Tuesday, March 27, 2012

By7 is back !

how sweet can be to lose a sprint !!!

I suppose very few people kept this blog in their RSS feeder... so I will hope someone will read these notes...

After my last post cum race, I simply did not run for 3 months.
My left foot was always numb and painful and I was really struggling with the tight right hamstring and glutes.

I went through the usual cycle of denial, depression , acceptance, etc but honestly speaking, I would not bet a dime that I could have resumed running.

Most of all, the left foot was really painful at times and nobody could figure out the right course of action (for sure not my orthopedist).

My physiotherapist assumed that it was a kind of compensating injury related to the poor working of the right butt, but this was also something not sure...
So little by little I got accustomed to the idea that my running career could be over and it was time to stick to cycling only.
For 3 months I cycled and took time to do glutes activation excercises .
It was true that I never realized that basically I was not using the right glute in a proper way. All the motion was coming from the hamstring with a swing back/forward of the leg without a proper knee lift.
Also the right hip/glutes were (and still are) much tighter than the right one and with poor range of motion...

Why ? since it has always been that way (right side tighter), I could not assume it was because of "sedentary life" or "accident" or  "too much time in front of PC", etc.
So I made X-rays plus leg length measurement and it come out something that I always suspected: because of the right left shorter by about 9-10mm, the right side was not really working in the right way.
There are many different opinions on if and how correct leg length discrepancy, but for me, it was a no-brainer that it might have been an important factor... also at the point where I was, it was worthy anyway to change something...

So I added a full-lenght 3mm lift on all right shoes and kept on pedaling and doing glute activation exercises.

By end January, the left foot was no more painful and I went for a couple of jogs...
Well, actually I was forced to run because we went on holidays, so I was without bicycle for  10 days, which left me with running as the only way to make some exercise.

Honestly speaking, from that moment, it went much faster than I suspected... I was not really struggling a lot to keep 4'20"-4'30" pace and I kept alternating cycling and running.
Now... to keep a good stride and activate the glutes properly, slugging around at 5'/k is as negative as running "too fast"... so I basically eliminated all the "easy runs", replacing them with solid bike rides.
Either I was running at solid pace (hi-aerobic effort) or nothing...
Hammering down on the bike gave me a solid aerobic boost even on those days when otherwise I would have been just jogging...
well... to make it short, I did a couple of tempo runs which gave me unexpected good responses.
Also I sometimes paced Michelle on her workouts and they felt relatively easy, while in late summer I was struggling to follow her.
So I entered in Sunday's race with good vibes, but also without any particular expectation. My hamstring/butt is still not 100% ok and it gets tight whenever I am tired or run "too fast".

I stuck to the lead group, but passing at the 2k mark in 6'46" was a bit scary, since I have not run faster than 3'30"/k pace for 6 months not even in 1 single interval... but I felt my body responding well, even if the stride was quite mechanical and far from fluid. We hit 6k together in 20'30", when my team mate Colin decided it was time to race for serious and hammered down, with immediate explosion of the pack.
I eshitated to push hard, so I was somehow down to 4th place together with a boy (less than half my age and size)... I could not chase hard on my tean mate just ahead, so we had a couple of "slow" kms, when I decided that the boy was hurting more than me... so it was time to make my move.
I might be running around 3'15" in the last k... anyway I caught up with Philippe with 300m to go and then we sprinted to the finish line for the 2nd place.. (and I lost..).
Once it was over, I realized that I had just run 34'25", which is almost incredible considering that I resumed running only 2 months ago.
Winning the Master category and also the Team classification was just a bonus, the real satisfaction was that I felt again a "runner"

more to come in the following days....

NOTE: follow the achievements of our running club on Facebook. I am amazed how we grew up as a club in only few months: http://www.facebook.com/italiarunningclub



Welcome back Roberto,
amazing comeback!
I have also been injured for two months but doubt i will be able to match your outstanding return to form!

Thomas said...

RSS readers are great.
Welcome back, Roberto. That's an amazing comeback race!

Ewen said...

That's a great comeback race. Looks like you've found some training that works well. I'll be interested to hear how you plan to progress the training from here.