Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Am I Just Getting Old??

I had hopes of running in the Med City Half Marathon on May 30th--and I registered for it a long time ago.  However, back in the Fetzer 20k I was feeling some serious pain in the left outer knee area (see HERE for recap).  Well, that pain is still bothering me.  The whole race (Fetzer) I was worried about my right hip which never did bother me during the race.  Little did I know I was causing my left ITB to flare up--well I did figure that out during the race at about mile 8.  Anyway, the ITB problem has NOT gone away.  The right hip has subsided--the first couple seconds of a stretch hurts and is tight, but then its fine.  Now its left ITB.  What the...!  However, I can run about 20-25 minutes before the pain kicks in.  I can run 6 minute miles, or 10 minute miles--doesn't matter.  The faster the better though.  I figured that out by trial and error by accident and assumed it had something to do with how long your foot is in contact with the ground--that is only possibly part of the problem.  It has to do with cadence and stride mechanics.  I've read that much in a couple different articles. Here's a section from an article that explains it a bit:

"...A number of studies including the Stanford University and Australian Institute of Sport investigations found that faster running is less likely to cause or aggravate ITBS because at foot strike the knee is flexed beyond the angle at which friction occurs. Can you adjust your stride to avoid that angle even when running more slowly? In many cases you can by avoiding over striding. When you over stride your foot strike is in front of your body and your knee is less flexed. Your foot strike should always be directly under your center of gravity with more flexed knee. Not only is that type of foot strike more efficient and economical but you will avoid ITBS and other repetitive motion injuries.

Another possible reason that faster running is less likely to cause ITBS is associated with ground time. When you run faster your ground contact time decreases. Less ground contact time can mean less stress on your ITB because you "spring" off your foot more quickly and less leg abduction takes place. When you run concentrate on dorsi flexing your foot so that you are able to use your muscle elasticity with greater efficiency and decrease both your ground contact time and the stress on your ITB." FULL ARTICLE

So anyway...  I was going to do the 1/2 this weekend, but have now decided that if I am going to run in a Med City event this weekend, it will be the 5k.  I have done 5k's in under 20 minutes so maybe if I'm feeling it, I can go for a PR.  Who knows.

Something good could come out of this--when I contacted the race director with my request to switch events, I was sent a promo from them.  It a free pre-race assessment at ActivePT and Sports Physical Therapy.  Their Rochester location happens to be in the Rochester Athletic Club so I am going to take advantage of that--my appointment is Friday at 7am.  The more info and advice I can get from professionals, the better.

Back to the topic post... Am I just getting older?  I have this theory that I have one injury that just goes away and comes up later.  Right hamstring tendon damage in 2008 which turned into right ITBS.  After that went under ground it resurfaces as right hip insertion tendonopathy in 2009.  Now, just as that is going away it is coming back as left ITBS.  The other theory is that I am getting old--I am 40-44 this year (that's how we disclose our age, not by a number, but a racing Age Group range).

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