Saturday, October 30, 2010

Exactly the Same Week after Week

30 years ago Nov. 1980 when it was much easier to run!

This weeks running; Sunday 4 miles on the treadmill, Tuesday 1 mile on the treadmill, Saturday 8 miles

Nothing worth reporting on the running front but wanted to bookmark today's run for future reference. I woke up feeling great and balanced today with no muscle or joint pains. I knew my left adductors were tight still, but wanted to try a run just to see where things were at, knowing that I will probably be sore for a few days afterwards. This run went just like the 8 milers I did a couple weeks ago and the 8 milers a couple weeks before that. I think that all the times that I have been able to complete an 8 miler the past two months that they have all progressed basically the same. So there is a pattern to follow if a doctor can figure it out.

To clarify and remember what happens with my hip I am writing it down here. First of all, I started each run feeling great. I don't seem to have the inflammation and tightness around my hips and quads that I had all summer when I was training and racing through it. As I ran down the road, and after the first few steps of remembering the process of running, I felt great. I had a pretty good even stride and I felt strong. This is the way I would like to feel. After about 1/2 mile, I could feel a tightness in the adductor, that stingy cord inside the leg that up into the pelvis. The tightness would spread first in front of the cord about an inch forward and then in back of that cord into the back of the glutes. It would feel really iffy running this way and each run I would think of returning home so as to not injure things more, but what the heck, its not getting better anyhow. After about 3 miles, the left hip would be unbalanced a bit, but things would feel a bit looser. I would focus on running loose and balanced and things would then be pretty good. Today, the stride felt really nice and much more balanced then during the summer. If I could just run with a stride like this without the pain, things would be the best they have been in years. I could keep a pretty good training pace as I ran down the road, but if I tried to go faster things would tighten up.

Then with about 2 miles to go, my hip starts to lose some stability. I can't get it loose again and I can't keep my pelvis balanced. Things would start tightening up on the front outside of the hip where the femur joins the pelvis and to the back outside as well. Today, I figured out what it happening to the hip to throw things off. This is when the femur goes back to being pulled  tight to the inside. It feels like the tight adductor or other muscle right in there starts tightening and strongly pulls the top of the femur over to the inside where it feels a bit jammed into the front inside of the hip socket which then throws off my mechanics and my stride. That is when my lower back and  the outside of the gluteals start tightening up and the hip feels jammed in place and I don't feel like running. I had to stop just a 1/4  mile my from my house 2 weeks ago as it tightened up too much to run. I made it home this time, but couldn't have run much further.

Unfortunately, I didn't get an appointment for the doctor (the physiatrist) until next month on November 30. I really wish they got me through the MRI. I'd really like to know if it is a labral tear, a sports hernia (athletic pubalgia), or some other strange injury that I can't figure out, but isn't that the doctor's job? I don't think it would be a stress fracture at this point as it has been over 2 months now.

Anyhow, it is a big tease when I can run those middle miles feeling about 80% balanced and pretty strong for the lack of recent training. I can't wait to get this fixed. It is in moments like those that I know I can beat this thing!


Brian said...

Hello Jim, I know this post is quite a few years old but I said I would ask anyhow. How did you get over your Labral tear. I am suffering from the same at present and want to avoid surgery at all costs, so am interested to know what steps you took to resolving this. A reply here would be fine or if you wish to have an email conversation just let me know. Many thanks Brian. Your blog is a good read :)

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Brian,
After not being able to run for a year, I got my labral tear fixed in the summer of 2011. I had no FAI (and my surgeon doesn't believe in that). The surgery went well. I was told if I felt comfortable, I could run soon after surgery. I did my first run 3 weeks post surgery and did an 8 miler within two months. It probably wasn't the best idea in retrospect, but I did not have good post surgery care or advice.

I ran in bits and pieces trying to get my running back for two years, but the muscles around the hip were angry. I had run with bad form for years compensating for my hip and while I think my hip joint is pretty good now, I think it is my hip structure and twisted tibia that hold my running back. I have yet to get my running back. I did a couple of 13 milers post surgery, weeks up to 30 miles, and one month of 200 miles, but my glutes and adductors would fight back and get really tight.

I sort of gave up trying to run last June and got an ElliptiGO bike instead. I could finally exercise without pain and to my hearts content. I did two 100 mile rides and won the first ElliptiGO race on the east coast. I have no hip problems with the ElliptiGO. I am trying to run again now, but my goal is to run pain-free (that means-no pain or limping the next day). I am only up to 30 minutes of slow treadmill miles a couple of times a week, however.

I don't think it is the hip joint that bothers me, but more the muscles around the hip that still need to straighten out and calm down.

The surgery wasn't bad and I am glad I have had it done. I feel much better than I have in the last 30 years except for when I try to run. Surgery with FAI is another story. That takes a longer recovery I think age has something to do with recovery as well and if you develop compensations from working around the hip with the labral tear. It can affect the lower back and SI joint in many people (like me).

Good luck with you decision. A labral tear does not heal by itself, but some people do fine without surgery if it doesn't bother them or alter their form if they are a runner.