Monday, July 18, 2011

another monday mashup

So, just like every athlete that gets pregnant signs up for an Ironman, I'm going to promise to try REALLY HARD to not only talk about the 140.6M baby I'm planning on delivering next June.  We all know how that goes.  But I think you should be safe for the next 6 minutes months or so.


I'm still in my self-imposed super rest period.  Last week was pretty easy, although I did have two quality running workouts for the first time in weeks (instead of the usual one or zero).  On Friday morning I went back to tempo.  Even though I only did 2x1 mile, it was still awesome to be back, especially since the CAR blog mafia was there in full attendance.  However, despite the fact that I love the morning workouts, particularly in the summer, I think I'm going to have to flip back to the Thursday night tempo so Friday can be an easy day (this is what I did in National Half training).  On Saturday morning, I woke up with a very upset stomach (which I'm sure had nothing to do with the enormous amount of candy I consumed Friday night while watching Harry Potter), but I still suited up and headed out for my ride.  Less than 3 miles out, I turned around and headed back home.  I had a late night both Thursday and Friday nights and a grumpy tummy plus being extra tired was not going to make for a good ride.  I ended up going back to sleep for several hours and then taking a second nap later that afternoon.  If there's going to be a time when I get to blow off a major weekend workout, it's now, but it's also good to learn that my body isn't a fan of the quality workout on Friday.  When I'm in half-IM (and likely IM) training, I don't think that I'll be doing 2 tough speed running workouts a week, so it might not be an issue, or maybe after a few weeks my body will adjust, or maybe if it ever cools the eff down I might not want to die all the time, but I was shocked at how tired I was, especially since I did a very shortened version of the Friday workout.  


I've got another week of taking it easy before I start easing into Poconos 70.3 training.  I'm not using an extremely complicated color-coded plan this time.  I did make a giant spreadsheet, but that was more for me to work weekend events (Reston, Philly Half, Dad is visiting, etc.) into my training and to make sure that I was planning my long runs and rides so that I would peak and recover at the correct times.  Other than the weekends, I've been living in the swim-bike-run rotation long enough that I'll be able to sit down at the beginning of each week and roughly figure out what I need to do.  I am also not building in a certain day as rest every week (ALWAYS REST THURSDAY OR ELSEEEEE), but instead will take rest days as needed throughout the cycle.  I think this works better for me because if I have a rest day scheduled, I'm more likely to push through workouts for several days and dig myself deeper in a fatigue hole than to just take the day off that I need immediately and move forward.  


And, running.  I think I'm finally starting to see some concrete progress.  Two weeks ago at PT, he Graston'd my piriformis/glute med/random butt muscles.  It hurt like crazy for a few days but made a huge and noticeable difference in that the tightness I have been chronically feeling went away completely for the first time in months.  Last Wednesday when I went back, he could put his elbow through all of my butt muscles and almost out the front of my pelvis with no tightness or knots anywhere (this is a first).  So then he Graston'd my iliacus and psoas.  It was tender to the touch for about 3 days, but it loosened up my hip quite a bit.  I think I might need one more round of Graston on these because these are still a bit tight, but it's a ridiculous and significant improvement over what's been going on.


I noticed a few weeks ago that as I was running faster (roughly sub-8:30 pace), my form was going all to hell which was resulting in pain as things started compensating.  At tempo on Friday morning, I did 2x1 mile (roughly 7:53, 7:49 - I don't exactly remember and am too lazy to look it up).  The first mile I held my form really well and felt fantastic - no pain in my butt or hip at all.  The second mile I started to fall apart a bit in the third lap, and felt a tiny bit of tightness afterwards as I cooled down, but I came home, foam rolled, iced and stretched and it felt fine later in the day.  


I'm really glad that I've learned how to see the cause and effect relationship between form and pain.  It's been a very interesting ride through PT this time.  He could clearly see that I needed to figure out how to activate and strengthen my glutes right off the bat, but it's taken a lot of careful attention to form while running to carry that over - and I still don't think I'm there yet.  I've been concentrating on keeping my hips directly under me, keeping my shoulders back and my upper body upright (I tend to crunch over at the waist, especially when I'm fatigued, which sends my hips back which turns off my glutes which starts to piss off my psoas which yanks on my piriformis which pulls my SI joint out of alignment.  Did you follow that?)  Yesterday morning I ran 8 miles, the longest I've run since Kinetic.  It was a miserable run - hot, humid, no shade on my route (I know, that was stupid), I ran out of water at mile 3 and then choked on a bug at mile 4 which made me hork up most of the water that had gone in, and I had to stop and walk every mile or so on the way back because I was overheating and my HR was going crazy.  But when I got home, I realized that I had been able to hold good form for almost the entire run, and there was no tightness in my butt or hip.  It was an awful run, one of the worst I've had in quite a while, but it was also the longest pain-free run I've had in a a long time - a milestone.  I used to think that I should just run and let my body figure it out, but now I'm changing my tune (actually, 4 injuries in as many years is changing my tune).  Fixing my form is what's going to get me to the starting line of all these huge things I have planned, so I will focus on it every moment of every run until my body has learned how to do things correctly.  


