Monday, April 27, 2009


It's hard to write about nothing. At least that's what I feel like I'm doing right now. Almost a month since my last real run and progress is slow but I think I may finally be on the long road to recovery.

Last Thursday I had an early morning physio session which involved the usual massage, acupuncture, ultra sound, recommendation to strengthen my abductors etc. I felt good afterwards so at lunchtime I went for a run. My previous runs were less than 3 miles long (at 8+ min pace) and in truth after 2 miles I was essentially walking. So I limited the run to 3 miles but I thought that I'd push the pace a bit. In all I averaged 7:20+ pace and largely without pain too. I wonder will I end up needing physio before every run - maybe...:)

Last weekend was spent at the beach with the family and despite some walks and stretching there was no running.

Today I was feeling good and the sun came out so as I togged off for my run I thought of going longer than 3 miles if there was no pain (obviously!!). Things went well. The ache that started before the 1 mile mark last week didn't come on until after the 2 mile mark and the soreness didn't start until 3.5miles. That's progress. In all I completed 4.25miles @ 7:25+ pace. No records but progress....

More physio tomorrow and hopefully another run beforehand.


Mike said...

Sorry to hear it's taking so long. Any guess from the therapist as to what the root cause is?

What you're describing - the 2 miles before discomfort, moving to 3-miles etc - that's EXACTLY what I went through in early '08 w/ the ITB injury that lasted for months. However, it wasn't until we discovered the root cause (superfeet inserts in my shoes) that I was able to get passed that point and really truly recover.

Since you didn't tweak it w/ a specific injury, I suspect that this is something that evolved slowly over time. It's clearly not minor - if it was, the week off would have cured it. So there must be some root cause that has built up over time and is now giving you problems.

I suspect that you'll need to figure out what is causing the discomfort and remedy it before you'll be able to get back to your normal schedule.

Best of luck! Hope you're feeling better soon.

Thomas said...

What is going on in Cork at the moment, all you guys are crooked. What did you do to each other?

Richard said...

I was in the same boat in April - September 2007. In the end it was a combination of weak biomechanics and Asics shoes. Since then I have become stronger, use new balance and unlike mike I always wear superfeet in my shoes (green ones). I also tape the perimeter of the foot with the low arch - I don't think it makes any difference be physio tape is cheaper than physiotherapist bills!

I was at the same point in June 2007. Walking was sore, then it was 1 mile jogs, then 2 milers and eventually up to 8 miles when it broke down again in August 2007. It finally came right in late september 2007, just in time for me to make a complete fool of myself in a marathon!

You're on the right (but frustrating) road to recovery.

bricey said...

Thanks guys for the advice etc.

Root cause aparently is weak abductors and other 'arse' muscles (note technical name!!) - probably from doing too much sitting around at a desk and not enough stretchning/exercises etc.... maybe I should get a more active job :)

It doesn't appear to be my IT band although I'm told that the symptoms are similar. I appear to be using the wrong muscles for flexing my hip and am putting strain on areas where there should be none. At least that was the hypothysis last week. I'll see what the physio says later today!!

Orthotics fixed my calf injury last year but hopefully the right programme of exercises will fix this problem. (as predicted by RICK in a previous comment!!)

Time will tell....

Mike said...

Brendan - when did you switch into the orthotics? Reason I ask is - your situation seems eerily similar to mine.

I started running in Sep-07. As I increased my mileage from zero I started to get some runners knee by November. I went to see a foot guy and he said that because I have very high arches and don't really pronate my feet were poor shock absorbers. I was already using a high cushioning shoe, so he recommended these "Superfeet" inserts that would provide further cushion. (they're similar to an orthotic)

Initially the results were great - the runners knee cleared up and I thought my problems were solved.

However, these inserts were causing another issue - they put extra pressure on the outside of my legs. This extra stress was so minor at first that I didn't notice anything. The stress built up for months until I started to feel some soreness by late January. I didn't think much of it, but my mid-February I was out of commission.

The physio helped me to run a mile or two longer before the pain started again - but it always came back. It wasn't until they called in the head guy at that place (because I wasn't improving enough) and he said - "get rid of the inserts" that things changed.

It's possible that your orthotics helped you in one area but have caused a slight change in your gait. This change may be causing a slight amount of stress that builds over time until the body can't handle it anymore.

Sorry this is so damn long - it's just that your situation seems so similar that I wonder if you don't have something like this going on.

Mike said...

Also - one physio guy was convinced that my problems stemmed from an imbalance I had as well. I didn't believe him, but his mis-diagnosis delayed things further.

When I decided to go back to the standard inserts, it was after a full week off and after some physio/massage to relieve the symptoms. I knew I felt good going into the run, and honestly if this didn't work I was ready to quit running permanently because I had tried what I thought was everything else for several months.

I went out for that run and surprisingly, I ran 3x longer than I was able to before w/ ZERO issues. Next day, the INSIDE of my legs were sore as hell! And that's when I knew for sure I was cured. The inserts although providing extra cushioning and initially helping me, were pushing too much stress to the outside of my legs. The fact that the inside of the legs were sore w/o the inserts showed me that the muscles on the inside of the legs weren't taking enough of the stress w/ the inserts.

Going back to the standard factory shoes got me back to where I was supposed to be and I've never had those problems again.

bricey said...

Wow that is a similar story. That coupled with our 'similar' running history is eerie!! :)

I've had the orthothics since Feb 08. Prior to that I had multiple calf injuries and as I wore Asics Kayano (high stability shoe) they were the recommended solution. I wear them on all training runs but not while racing (I thought that they may be too cumbersome in racing flats).

You may have a point - it's funny how the current problem is on the outside of my leg whereas the calf injuries were always on the inside. The physio definitely thinks that my glutes and abductors need strengthening and I wouldn't disagree as I've been bad a strengthening this area in recent 'years'. I think that I may stick with this approach for a while longer before I consider throwing out the orthotics (I don't want to get the calf injury back as that would mean at least 6 weeks or no running and rest!!)

The next physio session is on the 5th so I'll see how my runs go between now and then. Thanks for the pointer it's really appreciated.

Mike said...

Yeah - I'm not saying you have something similar to what I had, but there are enough similarities that I figured I'd share the story. (as long and drawn out as it is)

If you've been running w/ the orthos since Feb-08, I doubt that would be the problem - I imagine if it were, it would have shown up much sooner. For me it took only 2-3 months before the problems became visible. (although that's still a long time, and because of that, I never suspected the inserts as the root cause)

Hopefully you have something that isn't too serious and you can get back to 100% soon.