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What Went Wrong Before



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 22nd 07, 05:54 PM posted to rec.running
shinypenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 372
Default What Went Wrong Before

As I stated on the weekly thread, I'm depressed because I just spent
some time googling my own posts to rec.running over the years. Since I
no longer have my past running logs, my purpose was to see if I could
piece together my running history, and evaluate What Went Wrong with my
previous attempts to get back into running. Here's what I found:

October 2001 - April 2002:
After a layoff of three years, I ramped up my running and did way too
much, too fast, too soon. I was running 2-3 x's per week for 45 minutes
to an hour, and even went an hour and a half on one occasion. Also I
was running on hills all the time. Back then, I lived at the top of
Heartbreak Hill, so if you can imagine, each time I left my house I had
to run a long downhill, and then to return, run a long uphill. There
was very little flat running near my house. All this stupid
overeagerness and overconfidence led me to develop a stress fracture,
which led to a very long layoff.

Sept 2003 - Nov 2003
I started posting to rec.running again in Sep, but apparently had been
running for several months by then. I was smart enough to limit myself
to only 2 miles per day, but I was running 4-5 x's per week. My last
post before I dropped off the group again indicates that I had seen a
PT who didn't want me running any more than 6 miles per week, and who'd
also stated that maybe I should give up running altogether.

I did actually commit to PT at that time, but it didn't help. In fact,
things just got worse and worse for me and I eventually dropped out of
PT. I also stopped running altogether for all of 2004, 2005, and most
of 2006. I started a walking program in August 2006, started
interspersing short bouts of running, ran a 5K in October, then started
following the couch to 5K.

For comparison, right now I'm at about 7, 7.5 miles per week, running
only 3x's per week, up to 34 minutes each time now. So far, so good on
the injury front, although I have to say that since my Saturday run my
right hip has been awfully cranky. Which is why I started googling
myself.

Also it's been 7 weeks since I have been continuously running each
time, with no walking interspersed. Which means I am starting into the
dangerous weeks when beginners are most likely to injure themselves,
i.e., weeks 8-12.

Am I being overly conservative if I decide to plateau my program for
the next month at this level? Or maybe even go backwards a bit and
stick to 30 minutes x3, instead of 34 minutes?

jen

  #2  
Old January 22nd 07, 06:07 PM posted to rec.running
shinypenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 372
Default What Went Wrong Before


More input... I just tallied my weekly mileages (since completing
couch to 5K- includes only those weeks that I have been able to run
continuously):

week 1: 5.31
week 2: 8.09
week 3: 6.22
week 4: 5.86
week 5: 6.57
week 6: 7.06
week 7: 7.26

Week 2 was high because I ran 4 x's instead of 3. After that week, I
had concluded that my body isn't yet ready for 4x's a week, but maybe
it was the jump in mileage.

(Okay I don't need any trolls telling me that I'm not really a runner
because my mileage is so friggin' low... I know it is. I've been
keeping it low on purpose, until I can be strong enough not to incur
another injury!)

jen

  #3  
Old January 22nd 07, 07:50 PM posted to rec.running
D Stumpus
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Posts: 917
Default What Went Wrong Before


"shinypenny" wrote

...All this stupid
overeagerness and overconfidence led me to develop a stress fracture,
which led to a very long layoff.


Did you get a bone scan to rule out bone density problems? I've known a
couple of gals who got SF (stress fracture) and they had low bone density.
My wife took Fosamax to cure her problem (although she never got a SF), and
hers is now normal. Call me nuts, but I don't think running a few miles a
week causes SF's in normally strong bones...

Also, did you have ample warning? Did you run through it until disaster
struck?

For comparison, right now I'm at about 7, 7.5 miles per week, running
only 3x's per week, up to 34 minutes each time now. So far, so good on
the injury front, although I have to say that since my Saturday run my
right hip has been awfully cranky. Which is why I started googling
myself.


At the risk of sounding like a broken record:

a) make sure your bone density is good
b) listen to your body -- if you're hurting, stop, walk some, then try
resuming over a few days.
c) Don't use advil or other pain-killers, they can mask inflammation and
pain.

Am I being overly conservative if I decide to plateau my program for
the next month at this level? Or maybe even go backwards a bit and
stick to 30 minutes x3, instead of 34 minutes?


