Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Gettin my arse in gear

Well, it's been a long time since I posted. I guess an explanation is in order. I did all that physical therapy and wasn't getting any better. Still stuck at 25 miles per week after 6 months at $320 month worth of visits. I was disgusted.

 I went to Ukraine and quit doing the PT....and immediately started running better. The first 2 weeks I ran every other or every 3rd day. Each run was around an hour. My knees hurt. The 3rd week my fitness started coming around and I began to run every other day for an hour to an hour 15. Then the last week I was there I decided to jump into a 1/2 marathon and go really hard. I ended up running 1:21. I was pretty happy with that. I ran the first 6 at 6:20's and tried coming back in 6:10's but I died the last 2 miles. Then I got home and sort of fizzled out.

 I figured my good running in Ukraine was due to residual fitness from the PT, so I started doing the PT on my own again. I immediately started running like crap, got disgusted and quit for a while. Recently I've been working myself silly at work. Like for me....really silly. Finding myself sitting at the computer at 10:30 at night and that sort of thing. Plus my trips to Ohio where I work myself silly. Got into some fights with my wife because I was overworking myself and the money was getting spent just as fast as I was gathering it. I said some mean things I regret. It was clear my work was getting the better of me. We took a weekend away in West Virginia and I had to work nearly the entire Saturday we were there. Then I had a talk with my boss about a week later because she asked for some reports I'd already done a dozen times. Doing them again would have provided no further value and would have caused me to work over the Thanksgiving holiday. I told her I needed to either tell her to fuck off right now or I was going to go cubicle to cubicle the next day and tell everyone to fuck off. We decided on me not doing the reports. I'm not sure it was much of a resume building moment.

Decided if I was going to be working so much I better get off my ass and start running again. I needed some bit of something during my day. Started off with the PT exercises and running 5k on the treadmill. First day I ran 19:50 easy cheesy. Then as I did more of the PT exercises I was struggling to run 21:50. Then struggling to run more than 3 times a week. I was about to give up and go back to riding, but it was cold as hell outside.

 One night sitting at my computer I got to googling and found (or think I found, my answer). The article talked about how no matter what the knee issue the physical therapists generally prescribe a certain set of hip exercises. Then it went on to say that those are all fine and well....UNLESS...the person has an hyper-active TFL. I got to googling hyper-active TFL...and found out it is very common with high mileage cyclists who do high volumes of climbing where their leaned far forward and using a lot of their TFL in a shortened position. Ok, makes sense...so what to do about it? Spent another few hours googling exercises that get the Glute Medius and Glute Max without triggering the TFL. I only found one that works for me....

The problem with that is that there is really no way to add weight to make it harder.  I started out doing 30 on each side.  After 2 weeks I'm up to 200 on each side. But I'm finding that now that my glute is activated (and if I smash the daylights out of my TFL doing myofacial release daily using a softball) that I can do a few others now without my TFL firing. 

Anyways, after about 3 days I was able to go from running 9 miles a week to 25.  Nothing really to brag about...but damn.  Progress :-)

Last week I ran my most in recent memory.  4,6,4, off, 4,6, 5 mile race.  I was hung-over and with only 3hrs sleep.  So it wasn't anything spectacular (got beat by a 60yr old and 2 women).  But I got out the door, pinned on a number....and I don't hurt.  Let's hope 2017 I finally beat this thing.

Here are the results...I used to be embarrassed by an effort like this...but I'm just so happy to be running that I don't give a diddly doo what anybody thinks.


Happy New Years!