Monday, April 23, 2018

Kinda' Back Into "Training" Mode

Hello Runners!

First - man is Des tough or what?!  Taking down Boston for the US.  That's two in a row for the US women (Shalane in NY).

Now on to more boring MY running is going.....

For the first time since August I've been able to put in a couple weeks of consistent running and I'm not feeling ANY pain in the pelvic floor / psoas / hip flexor area.  It's kind of weird, actually, to have no pain.  It's been so long, I got used to it.  I'm now going to officially call all the ancillary work "prehab" instead of "rehab".

This can be a dangerous time for me.  Because....I have the tendency to ramp my running volume back up too quickly and add workouts too soon.  I also have the tendency to stop doing what helped me recover from my injuries; namely specific strength exercises and lots of stretching / yoga type work EVERY day.

Keeping up with the stretching and other ancillary work will get more difficult as my mileage goes up, but I don't always allow enough time in my day to run increase the duration and do all the "prehab" work.  I need to make the conscious decision every day to prioritize the prehab and cut the runs short as needed instead of the other way around.

So far, I've kept the mileage increases to only a few miles a week.  My weekly mileage progression the last month has been 23 / 27 / 30 / 35.  This week I noticed my Friday Easy run wasn't feeling so....easy.  So, I skipped the Saturday Long Run and did an easy run on Sunday, my mileage dropped to about 30 for the week.   Building in these "cut back" weeks is also a new part of my training.  It's difficult for me to cut back when I don't "feel" like I need it....but I think it will help keep me healthy going forward.

From a workout perspective, I've been doing progression runs by feel once a week for a few weeks.  This week I did a workout of 5 x (5' @ 7:00 pace / 3' @ 8:15 pace) as part of a 7 mile run.  It felt good to get the legs moving, heart thumping, and the feeling of lactic acid building up.  My paces are way down from what they were last year at this time, but that will come around as long as I can continue to slowly build my fitness back up.

I'm also moving more and more of my runs from the TM to outside.  I'm "stable" enough now that I can handle the undulations / uneven surfaces without causing any pain.  I'm also pretty sure a small slip on mud / water here or there won't set me back.

All in all.....feeling good about this "running" thing again.  Still keeping my mindset at "cautiously optimistic" lest I fall back into my old habits.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Recovering With Pelvic Floor Exercises

Hello fellow Runners.


Long time since I posted here....

Well....finally feel like I'm recovering from my injuries.  Looks like the "root cause" is pelvic floor tightness / injury.  I've gone from PT to urologist to PT....and finally to a pelvic floor PT specialist that is a runner.  I've finally received treatment that is working...and working pretty quickly.  To the point that now my runs are limited to aerobic fitness, not pain in all the wrong places. 

I won't go into specifics here on what pelvic floor tightness / injury means exactly.  Most people don't discuss it, except women after childbirth (Gwen Jorgensen recently mentioned pelvic floor exercises / strength contributing to her fast recovery from childbirth).  Men NEVER talk about it....and I get it.  Men - if you have pain below the belt line and it's not your hip flexors, and your PT is stumped, find a specialist.  I've been told by this PT that it's common in older men (I'm 50) that are athletic to have my issues (I'll take it a compliment).

I've been steadily progressing with my running.  25 and 27 miles last couple of weeks and planned 30 miles this week...woo hoo!  I've even been able to do some "progression" runs, and might even try a proper workout in the next week or two.  I've gotten my "long run" up to about 8 miles as well. 

I'm doing specific pelvic floor exercises (including "how" I breathe and my "non-running" posture), and stretching twice a day.  But, if that's what it takes, then that's what I'll do.  I'm scared to death that I'm going to slip on a wet or uneven surface, and re-injure most of my runs are on a treadmill, only running outside in perfect conditions.

My running form is quite different now than it was last September when I started this long journey of injury and false recovery.  A running gate analysis from September and now shows I'm much more upright, hips farther forward, arms lower and back, and landing my foot more under my body.  All good things, I've been told.  But this change also means I'm using muscles differently - my calves in particular are more sore, I think because I'm landing now somewhere between mid-foot and the balls of my feet (is that the same thing?) instead of a slight heel strike.  Another reason to TAKE IT SLOW on building mileage and adding speed work.


Monday, February 5, 2018

Running With No "Walk Breaks" - Woohoo!

