January 31, 2009

Hydrating and Believing

After reading Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning, I realized that I do not drink enough water. In fact, I drink very little water. Runners should drink more than the average person (obvious, but it wasn't obvious to me) and I drink less. So I was thinking I should start drinking more.
   Then yesterday I went to a lecture on Kinesiology. Not kinesio taping, not simply the study of muscle movement, but kinesiology as a natural health technique that can be "an effective and versatile tool for detecting and correcting various imbalances in the body that may relate to stresses such as dehydration, pain, allergies, nutrition, learning difficulties and injuries."
   The lecture was given by an Australian kinesiologist who lives in Hong Kong, and was very interesting. He demonstrated on several of us, of whom I was one. Without going into great detail, he presses against your arms and legs at various angles, and you try to resist. Generally of course, your muscles enable you to resist easily. But in certain cases, or after he presses certain pressure points, you suddenly are much less able to resist. You can clearly feel the difference (it comes as a surprise!). So after doing my leg at a certain angle, I was unable to resist. He said to me, "I think you have a problem with dehydration. Do you drink enough water?" My eyes opened wide, I looked at him and said, "No, I do not drink enough, and have been thinking that I should drink more." So out of all the possible things that he might have "guessed" as being wrong with me, he identified the correct one. So I suppose that means it was not a guess. Which means that there is something to this kinesiology thing.
   Then he was talking about how your emotional and mental states can affect your body, and vice versa. (Which is why kinesiology is effective for learning disabilities, depression and so on.) As I was lying on my back, I raised my arms and tried to push out as he pushed in. I was able to resist easily. I had told him I was a runner and was going to run a marathon. He asked if I had a goal, and I said 3 hours. Well, to tell you the truth, I have serious doubts about whether I can run 3 hours. My last marathon was 3:09:53, so I think I can probably run about 3:05, but a 3 hour pace seems very tough, although that is what I have been doing my MP runs at. I did not mention this to him, however. 
   Then he said, repeat after me,"I believe I can run a marathon in 3 hours." So I said that out loud. Then he asked me to resist his pressure again, and I could not! My arms just collapsed inward, although I thought I was using the same strength as before. This was an indication (according to kinesiology) that I did in fact not believe what I said. Which, was in fact, TRUE. I did not believe it. So he asked me what my last marathon time was and I told him 3:10. So he said, now repeat after me, "I think I am able to run a marathon in 3:05." I repeated that, then we did the arm thing and I was able to resist his pressure. Indicating that I do think I "am able" to run a marathon in 3:05, which again is true. 
   So his advice was, start believing that you can run a marathon in 3:00. If you don't believe it, you won't be able to do it. Which is what I just read in Paul Tergat's book, Running to the Limit. And which of course is what every speaker/lecturer/guru on sports, business, self-actualization, etc. says. But even though you have heard that, you forget it, or ignore it, or just don't think it is so important. But my body reaction showed that my muscles are affected by what I am thinking. So I have one month to build up the belief that I can run a 3:00 marathon!!
   By the way, after analyzing you by these muscle reactions, the kinesiologist treats you using acupressure techniques, but very mild acupressure...sometimes just touching places on the body. I don't know if it works, but it seems promising, since the analysis part seems to work (he identified a woman's back problems, even though she had not said anything about it, and another woman there claimed that it had helped her a lot.)

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