A.M. Decided to go longer to see if the foot would fuss. Ran 13.2 in 1:28:33. Did a couple of tempo pickups. First, about 1.4 into the run did 2.5 (half of the Fast Running Blog 5 Miler course) in 14:46. The trail was mostly covered with snow with some dry patches. However, the snow had very good traction. But it was still snow. On the dry patches I was running about 10-15 seconds per mile faster than on snow with the same effort.
Jogged a little over two miles, and then ran the same stretch again backwards in 14:54. Then jogged until I had 1.5 left and ran the last 1.5 in 8:57. That stretch was mostly dry, but it did have issues. Had to slow down a lot under the bridges because of ice. Also had to jump over a pile of snow.
Was generally pleased with the run except for tensing up in the last quarter and running it in 1:32 while thinking it was going to be 1:28.
Shortly after, 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 17:07. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:12. 0.5 with Joseph in 5:00. Sarah ran 0.25 with Jacob.
Have been studying anatomy of the thigh lately. I do this on and off in an attempt to figure out the cause of my form problems. I believe the best way to solve such problems is to know as much about how the body works as you can. A specialist may know a lot, but he is greatly handicapped. His brain is not connected to your muscles, but yours is.
So I've been messing around feeling different muscles that felt like a problem while looking at GetBodySmart.Com. It is a great site, has good pictures, interactive mode that allows you to see the muscle in different contexts, and if you are confused about terms like flexion, extension, adduction, and abduction, you can click on a guy and he will do the motion described by the term in question.
I pressed on a groin muscle in the crotch area on the right that has felt funny for the last 23 years. In the past I have never been able to figure out what it was. But with the help of a better chart I had a decent idea - pectineus! So I did a search for "tight pectineus", and found a reference to Myofascial Release Manual which had some very useful info on page 261.
"Pectineus is easily injured by overstretching, and the most common injury happens when the foot is planted and the body is rotated." Ah-ha! That is exactly what happens when you go through a sharp curve at a fast speed. Prior to developing this funny sensation I ran through a sharp curve for a year at least four times a week at speeds that could be around 5:50 per mile in a 6-8 K tempo run, or 4:20 per mile in a 10x200 workout, or something in between. In any case, large volume, high speed, sharp curve (180 degree turn in 25 meters for 25% of the running distance). All of that at the age of 13.
"The gain deviation due to chronic Pectineus strain is very subtle and is hard to differentiate from a normal gait variation, particularly when the injury is bilateral." In my case, it is unilateral, but there is a subtle gait deviation. Jeff calls it "funny form". Paul calls it "you can tell it is Sasha from half a mile". So for an elite marathoner this gait deviation is perhaps not so subtle. But put me in the company of properly trained 2:45-2:50 guys, and my gait fits right in.
"With weight-bearing and during ambulation (fancy word for walking) the tight Pectineus holds the femur in slight adduction, and causes subtle thigh external rotation...The compensating toe-out gait stresses the knee joint and causes the knee pain..." I do have a toe-out on the right, and I have had problems with knee pain. They have been the worst when running around the track a lot, and they have always been relieved by a month or two of not running on the track.
So my accusing finger is pointing at pectineus right now. Some more info on it. The "funny" feeling there most resembles being pierced with a knife. It is not very acute, but the nature of the feeling is knife-like. A stretch that would abduct the hip makes that feeling sharper. Hip abduction range with the knee extended is about the same on the left and on the right, but with the knee flexed, the right hip abduction range is smaller than the left.
It's been like this for 23 years. Can it be fixed?