Posted by scott on January 23, 2009
I am in the doldrums. I officially stopped any sort of training plan last November 1st, planning to take a couple weeks to let my sore glute heal up. I have run a total of 6 times since then, no more than 2 miles each time, and I still sit here with my sore glute. I’ve been to a great running doc, and done about 9 physical therapy sessions. I have a whole battery of physical therapy exercises I can/should be doing according to my PT to strengthen muscles that were weakened by injury, or overstrained by injury compensation. PT convinced me that I need to cross-train seriously, which I never did. But I’m also convinced that PT exercises are exceedingly boring! And I’m hearing from more and more athletes that they don’t think long term PT is an answer – they suggest chiro, osteopaths, acupuncture.
But I’m climbing the walls and want to run. In my search for something interesting to do besides PT, I discovered Yoga, which is a Good Thing. I also re-discovered lap swimming. My upper body strength is better than it’s been in several years. All of those are good, but none of them scratch the itch that running scratches.
My 2009 race plans are now just race dreams. The Sawtooth 100 is definitely out the window for 2009. The Superior Trail 50 is probably a fantasy, but I can’t quite let go yet. I will be lucky to get a 50k in this Spring.
My only plans at this point are to get a few more pool sessions in to build up a bit of cardio, then starting running again but very short easy distances – maybe 2 miles, maybe a few times per week.
Posted in Injuries, Training | 4 Comments »
Posted by scott on December 10, 2008
So after about a week and a half of my first physical therapy routine, I felt no real improvement in my glute strain. In fact, I grew concerned that the PT was actually continuing to aggravate it, so I stopped. Last week, instead of PT, I tried out yoga for the first time ever. I loved it! This was a “fitness” version that involved strength postures in addition to more gentle stretching postures. I was naively amazed at how much strength it required. I can definitely see the balance and core benefits, and this will be part of my new training regimen.
Back at PT last Monday I talked with the therapist about my break. He basically said the soreness will go up and down as it heals, so that’s not a reason to quit. I probably attacked the routine a bit aggressively, doing it twice a day. He gave me some new activities and also added in a resistance band that I wear around my legs just above the knee. The new routine is:
- Bridging exercise with resistance – 20 to 30 reps (not clenching my glutes quite as hard as I initially was)
- Clam spreads (my term)with resistance – 20-30 reps – lying on your side with knees bent to form 60 degree angle, hips aligned vertical, open and close knees while keeping heels together.
- Quadruped ER/Abduction/Extension with resistance – 20-30 reps. On all fours, you lift a leg out and to the side, slightly extending at the knee – kind of like a dog peeing.
- Double Limb Support, Static with resistance – 20-30 reps. Arms horizontally out in front, you lower to a squat keeping knees above feet so your glutes take the load, hold 5-10 seconds.
- Prone extension – 20-30 reps. Leaning slightly over table, lift a leg and bend at knee, lift bent leg to the rear maintaining knee bend.
- Single leg foot lifts – 20-30 reps. Stand on one foot, rise slowly onto toes, then slowly lower. (Serious calf burner)
After a couple days, this actually feels pretty good. Maybe it was my break, maybe its just the additional time. But I’m getting more encouraged that I’ll be back on the trails soon. Next week I run on the treadmill for gait analysis.
Posted in Injuries | 4 Comments »
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 »
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 »
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 »