Wednesday, June 25, 2008

5 Minutes of ART

Well I went all the way down to Boston for an ART (Active Release Technique) Treatment. Getting to Boston and back took a little over 3 1/2 hours. The treatment took 5 minutes! I had been to this doctor before, but the last time was 4 years ago. I think he is good at what he does, but now I remember that he isn't that communicative and seems a bit disinterested in explaining the treatment process. Of course, he can be real good at what he does, but I would like to know more of his thoughts about what is going on.

He wanted to quickly know what was going on with me. How can I explain my funky mechanics? So I told him about what was going on now, and pointed out how the back of the left hip was stuck or weak. He had me bend over and touch my toes and wanted to know if it hurt. Then he had me do a squat and asked the same question. Nothing hurt. I tried to explain that when I run it is all out of balance.

He had me lie on my right side and then move my top (left) leg straight out (like a field goal kicker) and also move it down in a straight line to cross over the other leg and below the height of the bench. While I did that he applied pressure to points around the back of the pelvis so that my movement moved my muscles under his fingers. I did that and he then had me do it with lifting my left arm straight up and behind my body to create a rotation. The Art treatment doesn't hurt me. I don't feel a thing. I guess some people feel a lot of pain with ART but maybe they have different muscles that are being worked on. I did each movement about 5 times. I think I did another movement moving my straightened left leg forward and I think another where he was holding a bit behind the upper hamstring. That was, "enough for now" he said and that he'd like me to return and maybe work on my hip flexor. Well it was dissapointing for all the traveling but my insurance does cover the treatment. I will return Monday for the next appointment.

I was hoping for good things at tonight's track workout. I had to kickbike there as our cars wore both in use. When I started running my hip felt "stuck" in the same place and so my stride was still not good. We did 3 times a set of a 400, a 400, and then an 800. I kept them all at just under 90 second pace but it is still dissapointing to be running with the "B" group: not that they are bad runners (as it is our top women and the good 50+ men), but I still like running with my buddies in the "A" group better (particularly because it means I am running faster!).

Well my hip still felt stuck and I am feeling a twinge in the 3rd metatarsel of my right foot after runs and during the day as I walk. I had a stress fracture there back in high school and every once in a while I feel the twinge coming back. I think I will lay off runnning in the orthaheels for now. They feel stable as I run but maybe they are hurting that right foot and possibliy contributing to the stiffness in my left hip. I was limping a bit from the hip and foot after the last interval. At first kickbiking home on the tender right foot hurt a bit. After a half mile (I had taken the insoles out) it started feeling OK. Tomorrow may be a good day to take off.

Here are a couple of videos I have watched about running form. I can't get the cues to work right for me because each hip feels like it is working differently but someday when I get things sorted out they may be helpful. The first features Ironman legend Dave Scott. He has some biomechanical drills to help your form and push your hips forward as you run. I had a chance to briefly run with Dave Scott once. He came to run the Bay State Triathlon in Massachusetts one year in the mid 1980's (when he was at the top of his game). I was in the race and as I came out of the bike transition and onto the run course I found myself running directly behind Dave. I kept within 5-10 yards for a few minutes watching his stride (and hoping someone would take a picture!). Of course I was just starting the first lap and he had already finished that lap and was on his second lap. It was fun while it lasted but then he sped away.

The second clip is a Chi Running clip and explains some of their running cues for Chi Running posture.

Here is a link to lower some lower back stretches I had bookmarked and found again. I like the last one, which is pictured at the top of this page. I think this stretches the hip in a similar way to some of the ART Treatment I recieved. I also think that I will do the cross body hip circles from Z-Health a bit more and use some tubing to stretch that left leg across the body in a similar way to some of the stretching I did with the ART Treatment today.

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