pro for a test spin (more on that later).

The race started at 6:15am, so we headed over to the start line about 5:20am. It was 80˚ at 5:15am and about 80% humidity on top. Walked out the door of the hotel and I was instantly sweating. Thankfully, I had been majorly hydrating the days leading up to the event, so I had some hydration to spare. The race was so much fun! People were dressed up in costumes, tutus, and everything in between. We cracked jokes and enjoyed the whole experience of runDisney.

Now, remember, I prepared for this run by not running. I did lift weights, perform basic human movements, and do running drills in boot camp and CrossFit, but I did not head out and hit the pavement for miles at a time. Cardiovascularly, I was totally prepared for the race; I was not out of breath and fading because of poor circulation or perfusion. The limiting factor was my feet and calves. CrossFit’s basic human movements and my boot camps were the perfect starting block, but I had not done enough of this type of training to load my tissues enough. Next time (aka now), I will try to get to CrossFit and AAY! Boot Camp 2x a week each. My Yoga Tune Up practice also served me well, as I felt balanced in my discomfort. I diligently work on uncovering my blind spots of tension and poor perception to improve my body’s sense of it’s self daily. Calves, Hips, Thighs, and Buttocks had all been on the menu for months in terms of myofascial self release.

Nevertheless, after the race, I was a bit sore. That’s where the Marc Pro comes in. If you’ve ever had any physical therapy, you may have been set up on a machine that provides electrical impulses to help dull the nerve signals. This is a similar set up, with 2 channels and 4 electrodes (sticky pads that you place on your body) but it is battery operated and provides both the tingles and muscular contraction. On the standard PT office devices, you have to crank the machine almost to maxing out to get even a tiny twitch, but with the Marc Pro, you get the contractions with even low levels of impulse.

Why is this good? During and after exertion, whether it is working out or running a race, your muscle cells excrete waste products (all of your cell’s poop, FYI). If there is any muscle tearing, which is quite common, you feel sore. The muscle soreness and fatigue you feel anywhere from 24-48 hours after a workout, comes hand in hand with some swelling (again, your cells poop). Swelling means you are stiff and sore. The Marc Pro, and its stimulating muscle contraction, help to clear the tissues of the waste products and swelling by using your muscles as the vehicle. You could do it yourself, but imagine sitting on the couch and contracting your quad on and off for an hour…trust me, the Marc Pro is much more relaxing. So you place the electrodes where you want (based upon your workout), and chill out. As the muscle(s) contract, it clears the waste out, while also allowing fresh nutrients in. Yes, the Marc Pro is magical, but your body is also designed perfectly.

So here I am 3 days post race and I am not sore. Any lingering tightness was relieved with my Yoga Tune Up therapy balls. Seriously. All of the tools help me to get back on my feet and ready to hit the gym again (CrossFit tonight!).

Not running to prepare for a run is nothing new, as cross training has always been stressed to runners. So, if you are a runner who is experiencing daily, lingering pain or injury, try something new. Come to one of my Yoga Tune Up classes and learn how to unwind your body (and your mind). Start lifting heavy things to help build the muscular strength your body needs to support itself. There are many other activities that mimic running out there; I challenge you to find some! In the mean time, I will be at CrossFit, working on improving my box jump and double unders…J