Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hopefully Back In The Saddle

Crossing the finish line at the Colfax Marathon, ready to turn the page
One of my character strengths, that can also at times be a weakness, is that I'm an "all or nothing" type of guy.  There is basically very little middle ground with me.  This serves me well when it comes to a "stick-to-it" and "get the job done" attitude, but unfortunately it makes me a little closed-minded on some issues.  (But as I get older, I seem to notice a lot of that fading away)

And when it comes to working out, this "all or nothing" approach is also often conflicted.  If I'm feeling healthy and things are good in my life, I absolutely kill it in my workouts and diet.  I'm focused on every facet of training and really get in great shape.  But if I lose focus from an injury or life distraction, I can go off the rails fairly quickly.  And usually if there's an issue in my running, I have trouble maintaining the other areas of training, like consistent core work and good eating habits.  Before long, I'm overweight, under-trained, and out of shape.

After about 16 years of running, and almost 7 years of racing, I've really haven't had many injuries slow me down.  Sure, I've had little aches and pains along way.  Light IT Band issues, minor knee soreness or tightness, small bouts with Plantar Fasciitis, and some periodic aching in the upper hamstring and lower glute have all been occasional distractions, but for the most part I've been able to "run through  them".  However, the hip bursitis that I experienced this Spring after the Phoenix Marathon is probably the single biggest running issue I've dealt with to date.  And while I was able to run through it for the most part, it really slowed me down.

Most of the aches and pains I've experienced have been specifically muscle related.  This meant that after a little slow running or warming up, the affected muscle seemed to loosen up a little, and I could complete the workout at a normal pace or distance.  But the hip bursitis was different.  I felt it at the top of my femur, where it inserts into the hip, and with every stride, it seemed to get worse.  It drastically slowed, and shortened workouts, and literally cut my running in half.  It was so frustrating.  And for some deep seeded psychological reason, I'm sure, when my running slowed and at times came to a halt ... so did my diet and core work.  I basically eliminated most of my core work, and ate like crap.  And in no time at all, I was out of peak shape. In the words of Ron Burgundy, "That escalated quickly!"

But I think I'm finally over the hump and ready to tackle summer training.  The hip is still a little tight, mainly from being a little weaker than normal, but it really feels much better.  I'll spend quite a bit of time strengthening it again with supplementary workouts, and start slowly.  But with the improved hip health, I seem to be eating better ... and holy cow, I've actually completed three core workouts this week.  So hopefully I'm back on track and can train for some fast upcoming fall races. Staying healthy is obviously the key.  I'll keep you posted.  Have a great week.
... Be Great Today!


  1. It's good to hear that things are improving. Injuries can be so frustrating - especially when they hang around for a while.

  2. Good news. Staying focused when you have an injury is well-nigh impossible!

  3. Stay motivated Jim. Looks like you have a fairly full schedule, but definitely give yourself time to get 100% over the hip injury. You can sense what is best, but if it continues to linger, it may hold you up for the rest of the year. I know I am pretty much like you when it comes to injuries and running. Although when I get injured I try to do anything to get my endorphin fix. Bah, I even did 2 - 3 months of pool running (it is like watching paint dry).

    Glad to see that you are back at the core work. That small addition to my training regime has paid some nice dividends for me.

    Good luck at this weekend's race. It will be interesting to see how you do.


  4. Congrats on finishing the marathon...may your hip continue to heal!
    Mountain biking and some nice 1 hour + lap swim workouts between the running will do
    wonders for the joints and the running...also, a great product for sour runner's stomach;
    "Lily of The Desert, Aloe Herbal Stomach Formula", it works like magic!
    Good luck with all your running and racing.


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