Hello Runners.

Another week down; another week making progress on my injury recovery.

About a month ago - after three months of no running, my PT "allowed" my first "run".  That run was 8 repeats of (30 seconds of running with 30 second walk breaks).  Every other day since then, I've VERY gradually increased the running part of that formula while keeping the walk breaks to 30 seconds.

Tuesday this week I did 3 repeats of 15:00 running with 30 second walk breaks, and then FINALLY on Thursday I ran 40:00 straight.  Two things I noticed after my 40 minute run.  #1 - my injuries held up (some minor "soreness", but stretching/rolling afterward solved it).  #2 - I'm out of shape.  Not complaining at all.  I can actually run now - that's the most important thing - but I hadn't realized how much those short walk breaks were me out aerobically.

Second "achievement" this week.  I ran TWO days in a row (Saturday AND Sunday).  I cut the Saturday run down to 30 minutes, then did 50 minutes on Sunday, for my "long run".

Still stretching and rolling every day, and doing hip and core strength following every run.

Next week's plan is to run Tu / Th / Sa / Su again.  As always, as soon as I feel any setback in the injuries I stop and re-evaluate.  All runs still on the treadmill....the consistent footing and no incline/decline is what I need right now.  Plus, on the treadmill I'm MUCH more likely to STOP as soon as any of the wrong kind of pain pops up.  If I were on the road, I might still try to "run home" no matter how much I had left...I don't trust myself to walk it in if I needed to.

This week I ran about 20 miles on 4 runs.  A long way from my prior 60 miles weeks.  But, also a long way from 0 miles in all of December.

Not out of the woods with my injury yet, but feeling cautiously more confident that I will be soon.

- Onward

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Pubic Symphysis - What Is That?

Hello Runners,

Well, this week has been a sort of "good news / bad news" injury-wise.....

As the title of this article would lead you to believe - I've "found" another underlying injury which I'm now dealing with.  Apparently, our pubic bone (lower front abdomen) doesn't "quite" connect in the center of our body.  We have cartilage there called the pubic symphysis.  And...apparently...this cartilage can get irritated and cause issues.  Official names, based on each individual case / severity is "Pubic symphysis diathesis or "Osteitis Pubius".  Pic below:

 Those little red spots are where the pubic bone from each side ends.  Between these spots is the cartilage, which for now irritated/damaged.  Google says this happens when extra stress is placed on the cartilage from other muscles being too tight and pulling on it when...for instance...RUNNING.  Other cause sited is "instability", but in my case I think my tight quads and hips along with extra mid-section "twisting" with my old running style is the culprit.

My PT says now that I've solved my other injuries (psoas/iliopsoas tendon/tight quads, etc.) we now have to deal with this injury.  So...progress?  Yes, but I'm not out of the woods, and still very fragile.

It really flared up after running outside last Sunday on a dirt trail that still had some mud on it.  Running on the trail required some "side to side" movement and stabilization that I haven't needed so far in my recovery which has been on the treadmill only.

Luckily I already had an appt with the sports doc the following day.  He took a look, did an ultrasound, found the spot, and give me a prolo injection.  I tell you what....that shit REALLY hurt!  I was almost crying, but I would never tell him to stop...I need this to get better, and a little injection is not going to stop me.  Within about 10 minutes of the injection it was already feeling better...this is because the prolo injection also has Lidocaine in it, a pain reliever.  I was running on the treadmill at the office a few minutes later and it felt fine.

My prescription was to keep running every other day on the treadmill, and do the specific strength exercises I've been given (hip / core work).

So far...this has been working and I've been slowly increasing my runs.  I'm basically doing 40' of easy running with 30 second walk breaks every so often. 

The walk breaks do two things:
  • Gives me a chance to fully "check-in" on how I'm feeling.  If something hurts more than it should / is getting worse, then I STOP.
  • Aerobically / strength-wise is also gives me a break.  I'm WAY out of shape and my new running form focusing more on core stabilization which can get tiring (since this is new to me).  So, it gives me a break and help make sure I keep my form for the WHOLE run.
  • Three runs this week.  With each run I've extended the "run intervals" from 6:00 to 10:00; walking 30 seconds between.
    • Today I added an additional 5' to the end for a total of 45' running.  Whoo hoo!