Friday, February 27, 2009

A Great Day of Running on the Cape!

I went down to Cape Cod to visit my parents for a couple of days. After arriving on Thursday I put on my running gear and headed out for a run. My hips were feeling good so I started thinking that I might do more than the 5 miles I had planned. My parents live in Falmouth, right off the road at about the 18.5 mile mark of the Cape Cod Marathon (which makes for a great place to quit the race on a bad day!). I headed out on the marathon course and ran about two miles to Woods Hole. That is where the course joins together with about 200th yard of the Falmouth Road Race course. I ran the route of both races and hit Nobska Lighthouse, where my wife and daughters were enjoying the afternoon, so my daughter took a picture (if you know the course, you will note that I did turn around for the photo to get the lighthouse in the picture). Since I was feeling so good and the weather was perfect for running I kept going and did the whole Falmouth Road Race course. Then I kept going down to Little Pond and back up through Falmouth Heights to run by the house I grew up in on Lake Leamon Road. So many things have changed. My old style Cape house has doubled in size with additions and a huge garage. I ran through my old neighborhood and headed back to my parents house. It was a great run. I ended up doing a little more than 14 miles. I felt energetic and was never tired the whole way. My hips weren't perfect but they weren't painful or stuck in bad positions. It was one of those rare wonderful days where everything falls together.

Things are coming together in many ways and I hope it is a good sign for a good running year. Last year was my worst year ever so any improvement will be welcomed.

I have now completed four weeks on the Warrior Diet. Basically I am eating healthy foods and leaving out the processed or sugary foods. I have lost some weight but I feel I am fueling myself so much better. In the four weeks I have only had two cookies and two bowls of ice cream. I used to eat more than that most days! I did my 14 mile run in the afternoon, after only drinking a protein drink for breakfast, eating some fruit and cheese for lunch, and a Balance Bar before the run.

My hips and back have been the best they have been in over 25 years. That is no lie! However they feel great when I am not running and just walking or sitting. I am still working on getting them balanced for running. At the beginning of the year I started doing a leg press against my own resistance of my arms. This seems to put the hips and pelvis back into some balance. A couple of weeks ago I made up my own stretch that hits the point where my pelvis connects to the sacrum. Sometimes when I do this right it does some magical realigning. I am still experimenting with it but when things back there start tightening up it relieves a lot of my symptoms. I can walk and sit and not have the pains in my hips and psoas that have bothered me daily since about 1983 when I started doing triathlons! It has also relieved the tension and tightnesses in my legs. I think I am finally learning how to get my hips and pelvis back into alignment. When that happens the muscles throughout my body no longer have to react and compensate.

I did get a couple of DVDs that I had ordered this week. The doctor calls what many people have the Malalignment Syndrome. I have watched most of the DVDs and I like the explanations of different pelvic rotations: inflare/outflare, forward/backwards rotations, and upslip/downslip. The DVD shows you how to assess yourself as well as how to correct these rotations through Muscle Energy Techniques, Contract/Relax, and traction. I haven't tried the remedies yet, but I did note that one of the techniques is exactly what I have been doing on my own since January. Now I know why it seems to work. The DVDs are very educational as I understand things and terms a whole lot better now. I will review the DVDs at a later date after I have tried the techniques.

It has taken many years, but as my wife noted after my long run, things are improving. She said that this was the first time I have been able to ride in a car for a couple of hours and get out and run. Usually my back is so sore from the car ride and I have to stretch or try to do something to feel "right" before a run and usually I can never get to that point. All that I had to do on Thursday was put on my shoes and head out the door!

I also noticed that Emily's (my daughter) camera had some great pictures of the Falmouth Mile men's and women's races last summer that she took. I will put a few up here. Nice Job, Emily!

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