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Archive for November, 2008

Gluteus Strain Week 4 – Still No Running

Posted by scott on November 29, 2008

It’s been 4 weeks now since I stopped running to try to cure what was later diagnosed as a gluteus medius strain.  (She’s the professional and I really liked that doc, but it still feels like something deeper to me – more like piriformis region.)  After the doc and one PT visit, I have been doing the following PT exercises 1-2 times daily:

  • Front heel taps – 30 reps
  • Side heel taps – 30 reps
  • Bridging exercise – up to 10 (not quite there)
  • Clam spreads (my term) – 10 reps – lying on your side with knees bent to form 60 degree angle, hips aligned vertical, open and close knees while keeping heels together.
  • Face down straight leg lifts – 10 reps
  • Hip flexor stretches – 30 seconds each side, 2 reps

This has seemed like a good routine and I have dutifully performed it, but I’m frustrated that my glute strain does not seem to be improving.  I started to reach a new conclusion a couple days ago - could some of the above exercises be continuing to aggravate it?  My money is on the bridging exercises or the clam.  It’s really frustrating to feel minimal improvement after this long of a break.

So for now, I’m scaling back home PT.  I’m deciding that my glutes need a serious break from anything.  I’m not going really back to the other core and upper body activities I’ve been doing – pushups, chin ups, the water tube.  I joined the fitness center at work and will be looking into yoga classes.  My lower body activity will probably be limited to standing on the bosu.

Meanwhile, I think I need to re-adjust my running expectations to start again at the beginning of the year, which is kind of depressing.  But it is what it is.  I have a couple 8 month plans drafted for the Superior Sawtooth 100, but those both started with 25-40 mile weeks at the beginning of January.  I will have to revise those plans as well, as I know that I have already lost a lot of conditioning.  Bummer, but probably the right thing to do.

Posted in Injuries | 6 Comments »

Reasons to Run 100 Miles

Posted by scott on November 25, 2008

I have been re-reading many of the fabulous race reports from the Superior Sawtooth 100, as I contemplate running it next year.

Julie Berg’s post is the one that I keep going back to.  It’s full of fantastic course details for one thing, which I am soaking up.  But the best part is that it is full of positive energy.  She has a great explanation for why someone should think about running 100 miles:

You know what it is all about? It’s about stretching yourself. It’s about reaching out of your comfort zone, doing something that you are not sure you can do, trying as hard as you can, preparing as well as you can..and if you are able to reach that goal..it’s magic. By reaching that goal you build confidence within yourself. You feel good about yourself. You begin to complete more tasks that are out of your comfort zone..you build more confidence. It’s not all about running. It’s about life. Sometimes it is tough and you don’t succeed at your goal but that is good practice, you’ll succeed next time, or the next. You will learn and you will do it. Oh yes, you will. If I can, we all can.

Well said.  Too many race reports are full of the agony and the anger when things don’t go as planned.  Julie’s is full of upbeat energy and a continual focus on solutions after she identifies a problem.  That’s a success strategory for ultras that I need to adopt.

Posted in Races | 4 Comments »

Back to Basics, Core

Posted by scott on November 19, 2008

After Day 1 of physical therapy, I can already see that I need some real core work to get back running again, and need this to be part of my regular program.  It was most apparent at two points – the first was during the assessment when I was standing on a platform about 6 inches off the ground.  I was supposed to lift one leg off, then lower myself with the other so as to tap the floor in front of the platform with my first foot.  Lowering on my right side was OK, but my left was seriously weak.  The contrast between the two sides was amazing.

The second time it became obvious was when I was doing bridging exercises.  I made it through about 5-6 when my hamstring started cramping, almost feeling like it would seize near the top.  After 1 more rep, I could barely lift up without a cramp in my hamstring.  My PT explained that this indicates my glute is weak and my hamstring is ineffectively trying to cover for it.  Very obviously need some additional strength.

So I came home with a bunch of boring but very practical core strengthening activities that I’ll be doing.  I also picked up a Bosu, and love it (so do the kids).  Adam caught my attention with his recent posts about Spartan training and some more low brow and creative fitness aids.  I bought materials for a couple water tubes, and am looking into some other aids.

I really should have been doing this all awhile ago, so it’s probably a good thing that I was given pause to get organized for core work.  This will be a good thing!

Posted in Injuries, Training | 2 Comments »

Gluteus Medius Strain – On the Bench for Another Week

Posted by scott on November 14, 2008

After taking a couple weeks off running to try to kick some glute pain that has come and gone since my end-of-August 22 mile training run for TCM, I finally decided to go to a doc.  Based on recs from some local runners I went to the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Running and Endurance Sports Injury Clinic.  So I would rather not be there in the first place because it means I’m injured, but what a fantastic experience!  Dr. Marie-Christine Leisz was fantastic and totally understands running and endurace activities.  She did video gait analysis of me on a treadmill and a variety of other exercise and stretching assessments.  She even thought the FiveFingers were a good idea!  I highly recommend her and this clinic if you are in the TC area.

So I’m on the break for another week, doing some basic stretching and strenght exercises, and going to PT a few times.  This is made me realize again that I need to be adding more core and strength activity.  But it’s also nice to have a break and spend my running time instead doing research on 100s.  I am seriously thinking about the Superior Sawtooth 100 for next fall.

Posted in Injuries, Training | 1 Comment »

Speed Work in FiveFingers

Posted by scott on November 5, 2008

Until now I have been taking it easy in the FiveFingers and not worrying too much about pace.  I have probably been running easy 8s and 9s for pace.  But last week I re-joined the work runners, and tackled intervals.  I was initially planning to again take it easy, but got caught up in the fray and booked around a 6:40 on the way back from a “social” run.  I was amazed that it felt fine, I was sure that I would have more aches and pains.  Wednesday we did some moderate 7:00 miles, but then Thursday decided to hit it hard with three 1 mile intervals.  My splits were 6:44, 6:41, and 6:45 – incredibly fast for me!

46 mile interval on the Garmin 205

I was totally amazed that I could run 3 miles that fast in them.  I never really intended these to be speed footwear, really more of just an alternative to build leg strength.  So I was pleasantly surprised to pull of some of my fastest running in them.  They continue to amaze me.

I also pulled off my first blister, and for the first time and wondering if maybe I went too big on them.  I did 7 miles of single-track trail last weekend, and have a souveneir on my big toe.  I think the sweating and extra foot movement on terrain caused a bit too much rubbing.

But we’ll see - maybe these will callous up just fine.  I also have some Injinjis to try out when the weather gets cool.  This week is a rest week as I try to finally kick the piriformis problem that has hung around since my 22 mile training run before Twin Cities Marathon.  Next week might be rest too.

Posted in FiveFingers, Training | Leave a Comment »

 
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