If aches or excessive fatigue are appearing, back off a bit for a week. My
cardinal rule is: never run in pain. If no aches, continue your gradual
ramp-up, interspersed with consolidation periods. Since the hip is cranky,
take a couple days off and re-test it. When aches/fatigue/illness get to
me, I walk some or all of my workout, just to get some kind of exercise fix.

Good luck,

Dan

-- Dan



--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

  #4  
Old January 22nd 07, 08:41 PM posted to rec.running
Charlie Pendejo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,788
Default What Went Wrong Before

shinypenny wrote:
Am I being overly conservative if I decide to plateau my program
for the next month at this level?


Nah, why rush it? As long as you're not eying some super rare racing
opportunity (e.g. Olympics) then it sure seems like, especially given
your history, there's no urgency and lots of need for patience and
caution.

I don't know anything about bone density but what Dan had to say sure
sounds reasonable to me. A stress fracture from around ten miles a
week doesn't sound typical.

To that end, you might also want to give extra special emphasis to
being in the absolute best shoes for you (but which school to follow:
the one which says you need the most protection - cushiony isolation
from the road and lots of support, or the minimalists who say less shoe
will improve your form, reduce pounding, and strengthen feet and legs?
I think ya pays your money and takes your choice and suspect the better
answer varies by individual).

And maybe check your running form. Are you pounding the ground or
skimming lightly over it? Is your cadence more like 180 steps per
minute (3 per second, e.g. left-right-left) or 150-160? Do you run
tall or slouch or have some quirks in your gait? Opinions vary on how
much you can positively influence your form, and whether you should
even try; my belief/experience is that at least some attention can be a
good thing. Have you read some of Ozzie's stuff in this group about
form?

  #5  
Old January 22nd 07, 09:26 PM posted to rec.running
Dot
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,791
Default What Went Wrong Before

First, I agree with everything that Dan said.

shinypenny wrote:
As I stated on the weekly thread, I'm depressed because I just spent
some time googling my own posts to rec.running over the years. Since I
no longer have my past running logs, my purpose was to see if I could
piece together my running history, and evaluate What Went Wrong with my
previous attempts to get back into running. Here's what I found:

October 2001 - April 2002:
After a layoff of three years, I ramped up my running and did way too
much, too fast, too soon. I was running 2-3 x's per week for 45 minutes
to an hour, and even went an hour and a half on one occasion. Also I
was running on hills all the time. Back then, I lived at the top of
Heartbreak Hill, so if you can imagine, each time I left my house I had
to run a long downhill, and then to return, run a long uphill.


A long downhill at the start without adequate warmup can be painful. I
live on the side of a small hill (but only way from my house is
downhill), and 99% of time I'll walk the downhill until I'm on the flat
(about 2 min). At the main trailhead I use, the main trails start with a
long downhill. I've been using the alternate trailhead that has a brief,
gentler downhill before hitting uphill.

Also, if you'd been using poor form or blasting the downhill, that can
contribute to injuries.


There
was very little flat running near my house. All this stupid
overeagerness and overconfidence led me to develop a stress fracture,
which led to a very long layoff.

Sept 2003 - Nov 2003
I started posting to rec.running again in Sep, but apparently had been
running for several months by then. I was smart enough to limit myself
to only 2 miles per day, but I was running 4-5 x's per week. My last
post before I dropped off the group again indicates that I had seen a
PT who didn't want me running any more than 6 miles per week, and who'd
also stated that maybe I should give up running altogether.

I did actually commit to PT at that time, but it didn't help. In fact,
things just got worse and worse for me and I eventually dropped out of
PT.


To me, this suggests the PT may have incorrectly diagnosed the problem
or wasn't providing the most appropriate rehab for you. My first PT on
my AT/PF was that way, and I was relieved that start of field season
gave me a reason not to go back. When it recurred a couple years later,
I had already been in contact with another PT - one who works with
runners - about a gait analysis. The recurrence happened about the same
time. He did an initial gait analysis and then later a full PT
evaluation. He found the cause of the AT problem, something my earlier
PT hadn't tried to find, as well as an assortment of other issues that
would be affecting my running and would've caused injuries before too
long if he hadn't identified those weaknesses. He works magic in my book.


I also stopped running altogether for all of 2004, 2005, and most
of 2006. I started a walking program in August 2006, started
interspersing short bouts of running, ran a 5K in October, then started
following the couch to 5K.

For comparison, right now I'm at about 7, 7.5 miles per week, running
only 3x's per week, up to 34 minutes each time now. So far, so good on
the injury front, although I have to say that since my Saturday run my
right hip has been awfully cranky. Which is why I started googling
myself.

