Retooling my running

January I started working with a physical therapist that I have worked with in the past. Nicole has been really great about helping me identify causes to some of the issues I have had that keep coming back to haunt me. Last year was not really a banner year so I am just trying some different things to see if it helps. One big move was taking my orthotics out of my running shoes. I had originally gotten them made when I was a triathlete.  Last fall I had to refit my bike after 4 years off of it since my muscles/body has really changed. So changing my shoe/orthotic situation seemed to make sense (under supervision). Nicole felt my right foot and hip were very locked up and tight (I would agree). The first 6 weeks out of my orthotics went very smooth. I was able to work up to a few 12 mile runs, got my weekly mileage over 40 miles and even started adding speed. Throughout this process I was working with her on exercises, stretching and whatever needed to be done! I really had to place my trust in her but she talked me through it with sound advice and valid reasons. The exciting part is that it has been pain-free running. I admit the exercises are at times boring and tedious but I know if I don’t spend time everyday doing the work I might as well not run since I will most likely end up injured.

Nicole had mentioned that eventually I would switch out of a stability shoe and into a neutral running shoe. Two weeks ago I was experiencing a severe pain above my ankle bone (inner ankle area). I called her in a panic and she had some great ideas (for stretching) and we met a few days later. She also thought it was time to get the neutral shoes. I have been switching back and forth with the shoes.  I knew enough to back-off for a few days. Progress continues at a slow pace but it is the work I need to put in, like laying the foundation.

I am looking forward to some fun events coming up; Tri for the Cure and Carlsbad 5000. I will be a last-minute replacement runner on a relay team at Tri for the Cure and then next weekend I travel to San Diego to run Carlsbad 5000. I have always wanted to run this event and definitely disappointed I am not in racing shape. I will be visiting my brother and his family. My sister in-law Carren and I will be running the event together.

Little League season has begun and luckily cross country and football season ended. Josh is enjoying running when he can find time. We had a great run over spring break through the Indian Reservation winding through a resort. He is hoping to run in some races this spring if we can find time in his schedule.

Katherine is intensely preparing for her state gymnastics meet first week of April and hopes to qualify for the Regional meet. She misses running with her cross country team and has been training with a friend from the team. It is so cute to see them plan a run and head out together. She wants to run cross country and track in high school next year. Both kids actually wanted to run track this spring but there is no way they could make the practices/meets.

We have been blessed with awesome weather here in AZ, although we desperately need rain. I am worried how hot the summer will be this year. I plan to get out of town and race as much as possible. We are already planning a race on Coronado Island for 4th of July. Should be a great family event!


March issues of Running Times and Runners World have some great articles about weak hips and glutes. There is reference made to Jay Dicharry’s book Anatomy for Runners. I really like the book it has some good assessments and exercises.

Do you have any spring races planned?? Traveling anywhere for a race this spring/summer?

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Jay Dicharry, physical therapist and biomechanist

Training Notes

from fastkate


Masters marathoner