Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poor biomechanicals

This past October 19th, I was running along, continuing to prepare for World 100k by doing a planned warm-up into track interval session. I didn’t trip or fall or slip or slide, yet I did walk off the track that afternoon with very heavy sore legs and an idea I had somehow tweaked my left hamstring.

In a former post I spoke of the mystery of it and disappointment of withdrawing from participating with Team USA. In the meantime I have sought assistance in determining what happened and how to get better from Dr. Ryan Woods, DC and Greg Blais PT of Mountain Physical Therapy in Asheville.  I have thus far avoided having an MRI as it has been my experience, that unless I have had an obvious mechanism of injury (falling on rocks to micro fracture my kneecap) that an MRI doesn’t seem to serve ready answers. An MRI may yet be in my future, yet I have some things to work on first.

Greg working with me on posture at Mountain Physical Therapy
I first saw Dr Woods about a week after the above incident. He did some Graston on my ITB and hamstring and determined through muscle testing that my left glute was not engaging and my SI joint, for lack of better description wasn’t happy. Instead of getting better, I got worse. When I asked her, Anne Lundblad recommended the fine folks at Mountain Physical Therapy in Asheville. Though 2.5 hours is a long way to go for an appointment, I trust Anne’s recommendations, and have been really pleased so far.

A summary of what I have learned:
1. Left glute max and medius not engaging. To pick up the slack, hamstrings and hip flexors are overworked.
2. I have terrible pelvic tilt and control-caused by muscle groups not doing their proper jobs. This leads to big time ITB issues.

Though I’d dealt with ITB issues on and off since June, I wasn’t overly concerned. As for the rest of it, it seems my body was doing an excellent job compensating and the last “straw” was a track interval!
Me being goofy demonstrating good form. Notice stable pelvis.
Still being goofy showing loss of control with balance leg.Notice how outside of leg creates stress on knee and ITB!

I am now doing all sorts of posture/balance exercises to strengthen and retrain muscles to do their jobs. I am not land running yet. Pool running, swimming (breast stroke, not freestyle as the flutter kick invokes hamstring discomfort), elliptical and cycling and trail hiking with poles are my fitness choices right now. I am having some results with the exercises and finally can start to tell I am gaining more glute strength and pelvic control.

This was on the white board in the PT's office on the day of my 2nd appointment
I hope to ward off something like this from happening again by rethinking my training. This past year, reading for Worlds, I ran 6-7 days a week most weeks and 75% more road and pavement and “speed” than ever before. In the past, with trail running as a focus I think I had a stronger core and was more agile all around. I don’t have a real plan-yet clearly something needs to be different!

I’ll continue to share as I progress and learn things!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beach!

Edge of the World at Folly Beach, SC
I have had 2 visits with my new PT concerning my “nix the 100k injury/biomechanical”. I am doing  exercises and have an idea of what is plaguing me and am working my best to deal with what is wrong and what to do! I will post next time on my findings and prognosis for what is going on.

 Yet for this past weekend at least for most of each day, I did not dwell on what wasn’t possible, but on new adventures!

After I realized I couldn’t compete, I withdrew from the team. Bummer. George was bummed for me too, yet I think he was more bummed not to have 5 days post race romping around Spain. So...we decided to schedule something we could look forward to…  After getting cleared from our jobs, we took an extra day from Veteran’s Day Weekend and made a 4 day with our destination being the Atlantic Ocean!

George on the SUP board. (I tried it too and promptly fell in!)
Since I am more high maintenance than usual (can not run and must swim/ elliptical/bike instead) we chose a resort with a great fitness and swim center that had a great deal going on AND it was as easy drive from downtown Charleston, SC. We had a kitchen and Internet and a fitness center and pool at the Wild Dunes on Isle of Palms, SC…plus we got a great rate ‘cause we were a 4 minute walk (brisk) to the ocean and not overlooking it!

The resort is known for golf and tennis… I can hardly tell the difference and George is recreationally skilled with both…Yet our focus would be on “downtowning, fresh fish eating and bike riding and swimming in the heated pool”.
Right after a great ride on a warm day

We certainly were not the typical resort visitors. We had the Toyota Echo with our bikes on top and it seemed the majority of the other vehicles were Audi, Mercedes or Lexus. I was barefoot and in flips most of the time whereas many of the other women were in heels if they weren’t in golf outfits.

We  really had a great time...Though I wasn't took psyched falling into a chilly creek while padding the SUP board for the first time...yet it did get much easier with practice!
Me, still wet after taking a digger...yet intrigued by this crazy new sport!
You can't get fish tacos in the NC mountains!

A sighting in downtown..
We spent lots of time in the mild outdoors and also did a Downtown Charleston Pub Tour-an organized event where we were "guided" to different bars and learned history along the way. A very different and entertaining experience.

It was great to spend quality time with George and with the beach...even the 5.5 hour drives down and back were fun, listening to each others music and anticipating our arrival (there and home!)

Monday, November 1, 2010


My uniform gets to stay in the box this year.
The following is an email I sent to Team USA last night:

Hello almost-teammates!

I have to withdraw from the race. Huge bummer and very unexpected. I am hurt.
In a nutshell: Under the supreme tutelage of Howard Nippert up 'till
10 days ago I was running faster and stronger than ever before....
(thank you Howard)....

Yet out of nowhere during a track workout on 10/19...Things started to
go downhill. At first I thought it a silly tweak and switched land
running to pool running for a few days....didn't help. I have visited
my PT and 2 chiropractors and we have yet to determine the issue...

A week later, I had not improved (gotten worse, sadly) and limp my way
through a 4.5 mile "run",  and despite my prayers (and begging) to the
universe I am unable to really run. So this morning I emailed Lin and
Timo and Lion (I emailed them last week as a "heads up" ..yet not
really expecting to have to withdraw), and did pull out. (And emailed
again this am, withdrawing...)

I wanted you to hear of my exit from me, rather than someone else.

(If any of you have "pull" with the greater powers of the universe and
can influence the mysterious limitations....I will beg re-admittance
to the team and see you in Gibraltar...)
...I know, wishful thinking...yet what the heck to put it out there?

I really wish for all of you success in the way you all personally
define it and  I hope you all meet on your own possibilities  and I
wish you all patience, passion and the "dorsal fin" at opportune
times... and bring home a USA medal!  I'll be cheering and
channeling enthusiasm from afar!


I'll post more when I know more.