Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'll beat you some day!

This is a Christmas tree ornament one of my students made for me a few years ago. I had promised that if anyone in my class could beat my in the Santa Fund 5K that year, that I would not require them to do homework for the rest of the year. There were many hopefuls that year, but no one came anywhere close. One disappointed girl made this ornament to solidify her goals for some future day! I love it! For some reason, after nearly 30 years of teaching, I have never had a student or former student beat me in a race. That could change real soon. I had two of my fifth grade girls this year qualify for the Junior Olympic National Cross-Country Championship race last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Only one chose to go to the race, but with talent like that in my classroom, my unbeaten streak could end very soon, if I don't start getting my running going.

Here is my mileage for the past two weeks:
previous week:
Sunday: 0 miles
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday:0 miles
Wednesday: 2 miles
Thursday: 2 miles
Friday:  2 miles
Saturday: 2miles
total 12 miles

Last week:
Monday: 5 miles (first time over 4 miles since early September)
Tuesday: 0 miles-trigger point injections
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 0 miles
Sunday: 8 miles
total miles 23 miles- all in all a good with with my 4 longest runs since September

Last week I had an appointment with the physiatrist that I haven't seen since early Spring last year. My hip should not be this tight after surgery a year and one-half ago and I would like some ideas about what to do. Monday I ran 5 miles so I could tell the physiatrist where I was feeling the most problems in my hip. She thought the pinching was more from tight muscles and ligaments and did not think an MRI would show anything. She said that I should see the surgeon again to see if it is something in the hip joint or get another cortisone shot. He works inside the joint and she works outside the joint. She said my many of the muscles on the left side were really tight and offered more trigger-point injections. I had 4-6 sessions of these last year and they seemed to only help temporarily. I had already paid the copay and she offered to do them that day, so I got 8 or so shots. My left IT band got the most shots, as well as my quads and the adductors down by the knee. I also got a shot or two in my glutes near the outside of the hip. I iced up afterwards and drove home. The next day I felt good and did 5 miles and did the same the day after. I started feeling off on the last mile of that run and continued feeling off the rest of the week. Muscles were shifting again: loosening up and changing my alignment and my knee was even a bit sore and gimpy one day. By Sunday, I still wasn't feeling aligned, but threw caution to the wind and went for an 8 miler more for my mental sanity. The pinching in my adductors hasn't been as bad the last week and that could be from my exercising that area more or from the shots. I have started doing some light foam rolling to loosen things up, too. I survived the 8 miles, but like after the 5 milers, I am physically exhausted. I am not sure if it is tiredness from getting old and being out of shape, from my diet, or from my body just being exhausted from running with a new form and my muscles, tendons, and nervous system just being overworked in new ways.

The physiatrist may be right about tight muscles around the hip joint. They are just really slow to loosen since the surgery and for some reason stay chronically tight (maybe to protect things). They could then be pressing around the hip joint when I run and giving me that pinching feeling. So I am hoping I can slowly unravel the tightness. I have also started doing Coach Jay Johnson's Myrtl routine (Myrtle for the hip girdle) to try to get some more range of motion and strength into the muscles around the hip. When I run, I do feel good. There were points on the 5 and 8 milers where I was just gliding along in a pretty good balance and just enjoying the freedom of running again. It is when I stop that I feel horribly tired and things start to tighten up. Post 8 miles literally feels like a post 25 mile run. I have to lie down and rest and my muscles are just tight throughout the night. I am making progress. It is just slow. The Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) therapy has really helped the mechanics of my feet and ankles which helps everything else further up stream. I can feel most of my imbalance now in the back. We started working on my back, but I stopped a couple of weeks ago because of my hip. Maybe after Christmas, I can finish the work on my back.

After Thanksgiving, I also started eating a gluten-free diet. I started reading Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health about how the wheat we have been eating in the last 50 years is completely different than the wheat that people ate for centuries due to cross-breeding and hybridization of the wheat. The book gets into all the science of wheat, so I only made it halfway through, but I am convinced enough to try to get wheat out of my diet and to see what effects that can have. I am basically eating a low carb, gluten free diet similar to Tim Ferris' slow carb diet. At least it has gotten my motivated to eat healthier and to reduce the cravings for wheat and its byproducts. I am also seeing if getting off the wheat can help my feel less tired all the time.

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