Sunday, January 27, 2013

Indoor Track and Treadmills

Yesterday was a big day in indoor track and field. High school junior, Mary Cain, broke the high school indoor mile record set 41 years ago by Debbie Heald. On the way, she also broke Lynn Jennings' 35 year old 1500m indoor record. Here is the flotrack video of this race. Mary Cain is coached by Alberto Salazar and at the Boston University track at just about the same time yesterday, another Salazar athlete, Galen Rupp, ran the fifth fastest indoor mile ever recorded. Here is the video of Galen's incredible mile. Earlier in the day, in Glasgow, Scotland, Duane Solomon set an American 600m indoor record.

My journey over the last two weeks has not been quite that spectacular and most of the running has been indoors and on a treadmill. If I get tired of the treadmill in the basement, I just head to the YMCA and use the treadmills there. Even if it is only on a treadmill, I am just happy to be moving.

I ran the second Freeze Your Buns race and in the two weeks since the first race, I got 2 seconds slower over the 5k distance.

Monday 1/14: 0 miles
Tuesday 1/15 : 3 miles treadmill
Wednesday 1/16: 5 miles treadmill
Thursday 1/17: 5 miles treadmill
Friday 1/18: 3 miles treadmill
Saturday 1/19: 0 miles
Sunday 1/20: 4 miles Freeze Your Buns race 2
Total for week: 20 miles:  2013 total miles 46 miles

Monday 1/21: 0 miles
Tuesday 1/22: 4 miles treadmill YMCA
Wednesday 1/23 3 miles treadmill
Thursday 1/24: 5 miles treadmill
Friday 1/25: 6 miles treadmill
Saturday 1/26: 4 miles treadmill
Sunday 1/26: 8 miles on the roads
Total for week: 30 miles 2013 total 76 miles

I did get some learning in though. I am writing it here, to keep track of it and for reference later. The week before the race I noticed that although I was running comfortably, my left foot was pointing more to the side again. Saturday night, I did some Somatic exercises for the first time in awhile straight off Martha Peterson's basic DVD. When lying flat on the floor, I noticed that my right side had an arch in the lower back, but my left side was lying flat. After doing the DVD, I was much more balanced with an arch on both sides. However when I woke up the next morning  for the Freeze Your Buns race and tried my warmup, my left hip flexor was incredibly tight. As I ran, I found it hard to flex that hip and my glute and adductor tightened up so I was limping again for over 24 hours. My thought is that my hip was compensating again and the Somatics pulled the hip forward where the hip flexor now pulled tight.

I also developed a sore left side (still have it one week later). At first it was the glutes and lower back, then it went up my left side to the left shoulder blade area and it pulls on my spinal cord. Something isn't happy or is readjusting. As I ran through this week on the treadmill, I seemed to have to find my balance again. With the tight hip flexor, I just slowed things down about 1 mph on the treadnill. On Thursday, I noticed that when I was running and checking my form in the mirror, that if I pushed out my left big toe just a little bit my stride appeared much straighter and the my toe pointed down rather than to the side.

I decided that it was time to break out the Correct Toes that I had tried for awhile last Spring to see if they could help keep that big toe in position Here is the Correct Toes website that explains how they work. Injinji even makes socks to go with the Correct Toes. I found that after wearing the Correct Toes just for an hour or so that my toes become much more flexible. They are incredibly stiff most of the time. I hadn't worn the devices since the Spring.

I had used them for about a month and even ran 8 miles a couple of times with them. They go great in my Altra shoes. When I did the Muscle Activation Technique (M.A.T.) in the fall, my toes were greatly strengthened and my toes were spread apart again. In fact, I think the work on my feet were the best part of all the M.A.T. work. I told Greg (the M.A.T. guy)  that he needed to start marketing his work to the minimalist crowd who need work on the strength of their feet. With all the muscles and tendons in the foot, M.A.T. was the quick way to get more than even what the Correct Toes offer and without waiting for months for it to work. I think I will keep wearing them here and there just to keep my toes flexible and in a stronger position.

Each evening this week, I have been working on a workout from the Foundation DVD that had been missing in my house since the Spring. I had been using the book Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence but had been sticking primarily with Founder exercise in the evenings. Now with the DVD I was able to explore more variations on the Founder as well as new movements. I had no problems with any of the movements until last night when I did a DVD extra on a simple lying hip twist like this:

When I woke up this morning, I had the same tight hip flexor-instablilty problem that I had last week the morning after doing the Somatic exercises The Somatics included this exact same stretch. I am thinking that this is not a good stretch for me. It pulls the inside hip in right at the point where I keep getting a pinching feeling and it is hard to lift and hold up my left leg due to it feeling very weak at that point. I struggled again all day with this, but I did get my 8 mile run in to make it to a 30 mile week.  I guess it is good that I can start seeing the cause and effects of certain movements. If another labral tear person reads this, do you have the same problem with this type of stretch?


Sue Kliewer said...

Are you sure you don't have FAI (Femoral Acetabular Impingement)? Pinching in the front is a classic sign of impingement. I have bilateral FAI with labral tears, headed for sugery this spring. I can't do that stretch or anything that brings my legs up to my chest.

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Sue,
Good luck with your surgeries. It is a long road, but things will get better! I don't really know if I have FAI or not. My surgeon, from what I have read, doesn't work on the bone. Sometimes, with the pinching feeling, I think something is still wrong, but I am hoping it is just muscular or tight tendons. It has gotten better recently, but that stretch seems to bring it back out.