Monday, April 25, 2011

Crystal City 5K: the race that wasn't

It all started Thursday morning, when I got back in the pool for my first pool run in a few weeks.  Everything felt fine, and I had an amazing swim afterwards.  Later in the afternoon I noticed that my hip flexor and psoas on the bad side were tight, and my back was hurting.  I measured myself and my SI joint was out of alignment.  It took two tries to get it back in alignment, and it ached the rest of the day.  I stretched and released my psoas, but it still felt tight.


Friday morning I took it very easy - just a short ride - but my back was still aching.  I measured myself again after the ride, and I was out of alignment again.  Over the past 5 weeks, I've been measuring myself often.  At first I was out every day.  Then every other day, then every few days, and I've gotten down to only having to adjust myself every week or so as my body has gotten better at holding things in place.  So to be out 3 times in 24 hours was perplexing. I adjusted myself back in and went about my day, still planning to lightly jog the 5K that night.  But as the day went on, I started to have pain right in the SI joint, and it wasn't getting better.  About an hour before the race, I measured and I was WAY out of alignment, again.  I adjusted myself back in, but that plus the torrential downpour made me nix the race.  Jogging a 5K isn't a huge goal of mine right now, but being able to complete my 70.3 is, and it was an easy decision.


On Saturday, I did a long easy ride and then a short run afterwards.  I still have the ache in my back when I run, but my SI wasn't hurting, and when I got home and measured, I was still in alignment.  My theory (I have a lot of theories) is that pool running irritated my hip flexors, and in turn, my TFL/glute got tight and pulled everything out of whack (this is a very scientific theory).  So despite the fact that I actually love pool running as a supplement to land running, I think I'm going to leave it out for a few more weeks.  Right now it feels like I have no idea how to run. I'm pretty sure my body is both trying to run the "old" way (glutes not working, hip flexors doing twice as much work) and the "new" way (things working properly) at the same time, which is why things feel so weird, and trying to teach it how to pool run properly on top of this isn't what my body needs right now.  If I didn't have a 70.3 in a few weeks, I'd actually lay off the running entirely until my glutes were stronger and my muscle memory had improved, but I don't think I'm hurting anything with my 2-3 mile easy runs right now (and they are officially sanctioned by my PT).  It's just going to take a while for my body to learn new muscle patterns and how to use the right muscles at the right time.


And speaking of a long ride...  
You know the feeling you get, when you get new shoes and go run in them, and you realize how crappy and worn out your old shoes were because your feet feel so happy and bouncy and amazing?  That happened to my crotch this weekend.  I've been wearing (and washing!) one pair of bike shorts over and over this month, and I finally bought a second pair last week.  I wore them for the first time on Saturday, and holy happy crotchtown!  


And finally, a 30 days of biking update.  It's been a while!  I missed two days while in Boston, but I've had lots of double days this month and even a few triple days, so it doesn't count, according to me.


Day 15: 5.3 miles to the local bike shop and back.
Day 18: 3.5 miles on a pretty junky stationary bike.
Day 19: 22.1 awesome tempo miles on a flooded Haines Point.
Day 20: 13 bike commute miles to & from work, the "from" miles particularly hot.
Day 21: 5.3 recovery miles on tired brick'd legs.
Day 22: 7.7 more recovery miles on still wiped-out legs, but a beautiful sunrise.
Day 23: 45 miles with the happiest of hooters!
Day 24: 10 easy recovery miles on a gorgeous DC morning.
How was your weekend?  Is your crotch fat and happy like mine?  Are you excited for 30 days of biking to be over so I stop talking about my crotch (unlikely)?


Don't forget to enter my Road ID giveaway this week!  

23 comments:

  1. I love how many bike miles you're getting this month!

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  2. Fat and happy crotches sounds really gross to me. I guess I don't like the word crotch, although hoo-ha is ok. I'm glad you've worked your way up to TWO bike shorts, seeing as you bike like everyday. :-)

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  3. Glad you invested in the new shorts! It would have been nice to see you at the 5K but it sounds like you made the smart decision.

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  4. I didn't know bike shorts would get worn out, but that makes perfect sense. Especially when someone bikes as much as you do! I think you are being very smart about pool running - even if you are not sure exactly what is going on scientifically you know what is hurting or not hurting you.

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  5. Yay for happy crotches! New bike shorts do make all the difference. I'm planning to invest in a couple of pairs this summer myself--mine are ancient!

    How do you pop your own SI joint back into place? That's pretty handy that you can do it.

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  6. It sounds like passing on the 5k was the right move. I really hate letting bibs/race entry fees go to waste but sometimes it's necessary. You look so happy on your bike! I need to channel your love of cycling, I suck at it!

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  7. "Holy happy crotchtown" - That might be my favorite line ever!

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  8. Since I have been paying $48 a visit for someone ELSE to adjust me, I'd love to know the self-adjusting technique. What are you measuring? What are you popping?

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  9. Way to go on the bike - maybe you can give me a few lessons now that I have signed up for a tri and have never competed on a bike before! yikes.

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  10. how did you transition from the "old way" of running to the "new way"? even though you had to skip the 5k i think it's great that you're still keeping your big goal in mind! :)

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  11. Good call skipping the 5k. There is no need to be messing with things that aren't necessary right now. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you my dear and so glad you are having good rides, swims, and shorter runs. <3

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  12. I'm happy for you and your crotch. :)

    Excellent cycling!

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  13. all i have to say is your your facial expressions are fantastic!:-) hope you are feeling better sooooon!

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  14. Yes, you need to host a How-To Happy Hour to showcase and educate on this glute activation and self-adjustment and happy crotches.

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  15. Yup - I've experienced some of the same issues with pool-running. It's wonderful for many things, but there are a few things it can definitely aggravate.

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  16. how do you readjust yourself???? that sounds terrifying! my crotch is not so happy....thinking i need to invest in some chamois stuff so i can have a happy crotch and booty too!

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  17. Great job with all your cycling! and our matching purple jersey :) I just got a new pair of shorts last week and can't wait to wear them on my ride tomorrow.

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  18. I'm glad your crotch is happy again! It deserves some new gear after all of the biking you've been doing. I'm impressed by your ability to readjust yourself and take photos of yourself while biking!

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  19. Is my crotch fat and happy? No real good answer to that question ...

    Good call skipping the 5K. If you're banged up, running one of those hard can do you in. Running 3.1 miles easy isn't much of a workout and you would have been tempted to turn on the jets (well, I would have been).

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  20. i love how aware and in tune with your body you are. all the measuring and aligning. way to take charge and stop a problem before it starts!

    great job on the running/riding/swimming. you are going to be in TOP form come 70.3 :)

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  21. Way to make the most of the one thing you CAN do ... and way to prioritize your goals! I'm considering skipping the Earth Day 5K this weekend for the same reason, and I've gotta believe we'll be rewarded for our restraint when it really matters.

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  22. How do you engage the glutes when you're running? Is it something you do beforehand? I sometimes do some dynamic stretches before I run, would something like that do it? I noticed post marathon that the muscle group that didn't hurt at all was my arse, and that can't be right...

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  23. I can only imagine how you're "measuring" and "realigning" your back - it does not sound fun. Stick to the easy out-of-water runs if thats what works, the pool isn't going anywhere ;)

    Great bike pics!! That bridge + monument pic spurred a big wave of DC-homesickness, so beautiful.

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