I haven't posted here for a few weeks....my (non-running) life got really busy and I've been hurt. Haven't really had much to say regarding running, except that I've been injured and not getting better.
Rehab Update -
So, yeah - my big plans for a Fall marathon under 3:00 has gone up in smoke, thanks to a bad glute med that has refused to heal. I feel like I'm finally making progress though....but it's been a meandering road to get there. Below are more details than anybody would probably want, but maybe it will help another runner who is injured....
- August 20 - I stupidly race the Leesburg 20k, and my right glute med which is already not 100%, completely gives up and I have to walk 5 miles back to the start. Since then, can't run more than 2-3 miles before it starts hurting.
- August 22 - Sept 6 - I go to a local (non-running specific) sports PT who performs ART and Dry Needling for a few sessions.
- After each session I'm told "go for a run and see if it's better". It never was.
- I get depressed and don't do anything for a week, thinking that will cure it. It didn't.
- All the extra strength work I was doing didn't help.
- Over a month after I got injured I had my first appointment with "Fast Track Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, LLC". They are an endurance athlete specialist - (runner, cyclists, swimmer, tri-athletes.)
- I held off going to them because it's a long drive from my house (close to DC), and they are expensive. However, in the two sessions I've had so far, I've learned more about my running than I have in the past 2 years.
- First visit (Sept 25) - Full evaluation of my injury and my flexibility with exercises and gauges and various geometry tools employed. Found out....
- I have very bad flexibility in my calves (dorsiflexion), and hamstring, and TFL.
- Strength is okay, but flexibility in my ankles is probably why I've gotten calf strains and to a lesser extent Achilles pain in the past.
- Confirmation - glute med is the culprit.
- Various weaknesses identified.
- I'm given specific strength work and flexibility work to do twice daily.
- I do them....religiously.
- Second visit (Sept 28) - running evaluation.
- I bring in two pair of running shoes and I'm videotaped running indoor on a treadmill and outside in the parking log. I'm sure when I see the video I will look just like Kipchoge, or maybe Mo Farah. Either would be fine. Nope. Here's the full list of my flaws:
- My hips drop more than ideal from side to side - putting pressure on my...glute med!
- My pelvis is tilted forward (kind of semi-squat position) - so I can't use my glutes major when running. Probably because of tight TFL and weak lower abs.
- I over-stride: typical over-stride, not a lot - but a little too far out in front of my body - good for that wonderful "braking" effect it creates.
- Interesting side note - when wearing Kinvara's I slightly heel landed.
- When wearing Nike Streak 6 more of a mid-foot, flat foot landing...
- I over pronate - due to my tight calves I can't "dorsiflex" enough so I compensate by over pronating (I have pretty high arches, so I was sure I wasn't doing this).
- My arm swing is high and tight and across my body. Not the best pattern. Lower and more forward and back is better.
- Besides that, all is good! (I did have a 180 cadence, so yay for that).
- I was given a lower ab strength exercise and a different glute med exercise to add to what was prescribed on my first visit.
- Instructions: DO all your exercises, DON'T run for two weeks. Bike or swim only.
- Next week, the work starts to fix my ailing butt and the long list of "form" errors. I'll be doing drills at their location (so they can correct me) and they'll be working on my glute med to it back in order.
I don't know how much running form can be "fixed". But I sure as hell am going to try! I'm also realizing I'm not as strong I think I am. I've been doing some exercises incorrectly, and not targeting lower abs / glute med as much as I thought.....