Monday, April 16, 2012

Minute by minute

So at met this guy at the Newton Shoe booth at the Boston Marathon Expo. He looked familiar and I waited awhile to speak to him rather than to a younger salesperson. I thought he might be one of the founders of the company as maybe I had seen him in a magazine article on Newton Shoes. I explained that I still had a the original version of the first available Newton shoe from a few years ago (with not much mileage on them). I was wondering if the shoes had changed much since that version and if they might be good for my feet (orthotics or not). I explained a bit of my problems and he had me run back in forth in the crowded expo. He did note that my left foot was not kicking out like I said it usually does (something confirmed a few minutes earlier by a gait analysis video taken at the Brooks shoe booth). Here is my barefoot run on the Brooks treadmill. My wife says my left  foot that points out looks so much better here than it has in the past, so maybe I am getting somewhere with my stride or maybe I should be a barefoot treadmill runner.

He had me do one-legged squats and remarked how weak my left side was with a definite lack of stability. He told me to practice the squats with a straight knee and also work on a wobble board. He also gave me some interesting advice. I need to start over and only run correctly. He said run for one minute the first day, but do it correctly. After all running is just falling forward and doing one legged knee-bends. The next day go two minutes. The day after that go three. Keep adding one minute per day. By the end of the year, I could be running for hours. That sounds like a great plan, but here's the problem. If someone told me to go run one hour, I could do that. I would muddle through it any way I could. To run perfectly for one minute? Seriously, I don't know how to do that. I have not gone out the door to even try it yet. I think I will fail, because I do not know how to put it together. I am practicing the squats, but I don't know how to transition that to running. He also said to do leg presses on a machine as that is the same controlled (without the knee turning in) movement my leg needs to do while running. I know that was one thing I was forbidden to do post hip surgery, but I think that was for heavy full leg presses on the machine. Wednesday, I go in for a visit with my hip surgeon so I will ask then. I think my rowing machine would be a good substitute for that too. So now I just have to figure out how to run correctly for one minute. Maybe I'll try tomorrow.

After he spent a good amount of time with me (without trying to sell me shoes, which I appreciated) I asked if he was one of the founders of the Newton line of shoes as he looked very familiar. "No," he said, "You may have seen me on television." It turns out he is Ian Adamson, considered one of the greatest adventure racers of all time. I had seen him on television in such races as the Eco-Challenge and the Primal Quest. I also recalled the Primal Quest that had a kickbike leg in it, so I asked him if kickbiking would be a great exercise while I build up my running. He said it would be fantastic for the leg motions and also because you are doing mini-lunges-squats just like I need to do for strengthening. So kickbike away it will be! Ian is right. He told me to take my time and get it right. I want to be in it for the long haul and not go back to running with my bad patterns. It was nice that he thought I was younger than I really am, too. I will take that as I have been feeling so aged the last year.

Last week I had my first physical therapy session with a new therapist. It was interesting and I will comment more at another time. He is working on the muscles around my hip which are very tight. He said no running at all until I see him agian this week. OK, but what if I want to run for a minute? Actually, a few days after the visit, I broke the rule and went for a 4 mile run, but I was experimenting. Another runner had suggested a   couple weeks ago that I try Schiff Move Free Advanced Plus MSM  which has Glucosamine and Chondroitin and a few other ingredients in it for your joints. My hips have been so stiff and even my principal was asking what was wrong a couple weeks ago as when I walked I looked like I was in pain. Within a couple days of taking them I thought I was looser, but I wasn't running so I wasn't sure. After a week, I was walking in school and all of a sudden I realized that  my hips felt really lubricated or slippery as I moved. I felt like I had oil between the joints rather than just that sticky old feeling I have been used to. After a few days of this, I had to see what would happen on a run. It was the first run since my surgery where I felt real good from the first steps and I wanted to sprint and go faster than my shape would allow. The hip joints did feel good for the whole run, so at this point it seems to be a good experiment. I still notice that my left joint doesn't seem to be hitting or working in the joint the way I think it should, but that is because my left side is still messed up and that is the next question, "Why is that happening?"

Anyhow, who would have predicted just a week ago that two of last year's fastest marathoners Geoffery Mutai and Moses Mosop would not win the Boston and Rotterdam Marathons. Well that is what happened this weekend. Mosop ended up third at Rotterdam and Muttai dropped out in the oppressive heat of Boston. Congratulations to everyone who persevered at the Boston Marathon earlier this morning.

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