How was your weekend?  Have you ever had to fix your form, or am I the only one with a ridiculous mess of a body?

14 comments:

  1. I'm guessing that if I ever wanted to actually ran, god forbid, faster, i'd have to do a bit of form tweaking. Biggest change i've made since starting 2 years ago was the usual stride shortening and trying not to hunch over. Looking forward to vicarious IM training. good luck!

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  2. I am working on my form right now. I found a fantastic biomechanical run rehabilitation specialist (now, how is *that* for a job title?!) and after 2 sessions am feeling way more comfortable - and faster. I'll do anything for speed and injury free status. Well, almost anything ;-)

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  3. I ran 8.5 miles this weekend but on Saturday morning when it was cooler and on a shady trail. I have never really tried to change my form. I realized though that when I had random pains, my body would compensate and then other stuff would hurt as a result. I had to take a few months off from running a while back when my hip was injured because it was causing pains in my oppposite shin. Luckily rest was all that was necessary.

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  4. My form is an ongoing work in progress. There are definitely subtle things that I need to be focusing on (tilt my pelvis correctly, fire my glutes, relax my shoulders and open my collar bones).

    I actually have been trying to ignore the splits in my workouts (until after the fact, when I log them), and just focus on holding what feels like the correct effort level while staying relaxed and keeping good form. Seems to have been working!

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  5. I really like your idea of taking rest days as you need them instead of being wedded to a specific day. Smart training plan!

    Sounds like you are really paying attention to your form and you are seeing serious results. Hurrah!

    Hilarious account of your crappy 8 mile heat and bug run. I love you.

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  6. I'm sure mine sucks. I have no clue how to change it, however, and am not knowledgeable to try to do it myself.

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  7. Gah, that run sounds kind of terrible. The sun was extra super strong on Sunday. I must have had about 40 oz (water, not beer) on the run to prevent passing out. You'll get 'em next week, tiger!

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  8. I'm glad all of your form work and PT seem to be paying off! 8 miles is about where I've been maxing out recently which is fine except when I realize that I have to start marathon training in about 2 weeks. Oops. Are you still liking the Brooks? I'm thinking maybe I should test them out!

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  9. Good to know I'm not the only one who learns the "hard" way that too many difficult workouts in a week never lends to a happy bod ;) The lessons I've taken in over the past month or so have actually helped me mold my MCm training plan a lot though - so, you're always smarter because of these things! And adding sleep to the bank never hurts.

    As for the running form, suffice to say many runners probably SHOULD change it (myself likely included), but rarely do. Take it as a stroke of luck that you have someone helping you out ;)

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  10. I turned around very early on my long run yesterday, just wasn't feeling it. Congrats on getting through it and keeping the form, I have to remind myself of my form on easy days too!

    I was thinking that last week - that I've seen you more at the workouts since you started your rest! :)

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  11. I have not worried about my form TOO much, although my high school coach would always yell at me to stop shuffling my feet (he called it the 'Erin shuffle'), but now that my foot is sprained, I keep thinking I will hve to focus on it more, because I probate a lot and when I do I cam feel it pulling on the outside tendons of me foot, i.e. The ones that are sprained now.:(

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  12. still getting to the "oh yeah, form" part of running - but thanks to you I clench my butt a lot more while running. I'm pretty sure thats wrong, but it reminds me of you and your lazy ass muscles :)

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  13. I've never fixed form because of an injury (but I'm sure I'll have to some day). The absolute best thing I've implemented in my running was keeping my elbows bent at 90 degrees - never higher. It totally relaxes my whole body head to toe. Love it!

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  14. I had to read this 3 times before I finally realized that you're not pregnant. I'm jet lagged and sleep deprived so forgive me. Good job on improving your form, can't wait to see you next month!

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