Friday, October 28, 2011

Coming Back

Hi Everyone! I’m back from my little hiatus from blogging. The past few months have not been the most positive for me in terms of running, which led to a lack of enthusiasm when it comes to writing all about it. Well, let’s catch up, huh?

Last I left off I was leaving for Daegu for the World Champs. While I was there my running was on a downhill slide due to a small hip issue I got just before I left.  I assume that the long travel from Flagstaff to Daegu aggravated my hip a lot because once I got there, I wasn’t able to run a step without at least a little bit of discomfort in my hip. I tried to think nothing of it because it didn’t seem to bother me the faster I was running, so I was still looking forward to the race. Unfortunately, I was a lot worse off than I knew, and I struggled and limped through the entire marathon. A bad day thanks to a bum hip.

I found out once I got back to Phoenix and saw our team Chiropractor, John Ball, that my hip joint was displaced due to the muscles and tissues in the hip complex tightening and locking up on me. That’s the best, uneducated explanation I can give on the subject. I had to take 3 whole weeks off of running, which if you know me is pretty much unheard of, since in the past nine years I have probably only taken off 5 weeks total (John says that this was part of the problem).

After taking 3 weeks off I tried running again. I ran 4 miles a couple times and things had not gotten any better, my hip still felt uncomfortable and I had a significant limp. So, in addition to seeing John Ball in Phoenix I started seeing another chiropractor, Kim Wilkens, in Flagstaff and focusing all my massage time on my hip, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings. It was also time for me to start getting into some sort of fitness, so I went to the gym and used the elliptical for the first time in my life, which sucked. I also rode the stationary bike, which was fine.

During week 5 post-marathon I started running 5 days a week on the Alter G treadmill, running 4-7 miles at 70-80% body weight. This was enough that I was able to run without pain and without a limp, so as boring as it was, it was nice to be running again. I continued this process, with a long bike ride over the weekend during the team’s long runs, for 2 weeks.

Finally, after 7 weeks of being a gimp, John, Kim, and Stephanie got me to the point where I could run on land without pain and without a limp. I still took things slow and every other day I alternated running on land and running on the Alter G. Now, I’m 4 days into week 8 and have run 6-10 miles on land pain-free and without a limp each day. I am excited to be running again with the team and cannot wait to start into my marathon training for the trials. Only 10 weeks to go...yay!


  1. I am so sorry to hear that. I knew the race did not go according to plan but I had no idea about the hip! I am glad it seems better now and hope it all goes smooth until the trials! It's good to see you on the track at TRF. All you fast guys watching and helping out sure inspires us to run faster!

  2. Nick, sorry to hear about the hiccup in your training. Hope everything goes well in your trials prep. I'll be watching! Good luck!

  3. Rachel, Carmel IndianaOctober 29, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    While I hate to hear you were injured, it's nice to know you are human and that even elite athletes struggle sometimes. So glad you're recovered and can't wait to hear about the trials!!! You are a rock star!

  4. You may know about trigger points already, but if you don't they will loosen up your hips. The best thing is that you can do it yourself. I stumbled onto it this year and am much more flexible. Google trigger point therapy workbook and go from there. you don't need the fancy marketing one that cost over 100 bucks and has silly tools. I got the workbook on amazon along with a thera cane to get at my psoas. Its allowed me to really get into running after tightening up my hips from years of bike racing. Ask your massage person or chiro to show you the psoas attachment (its hard to get to but worth it) also your tensor fascia. Good luck with the trials. I enjoy the blog.

  5. Snick who cares about running? Lets start a ponzi scheme to get enough funds to buy the Dodgers!

  6. Sarah, Jaspy, Rachel; Thanks, I feel like I'm fully recovered from the injury. Now it time to get in shape!

    David; I'm not certain what type of therapy John uses on me. After looking up trigger point therapy on google, I would say that this is not quite the technique he uses. Although it does involve him putting a lot of (painful) pressure in every tender spot around my hip, he also flexes and releases the muscle he is putting pressure on. It is similar to active release therapy (which Kim uses) but more focused on root causes of pain rather than focus on where the pain is currently. Stephanie and Kim have both worked on my psoas muscle as well. I feel with a combination of their efforts that things are falling back into place nicely. Thanks for the message and recommendations!

    Anon; You know you care about running a little bit, come on...I can tell. As for getting a ponzi scheme going, Heck Yes! Free Dodger Dogs for life!