Mon. 5 miles (5k trail race)
Tues. 8 miles
Wed. 12 miles
Thurs. 8 miles
Fri. 22 miles (planned on 16 but felt real good-had plently left in the tank)
Sat. 14 miles (planned 8 but felt pretty good-would have gone longer, but I carried no $ to get liquids)
Sat. 16 miles (planned 11 to get to 80 for the week but felt pretty good)
Two weeks ago I hit 73 miles and figured that might be the most for a week this summer, but the weather turned cooler on Friday and if the running feels good and fun, I say, "Keep running!"
On Monday, Dr. Baroody worked on the tweak in my back and that started clearing things up, but I had a follow-up visit on Friday and I told Dr. Baroody about my left hip-glutes. This seems to be the major problem now. The left glute gets rather tight and I feel really tight at the top of the left back pelvis. I told him when I run I can't rotate the left hip back and the femur sort of presses into the hip creating the pain and not giving me a hip rotation. He's a good listener and tried to make sense out of what I was explaining. He did a lot of ART work and finished on the back of the hip. He said it was the quadratus lumborum muscle.
The QR was already a muscle I was quite aware of, but it is a tricky one and one I never found a good stretch that would help it. About 10 years ago when I completed the Falmouth road race, I went direcly to the massage tent where I usually meet a local chiropractor. From years of doing this, he knows a bit about my hip problem. A couple of times, after having an uncomfortable race, he did work on my QL and I would feel great afterwards. In fact, I would feel better running a 5 mile cool-down to my parent's house then I did running the race! However, I never could find a way to stretch, release, or strengthen this muscle.
The quadratus lumborum is a well known muscle that is a primary cause of lower back pain. Its action of bringing the hip up is important for balancing postural distortion. Not only does it refer into the Sacro-Iliac joint, but can cause stress in that joint by pulling the hips out of alignment.According to this article
The quadratus lumborum muscles, together with the illiopsoas, are a common cause of lower back pain....Because most people sit for 90% of the day, their quadratus lumborum muscles are short, tight, and overused. The quadratus lumborum muscles assist in side bending and in back extension...If you have back pain that is only on one side of your lower back, there’s a good chance it’s the quadratus lumborum on that side...If indeed one of your quadratus lumborum muscles is causing you pain, the quadratus lumborum pain is due to habitual overuse.
Here is another QL stretch I found that I am doing.
He also said that doing kettlebell windmills will strengthen this area.
The problem with the stretches is that I don't feel them exactly where I feel tight, however something good must be going on as my hips are feeling a little bit better every run and I did run the equivalent of 2 marathons over the past three days.
I am sure the QL stretches are helping some. I'll give it a couple of weeks. In addition, I have started doing resistance stretching of my hamstrings in particular again. My quads and hammies are stating to loosen up some. I wrote tons on resistance stretching a couple of years ago (good place to start) and it still is a unique stetching program that works. I also had a massage a week ago and two weeks ago. That started the loosening process.
I just found this book and am reading it slowly. It has a great section on the quadratus lumburom with stretches and trigger point areas for releasing the QL. I have had other books on trigger points, but this one seems very comprehensive with loads of information. I will report on this book later, after I have read and tried some of the ideas in it more thoroughly.
To see a hamstring resistance stretch find the 4:00 mark. This comes from the Resistance Stretching With Dara Torres DVD.
Bob Cooley, author of The Genius of Flexibility: The Smart Way to Stretch and Strengthen Your Body,shows a partner resistance stretch here.
Finally, I noticed that one of my posts on functional hallux limitis got mentioned on a forum for Aikido (OK he did say my post might be like "watching paint drying" to some readers!). Josh mentions my posts on the stiff big toe and learning body wisdom. I know nothing about Aikido but read through the thread and wanted to find out more about what they were talking about. I do like the phrase "wisdom of the body" as that is what I am trying to figure out. The links sent me here, where I wanted to learn what Kua was. I found this video and found the movements interesting. My femurs often seem stuck and this actually helped me feel them rotate better.
Anyhow, it has been a successful and busy week!