Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hip, Hip Hooray and a Winner

There are inherent dangers in ramping up the mileage quickly after you've been forced into what feels like semi-retirement.

My long-term readers are quite aware of the struggles I've had with my health (unexplained fatigue and loss of all my running super-powers) over the last couple of years. And the eureka moment when I finally got a diagnosis (very low testosterone levels due to my age and the use of a contraceptive pill). And my improvement over the last couple of months of treatment (yay for performance and life-enhancing drugs).

Feeling normal again after feeling so awful for so long has been a heady experience and I've grasped my new-found energy with both hands and started to flog my body the way I used to be able to without thinking twice about it. But I've been a little too over-enthusiastic it seems. Especially since my body lost quite a lot of muscle tone and strength from my ordeal. Apparently good muscle tone and strength is one of the requirements for happy, injury-free running. Who'd have thought?!!

I was losing a battle with an annoying hip issue. It didn't hurt while I was running but as the day went on and I tightened up, it would start to remind me exactly how far I'd run that day. Sometimes it would wake me up at 3 am and tell me to stretch. Believe me, those 3 am wake up calls are not my favourite. I've done my penance as a mother of three and should never have to get up at that time again.

So I decided to do the only sensible thing I could - ring my high school BFF who, as fortune has it, is an awesome physiotherapist and get her to give my hip a stern talking-to. She gave me an examination then made me run through some of the strengthening exercises I'd been doing. I'd been doing them wrong!!

Turns out my mother was wrong when she told me that a lady should keep her knees together. That rule does apply in certain circumstances like when you're sitting on stage wearing a really short skirt or when you're getting out of a car in said short skirt sans panties. In those two situations the knees-together rule is definitely a rule to live by. But when you're a runner whose healthy pink glow comes from exertion and not blusher, when you wear short shorts rather than skirts for the most part - it's knees apart all the way.

I'm having to retrain my movement patterns to keep my knees more in line with my hips. And it's HARD to change almost 50 years of conditioning.

I have only two exercises to do, a one legged squat and a reverse plank with a knee lift, and they're mentally exhausting. Also my tongue gets quite a workout. If I don't hold it exactly the right way I have absolutely no chance of doing the exercise right. It's hard to teach this old dog new tricks. But I'm stubborn enough to not allow it to beat me.

There has been a marked improvement in my hip discomfort already and it's only been two days. Yay! And there's been a definite improvement in my motivation to keep my piano dusted. Can't see the link? It's because the piano is a highly polished and reflective surface and acts like a mirror so I can check if I'm doing the exercise correctly. Obviously!!

The third benefit of having the minor issue is that I get to catch up with Chris (the physio, not the coach this time). We have a re-visit next Wednesday and have included enough time to have a coffee and gossip. And she hasn't told me to stop running. Having injuries isn't all bad.


I've drawn the winner of the Personal Planner giveaway. I wanted to make the drawing totally transparent and enlisted the help of my favourite canine (mostly because he can't read and therefore can't be accused of favouritism).

Each of the entrant's names were inscribed on a pig's ear to ensure the cooperation of said canine. Needless to say he was very enthusiastic, helpful and drooly.

And the winner is Lara from Princess Goddess Mommy. Well done Lara. You tasted delicious and made his bowels move (Aren't you glad I didn't photograph that?!) Can you send me your email address and I'll organise for the gift voucher to be emailed out to you.


  1. I love this way of picking a winner! Very unique :) Pity Toby didn't pick my ear but well done to Lara!!
    I've been having a very similar problem with my hip so your post is very timely!

  2. I have just learned that the good muscle tone and strength is very important for injury-free running. I must follow a program of 150 abd x day to avoid the surgery, but I had to begin this activity when I was healthy and not now that I am old and injured.I hope you get well soon and you can run as you like.
    Congrats to Lara.

  3. I must say here that I do core and upper body exercises 4 times a week year in and year out. I never log it or write about it, but I probably should. I am sure it helps me to not get injured. It is a must do for ultra trail runs. Toby is the best!

  4. That is the most creative giveaway drawing I've ever seen!!!! I started slacking on strength since Oct and now I'm injured'd think a girl would learn. Now I'm doing core work daily!

  5. What a great way to pick a winner!

  6. I'm catching up on blog reading, only another 135 to go YEIKS!!

    Thank you, I love winning ;-) Such an original draw and pleased I could help in bowel movement.

  7. I am gradually realising the effectiveness of stretching and strength training. Can't believe your pigs' ear draw - very unusual!

  8. Love your ingenious way of doing the draw! Very cute!!!


  9. Actually just reading about how things like keeping your knees together is a "bad thing" not the problem with me but I do get similar hip problems from tight hammies and the way I sit, etc.

    I really hate stretching and strength work but as they say you really have to focus on the things you don't like doing if you want to continue doing the things you like to do!

    Like life really! ;)

  10. What an adorable way to choose a contest winner! I'm sure Toby was happy about it. Good luck with the stretches.

  11. Absolutely love, love, love how you drew the winner! Of course, I don't have a instead I will train #1Hubby with special treats and a blind fold.

  12. Omg I am rolling on the floor laughing! I was all set to comment on your ornery hip but seeing my name on a big ole pig's ear has distracted me. Soooooo funny!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you.