Also it's been 7 weeks since I have been continuously running each
time, with no walking interspersed. Which means I am starting into the
dangerous weeks when beginners are most likely to injure themselves,
i.e., weeks 8-12.


While that may be true, beware of times beyond that also. I think that's
when people are starting to get more confident, and then overdo it.


Am I being overly conservative if I decide to plateau my program for
the next month at this level? Or maybe even go backwards a bit and
stick to 30 minutes x3, instead of 34 minutes?


You may have posted this, but are you running on the same route all the
time or mixing some things up with surfaces (asphalt, dirt, grass, snow,
whatever) and types of routes (flat/hilly, straight/twisty, etc).

As Dan said, listen to your body, and if you need to hold steady or back
up for a bit, then do. And this is something you always have to do - not
just as beginner. As you get stronger, your fitness changes and you can
tolerate more. Then's the time to add, but not before.

Have you had a gait analysis by someone who knows what they're doing? or
have any of your PT's done a full evaluation? What's going through my
mind is that certain soft tissue issues (weaknesses, imbalances, etc)
may lead to some gait issues that could be providing more shock on the
bones than normal running. (I'm not explaining that well, I know, but I
have read about fatigue in leg muscles toward end of long runs and not
keeping things aligned properly may lead to injury.)

Good luck.

FWIW, I spent years doing less than 10mpw (3 runs/wk x 3 mi/run=9mpw)
before I moved on.

Dot

--
"If we reach all our goals, we are not setting them high enough."
- Matt Carpenter

  #6  
Old January 22nd 07, 09:55 PM posted to rec.running
shinypenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 372
Default What Went Wrong Before


D Stumpus wrote:
"shinypenny" wrote

...All this stupid
overeagerness and overconfidence led me to develop a stress fracture,
which led to a very long layoff.


Did you get a bone scan to rule out bone density problems?


No.


I've known a
couple of gals who got SF (stress fracture) and they had low bone density.
My wife took Fosamax to cure her problem (although she never got a SF), and
hers is now normal. Call me nuts, but I don't think running a few miles a
week causes SF's in normally strong bones...

Also, did you have ample warning? Did you run through it until disaster
struck?


Yes, I tried to run through it. Even after I quit running, I was having
trouble sitting and walking for months afterwards. But to be perfectly
clear, it was long after this had healed that the PT, upon hearing what
happened - without any tests - suggested that it "sounded" like a
stress fracture. So who knows.


For comparison, right now I'm at about 7, 7.5 miles per week, running
only 3x's per week, up to 34 minutes each time now. So far, so good on
the injury front, although I have to say that since my Saturday run my
right hip has been awfully cranky. Which is why I started googling
myself.


At the risk of sounding like a broken record:

a) make sure your bone density is good
b) listen to your body -- if you're hurting, stop, walk some, then try
resuming over a few days.
c) Don't use advil or other pain-killers, they can mask inflammation and
pain.


Agree with all.

Am I being overly conservative if I decide to plateau my program for
the next month at this level? Or maybe even go backwards a bit and
stick to 30 minutes x3, instead of 34 minutes?


If aches or excessive fatigue are appearing, back off a bit for a week. My
cardinal rule is: never run in pain.


Agree. But I wouldn't really say I'm in pain right now. Just that my
hip is feeling a little wonky.

If no aches, continue your gradual
ramp-up, interspersed with consolidation periods. Since the hip is cranky,
take a couple days off and re-test it. When aches/fatigue/illness get to
me, I walk some or all of my workout, just to get some kind of exercise fix.


I went for a 30 min brisk walk today, and my hip actually feels a
little better.

jen

  #7  
Old January 22nd 07, 10:08 PM posted to rec.running
shinypenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 372
Default What Went Wrong Before


Charlie Pendejo wrote:
shinypenny wrote:
Am I being overly conservative if I decide to plateau my program
for the next month at this level?


Nah, why rush it? As long as you're not eying some super rare racing
opportunity (e.g. Olympics) then it sure seems like, especially given
your history, there's no urgency and lots of need for patience and
caution.

I don't know anything about bone density but what Dan had to say sure
sounds reasonable to me. A stress fracture from around ten miles a
week doesn't sound typical.


I mentioned in my response to Dan that it was a "suspected" SF. I'll
add that my wonky hip right now seems to be more of a muscle or
ligament thing, as far as I can tell.

