Tuesday, April 24, 2012

That is exactly how I want my running to feel!

I did not run last week. Not one step! That is part of the plan, though, and my day will come. I did do some kickbiking, some mountain biking (some walking-after getting a flat 3 miles from home), and then Saturday I did something I haven't done in a year. I clicked into the pedals of my road bike. Biking has been a killer for me. When I did triathlons in the 1980s, the bike caused me so much pain and discomfort. Even though I came from a running background and despite the pain, once I picked up cycling, I turned into a better cyclist than I was a runner. But cycling hurt. I tried to fit myself onto the bike by angling out the pedal for my foot that rotated out. I would always try to keep the screws on the cleat a bit loose to allow my feet to twist some. Even worse, I could never get comfortable on the saddle. Never. On training rides, I would keep getting off the bike to twist the saddle a bit from pointing one way and the back to the other. It felt like the bones on my left side pushed into the saddle and were a bit forward of the bones on the right. There was nothing I could do to relieve that discomfort. I tried every insole, shim, and adjustment possible to get my foot comfortable and nothing worked there either. I just tried to get used to the pain and my body got more and more dysfunctional.

Bay State Triathlon 1987 1 mile swim,
40 mile bike, 10 mile run all in a speedo?
On my Centurion- Cinelli Equipe that I still ride today.
Finally I gave up cycling due to the discomfort. Every year I would take out my old Cinelli-Centurion Equipe and try to ride it again., Every year, my feet would hurt within 2 miles. My butt would hurt within 4 miles and I would just want to get off the bike within a couple more miles. Then my lower back would be sore for days. I would try cycling a few times more if I was brave and try to get used to it, before giving up so I could concentrate on my running.

Two years ago, when I got my recent pair of orthotics. I noticed that for the first time that my feet didn't hurt when cycling. My last ride last Spring was almost 20 miles and I felt OK except that it hurt my adductors just like running did pre hip surgery. I was curious what would happen now that I had the surgery, especially since I saw my hip surgeon last week and he said my hip looks real good and should stay that way for many years. I locked into my pedals and took off. I was using the same setup that I have used for over 10 years without change and as I cycled down the road I noticed that I had absolutely no pain or discomfort. I decided to head out to the hills of Hollis and just felt magnificent on the bike. I had no saddle soreness and my left femur  for the first time was not being pushed into the saddle. I was absolutely even on the saddle. I have never felt that before (which leads me to wonder how long that hip has been bad). I scampered over the hills. Everything felt new and free and easy. I wanted to go further, but I wasn't sure if I might fell pain after the ride so I only did 22 miles. I had none of the muscle knots and pains that I always used to get after cycling and I had to stop myself from going out for another ride later that evening.

That ride was a revelation. It was too easy, too comfortable, and very balanced. I never knew that cycling could feel that good. THAT is exactly how I want it to feel when I run the next time: balanced, easy, and comfortable. My PT exercises are feeling good. I ditched my orthotics (now I only use them for cycling) and Bryan Reddy over at B-Reddy.org is giving me some great advice, pointers, and information on his IT Band thread.

About this painful picture from the photos I put out last week, he wrote:

-Look at this picture again: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lpTm9mSw8ks/T4-DAzn2dNI/AAAAAAAAClo/EWzviBtzwMA/s1600/running8.jpgNow look at your left hip and left shoulder. Notice how they are closer together than the right side? Notice how your left glute / hip is kind of sticking out to the left side? This is classic tibiofemoral rotation syndrome (your femur is internally rotated and your tibia is laterally rotated). Because your glute medius and other hip abductors are so weak your knee caves inward, and the internal obliques are performing extra work (this is why your shoulder and hip are closer together on that side -the internal oblique is short / stiff / performing too much work) and the hip abductors are not strong enough to perform the work they should be doing.
The lateral rotation of the tibia is really prominent during knee flexion. This would be where you comment on how your foot is “out” when it’s bent behind you. As per this post, that is likely due to an extremely tight IT band.
Honestly, I see a “you” every day. Hell, Holly (the girl in all the videos and pictures above) is EXACTLY you. I really don’t see anything unusual with you, at all. (Of course doing things in person can potentially be different.) 
It bears repeating: I just highly doubt you have femoral anteversion or any true structural issues. Keep in mind, just because you’re having issues with femoral internal rotation does NOT mean you have anteversion. In fact, many males can have femoral internal rotation and have a RETROverted hip.
So, you ran pain free for a ton of years, you’re male, you have narrow hips (anteversion is more common in females who have wider hips)…I would just be shocked if you had anteverted hips. Every now and then I see something I haven’t seen before. But, at this point, based on what I see so far you’re probably in the majority side of the clientele I have i.e. all very, very common issues. In fact, I see your issues in my clients more often than I see clients who don’t have those issues!

Well, I am not that unusual after all. I just need lots of work and Brian has pointed out my weak spots and indicated why I am weak. Hopefully my PT appointments and work there and at home will get me to the point where I can run without pain and feel as balanced and as easy as I did on the bike, because that is exactly how I want to feel!

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