Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shaking things up a bit

My running hasn't been going well. I got a knot or tear in my calf while running in Hawaii two weeks ago. I ran on it last Monday and at 4 miles out it starting hurting again and I had to limp the 4 miles back. I didn't run until Sunday. I almost made 4 miles on the treadmill and stopped as soon as it tightened up, yesterday it tightened up before I completed 2 miles. This is the 5Th time in a little over a year that the right calf has created a problem. It is the second time in a couple of months. The last time it was the inside part of the calf, this time it is the outer side. I am being as patient as I can be, but I do miss running and getting back into shape (particularly with all the nice weather).

In the meantime I have been doing a little more work with kettlebells, clubbells, and joint mobility work. I was a bit too frustrated last night after the less than two mile run. Before the run I even did a new DVD workout from Scott Sonnen called "Flow Fit". I was feeling good all around but the calf just hadn't healed yet. I had been thinking that maybe my feet might be contributing some to my problems, but I don't want to go the prescibed orthotic route. I have spent good money before with not real positive results. So I headed out and found a 3/4 length orthotic from Soft Sol. I tried it in my shoe and it felt lightly supportive and it didn't take up much space so I decided to buy it.

My thinking it that my feet do pronate and my right heel has been giving me some problems and that my be related to the right calf. I also think through years of running the muscles and ligaments in my feet have become lax. The orthotics made my foot feel more stable and straight. I wore them while teaching today and they felt fine so I decided to try them running (usually not a good idea- I know). I tried a new warmup routine and decided to try a 4 mile run outdoors. My calf was fine for 2 miles and then it tightened up but I managed to keep running on it. I noticed my hips felt more imbalanced while trying to get used to the orthotics, but no harm seemed to be done so I will continue the experiment.

I did try some orthotic type devices by Aline last year after a few months using the Posture Control insoles (they would burn up my feet- too many blisters). The Aline devices felt OK but they were too bulky for running so I stopped using them. I honestly don't think orthotics will help the funky way my left leg works but it may serve as a distraction for awhile until I can get up and running again.

While I was out I stopped at the Barnes and Noble book store. I saw a newly released copy of Eric Cressey's "Maximum Strength". It was co written with Matt Fitzgerald who wrote "Brain Training for Runners". I had looked at Eric Cressey's information before because he has a DVD called "Magnificent Mobility" which is another joint mobility program. I am in no way interested in the weight programs and have no access to the types of weights and machines pictured in the book. I am also doing kettlebell training to work on strength. I did buy the book to take a closer look at the "Warm Ups" section and the "Foundation" phase. The warm up section had foam roller work or tennis ball soft tissue , stretching, and mobility drills. I did the drills before my run today. I particularly liked using the foam roller again, and the Glute/Piriformis work with the tennis ball. I used my trigger-point massage ball instead. The twist that I liked was instead of just putting the ball under your glute and piriformis muscle you take the right foot and cross it over the left leg. This put a lot more targeted pressure where I wanted it and it was easier to find the tight spots. I also used the trigger-point massage ball on my calf muscles and this targeted my knots more directly than when I use the trigger point roller. There were some other drills that made sense for me and so made the book purchase worthwhile. I can also read about getting stronger but don't anticipate turning into anything resembling a muscular athlete anytime soon!

Tomorrow is track practice and I will have to miss a third weekly workout in a row for which I not too happy.

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