To that end, you might also want to give extra special emphasis to
being in the absolute best shoes for you (but which school to follow:
the one which says you need the most protection - cushiony isolation
from the road and lots of support, or the minimalists who say less shoe
will improve your form, reduce pounding, and strengthen feet and legs?
I think ya pays your money and takes your choice and suspect the better
answer varies by individual).


On my to-do list is to go to a running store to have an official gait
analysis and shoe recommendation. I've got over 300 miles on my Asics
(most of that from walking, not running). I love Asics, but they give
out earlier than the usual 500 miles!

And maybe check your running form. Are you pounding the ground or
skimming lightly over it?


Somewhere in between! I don't really think I'm a pounder... but then
I'll see some runners past me who seem to be floating across the
pavement and not making a sound.

Is your cadence more like 180 steps per
minute (3 per second, e.g. left-right-left) or 150-160?


I'll have to check next time. But yeah, I've been making a
conscientious effort to increase my turnover, to take lots of small
steps instead of big strides. I find it is less stressful on my feet,
legs, psoas, hips, etc.


Do you run
tall or slouch


Definetly run tall. I pay a lot of attention to this - head up and
looking ahead on the path, shoulders back and down (relaxed), etc.
Because of my previous back problems.

or have some quirks in your gait?


It's hard to tell on my own. :-)

But my DH, who's watched me run but admittedly isn't any sort of
expert, says I don't run weird.

Opinions vary on how
much you can positively influence your form, and whether you should
even try; my belief/experience is that at least some attention can be a
good thing. Have you read some of Ozzie's stuff in this group about
form?


Links?

jen

  #8  
Old January 22nd 07, 10:39 PM posted to rec.running
shinypenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 372
Default What Went Wrong Before


Dot wrote:

A long downhill at the start without adequate warmup can be painful. I
live on the side of a small hill (but only way from my house is
downhill), and 99% of time I'll walk the downhill until I'm on the flat
(about 2 min). At the main trailhead I use, the main trails start with a
long downhill. I've been using the alternate trailhead that has a brief,
gentler downhill before hitting uphill.

Also, if you'd been using poor form or blasting the downhill, that can
contribute to injuries.


I'm sure that was a big contributing factor, back then. This time
around, I've avoided hills as much as possible, although it's true the
last two weeks I've been doing my asphalt loop but it's not as hilly as
where I used to live. It starts out flat for about 0.7 miles, then
there's a gradual, fairly gentle incline for another 0.7 miles. Then I
turn around.

On alternating days, I go a different route to mix it up, it goes more
like: gradual decline for first 0.5, very steep incline for 0.3 (which
I walk), gradual incline for 0.3, then 0.7 decline, then 0.7 flat.

When I hit the trail, it's completely flat - it's a 1.5 mile circle
around a reservoir, and I'll alternate directions. I should make more
of an effort to work the trail into my schedule this week. Probably
kinder on my body, not just because of the surface, but because it's
flat.


To me, this suggests the PT may have incorrectly diagnosed the problem
or wasn't providing the most appropriate rehab for you.


It was most definetly the wrong rehab for me. Way too much
concentration on flexion exercises, for one thing. One day I realized
I'd completey lost the natural rounding in my lower back - press my
back against the wall, and my spine was flat against it. So I stopped
going to the PT and, after doing some research on the web, started
doing McKenzie exercises on my own, and that's what eventually cured
me.

With that said, I have since seen a different PT that I did like, and
if I have problems again, will go back to.

While that may be true, beware of times beyond that also. I think that's
when people are starting to get more confident, and then overdo it.


Oh great. :-)

I think it's going to help that I've finally recorded all this into a
log, to see patterns.


You may have posted this, but are you running on the same route all the
time or mixing some things up with surfaces (asphalt, dirt, grass, snow,
whatever) and types of routes (flat/hilly, straight/twisty, etc).


See above.


As Dan said, listen to your body, and if you need to hold steady or back
up for a bit, then do. And this is something you always have to do - not
just as beginner. As you get stronger, your fitness changes and you can
tolerate more. Then's the time to add, but not before.

Have you had a gait analysis by someone who knows what they're doing?


No, but I want to. If anyone's in the Boston area and can make
recommendations, please do.

or
have any of your PT's done a full evaluation? What's going through my
mind is that certain soft tissue issues (weaknesses, imbalances, etc)
may lead to some gait issues that could be providing more shock on the
bones than normal running. (I'm not explaining that well, I know, but I
have read about fatigue in leg muscles toward end of long runs and not
keeping things aligned properly may lead to injury.)


