Monday, February 11, 2013

Exceeding Expectations

The last two weeks of running have been fantastic! Let's' just say, I think I have finally turned a corner. It has taken a lot of work beyond the hip surgery. I think the Muscle Activation work last fall was the big key. I knew that  it allowed me to balance my left foot on the ground without the first big toe joint giving way and sitting up in the air and I also knew that true tissue change takes a couple of months, so I was hoping to see some improvements happening even though I haven't been in for any therapy since Novemebr. I also think that the hip exercises I found last week finally pushed me to a place where my hips are in a more balanced and strong position.

Two weeks ago I was thrilled to hit 30 miles for the week. Here are the totals for the last two weeks:

Monday 1/28 0 miles
Tuesday 1/29 7 miles treadmill
Wednesday 1/30 7 miles treadmill (after getting the hip ebook and doing the exercises)
Thursday 1/31 7 miles treadmill
Friday 2/1 10 miles treadmill (2nd longest run since surgery 1 1/2 years ago)
Saturday 0 miles (felt great) Boston Indoor Games
Sunday 4 miles Freeze Your Buns #3 5K (fastest 5k post surgery despite snow on ground by about 10 second)

weekly miles: 35 miles, total miles for year: 111 miles, January total: 97 miles

Monday: 1/4 10 miles treadmill (still sore from race, hoped to do about 3 miles, but kept going)
One of my students from last year saw me stretching in class Tuesday morning and said. "Mr. Hansen, what are you doing?" OK maybe it looked awkward. I said I had run 10 miles the previous day and that was the only second time I did that due to my hip surgery. He said, "Mr. Hansen, You are exceeding expectations!" That is a line I had learned, tell my class to strive for that in all they do, and have it posted front and central in my classroom." I liked how he turned it back on me!
Tuesday: 1/5 10 miles treadmill (again only hoped to do about 3 miles, but kept going)
Wednesday 1/6 10 miles treadmill (by now bloody-due to my right knuckles hitting the control panels every once and awhile-still rotated wrong at times- but something special is happening- I can run and my hip is so much more balanced and my stride is smoothing out).
Thursday 1/7 10 miles treadmill
Friday 1/8 10 miles treadmill (wicked blisters between my toes seems to be the only problem I am having)
Saturday 1/9 11 miles treadmill (was going to take the day off  after lots of shoveling after the blizzard as I was a bit tired, then decided to run a couple of miles- did 10 and 1 more not to be in a rut)
Sunday 1/10 10 miles treadmill (OK held back a bit. I thought I may try 14 miles to also get my longest run in post surgery, but decided not to be greedy and to just enjoy completing a 70 mile week)
RUNNING ON A TREADMILL IS BORING! but it gets easier with practice.
Total miles for the week: 71 miles, Total miles for the year: 182 miles, February totals: 85 miles

And yes, I will back off now, but this week was for my head! Here is what I can report.
Last week was the first time since the mid 1980s that I could run and not be in some type of pain, discomfort, or twisted up in some way after a run (or even if I wasn't running-it made no difference). My hip was fine this week with no limping and both hips are starting to feel quite balanced as I run (still have work to do, but what an improvement). I still lack strength in my hip flexor (lifting my left leg up to put on socks or shoes, but I don't feel that running). I did maybe 5-10 minutes of the hip strengthening movements each day, and rolled out my legs with the Roll Recovery R8 device. This is so helpful and easy for the quads, hamstrings, and it bands. My quads have loosened up a great deal. My Hoka One One shoes are getting worn out and smelly, but they are such a key towards running without damage. They just roll nicely as I run. Over on Slowtwitch there has been a long thread going on about the Hoka One One shoes this week in reply to an article by Dan Empfield calling them, "...the most revolutionary thing to hit running since the waffle." Pro or con, it seems that lots of older long time beat up runners are finding new life running in these over-sized monstrosities. I am one of these. They are also a bit hit in the utlrarunning community. My third pair of Hoka One Ones should look like this, which is a big improvement over the colors on the ones I am wearing now.

OK they still look silly, but I don't care as long as they work for me.

I heard this song on my iPod last Friday when I was doing that first 10 miler on the treadmill. I am quoting words out of context, but these words jumped out at me as I ran and agreed:

"I feel better, now there's nothing wrong ...I got better, I got better, I got strong!"

and I still feel that way! and it feels great!

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