Yes, two PT's did evaluations. I have a leg-length discrepancy. The
first PT told me to always wear a lift. The second said the discrepancy
was minor and functional, and I didn't need a lift. Both told me that
my back muscles are not weak at all... in fact, they may be overly
strong (compensating). The first PT really stressed core strength. The
second PT didn't get into that. The first PT had me doing flexion
exercises and the second said that the fact the McKenzie exercises
cured me told him a lot... but I'm not sure what... it was just one
visit. Mind you, both PT's were seeing me for back issues, not hip
issues.... because it starts with the piriformis/hip issues, but it was
the eventual (and related) back issues that created the debilitating
pain.

The reason it was only one visit - I was having a reoccurence only days
before going on a vacation. An odd thing happened on the vacation... it
cleared right up. I think this was because I was doing the McKenzie
exercises and walking everywhere all day long. I haven't had a
reoccurence since that time. I should probably go see the PT before I
break again... instead of waiting until after I've broken.

Good luck.

FWIW, I spent years doing less than 10mpw (3 runs/wk x 3 mi/run=9mpw)
before I moved on.


Yeah, I might be wise to stay around the under 10 mile range for
awhile. Maybe for a full year. Which makes me just a "fitness runner,"
huh?

jen

  #9  
Old January 22nd 07, 11:22 PM posted to rec.running
Al Bundy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 402
Default What Went Wrong Before


shinypenny wrote:
As I stated on the weekly thread, I'm depressed because I just spent
some time googling my own posts to rec.running over the years. Since I
no longer have my past running logs, my purpose was to see if I could
piece together my running history, and evaluate What Went Wrong with my
previous attempts to get back into running. Here's what I found:

I know it's tough, but sometimes reality actually plays a part in our
lives, our athletic lives included. Everybody is not cut out to run
long distances or at all. Some of us can run all day long and run right
through the injuries. A true stress fracture should take 2-3 weeks for
a full running return. After reading your abbreviated history, my
opinion is that you would benefit from a strong walking-only program.
You could go further and longer without injury. You might even end up
going faster per mile. If you are exercising for health purposes,
consistency is the key factor. You can't be taking 2-3 years of here or
there for injuries or because somebody tells you to do so. Figure out
what you can do on an ongoing basis and stick to it. Adjust downward if
it doesn't work, but don't give up the ship.

  #10  
Old January 22nd 07, 11:54 PM posted to rec.running
shinypenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 372
Default What Went Wrong Before


Al Bundy wrote:
shinypenny wrote:
As I stated on the weekly thread, I'm depressed because I just spent
some time googling my own posts to rec.running over the years. Since I
no longer have my past running logs, my purpose was to see if I could
piece together my running history, and evaluate What Went Wrong with my
previous attempts to get back into running. Here's what I found:

I know it's tough, but sometimes reality actually plays a part in our
lives, our athletic lives included. Everybody is not cut out to run
long distances or at all. Some of us can run all day long and run right
through the injuries. A true stress fracture should take 2-3 weeks for
a full running return.


Cites? I think I've read that it takes much, much longer than that.

After reading your abbreviated history, my
opinion is that you would benefit from a strong walking-only program.
You could go further and longer without injury. You might even end up
going faster per mile. If you are exercising for health purposes,
consistency is the key factor. You can't be taking 2-3 years of here or
there for injuries or because somebody tells you to do so. Figure out
what you can do on an ongoing basis and stick to it. Adjust downward if
it doesn't work, but don't give up the ship.


Well, the googling only tells part of the story - the part *after* I
discovered usenet.

I managed to run for years with no problems at all, and that includes
training for distances and competing in 5Ks, 10K's and a 10-miler. The
farthest I've run during that injury-free stretch was 13 miles in
training. At that point I was routinely running 45 minutes 4-5 times a
week, with a long run on the weekends, without any problems. I stopped
NOT because of an injury, but because of personal stuff (I went through
a messy divorce and chose for a time to concentrate on my kids, who
were quite young, instead of exercising.... and also I was re-starting
my career. I had my hands full). It was only in 2002, after a few years
of no running, that I jumped back into it too fast too soon, suffered
an injury, and started this whole cycle.

So I'm not yet convinced that I need to just hang it up. I think I just
need to stay at this level for a long while.

jen

 




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