Sunday, February 26, 2012

Can You Give Me a Lift?

It was a shut up + run morning. It’s a very good thing I love trail running as much as I do or today would have sucked. We headed up to the foothills (Lyons, CO) to get in a few miles. The wind was being ornery and obnoxious. He thought he was so cool blowing over fixtures at the trailhead:

halltrailhead

The run up is about a 1,000 foot elevation gain over three miles or so. It feels like this:

walking

Add running into the freezing wind and you might want to cry on occasion. It was 29° but with the wind it was  -47° or so. We were going to do 8 to 10 miles today, but decided 6 would be plenty because who needs to be an over achiever on a Sunday morning?  The trail conditions were also not good – lots of frozen mud shaped by footprints and mountain bike tires. Some ice and snow. Very tough to run on. 

I did try out my new trail shoes. Brooks Cascadia. I found them at Running Warehouse for $65, plus I found a 10% code on line. Final price was about $59 with free shipping. Not bad for a shoe that is usually $1,000 or something like that.

P1120037

My latest discovery, told to my by my PT, is that my left leg is longer than my right. If you are smart, you call this a leg length discrepancy. I call it “one leg longer than another” and “running with a limp.” The PT thinks this is the root of many of my left side issues. I am now running with a lift in my shoe. And, in my slipper. Yes, I have secured it in there with scotch tape because I am classy. I think the lift costs more than the slippers.

P1120046

It would be lovely if this lift makes all of my problems disappear. Maybe I will suddenly have no urges to crap on runs, maybe my bank account will triple, maybe my dog will stop licking himself. No doubt I will run a sub three hour marathon with my new lift.

It is almost time to create my training plan for my trail marathon in June. I have no idea how to make a plan for a trail race. Do you? Let me know if you have any insight or good resources.

Happy Sunday. I’m going to find a couch to nap on.

SUAR

35 comments:

  1. I am convinced my left leg is longer than my right, but that has never been verified. Holy hell, it's cold there! It's super sunny and warm here right now. Just come visit already!! How many times do I have to rub it in before you come run with me on the beach?

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    1. We are thinking of a trip out your way this summer. I'll keep you posted! Go get a standing leg xray and see about those legs.

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  2. Just wanted to let you know that post-injury, I finally got in a run to honor Sherry. 3.98 miles in the snowy cold of beautiful Mammoth Lakes, California. I think of you both often. - Angela

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    1. Thank you for letting me know and for getting out there. Such a nice way to honor her!

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  3. What a run! That sounds brutal. If I was going to run that trail, I probably would have turned around once I saw the structure had blown over! Great job on the shoes, isn't it fantastic to find deals like that? I hope the lift helps you. Did it feel pretty natural from the start or is it taking a bit to get used to?

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    1. Felt totally normal, but can't say my pain is totally gone. Guess I need to be patient on that one.

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  4. Wow, that's hardcore kind of run. It's bad even if it's just windy, or icy, or a steep hill....to do all that in one run early on Sun morn....you are either just plain crazy or a warrior. I'd go with #2.

    I hope that the lift will help you with your running.

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  5. Wow, what a tough run! You are awesome! Glad you figured out the issue! Hope the lift works for you!

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  6. Suggest you check w/ Sage Rountree (@sagetree) - she just did the 40 mile Mt. Mitchell trail race yesterday! (also, Trail Runner mag might have plans in print or online)

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  7. My left leg is also longer than my right and it messed up my IT band in my left leg when I started running. My suite-mate (who is a PT graduate student) said to stretch out that leg more whenever I feel any pain. It has helped me a lot and I have been feeling less pain. But I hope the life works! By the way, that run sounds so hardcore! I definitely envy that you are willing to do that run on a Sunday morning!

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  8. i have the same leg shorter problem...left side is always hurtin! Which brand of lift is that? lost mine and looking to get new ones- my pt gave me my old one and I can't find it in any shops. How I lost a lift in my running shoe is beyond me...!!!

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    1. I don't know!! The brand just says GW on it. Got it at our local running store in Boulder.

      I bought a few of them so I can have them in all of my shoes, not just running. Plus I'm sure I'll lose one soon enough.

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  9. I know that spot, I walk on that trail quite a bit. I'm that girl that's puffing along WALKING when you go sailing by.

    Complete random chance, I wasn't there, but at another windy spot on the edge of the foothills.

    It was windy today.

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  10. Interesting. I used to attribute lifts to George Costanza-type folks with stubby legs, receding hair, and an overwhelming "short man syndrome". Who knew they could solve gastro-intestinal issues while simultaneously tripling your income? I smell a late-night infomercial in the works...

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    1. Two out of three: I do have stuffy legs and receding hair.

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  11. Hahaha let me know if your leg lift triples your bank account, I may need to invest in one. Lol

    My podiatrist also said my left leg was shorter then the other but he said that because my hip was injured at the time the muscle may be just tightened shortening my leg length as the difference between the 2 legs was only a quarter of an inch. Just something to keep in mind once you are pain-free have your legs measured again!

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    1. Yes, he measured me, then did an adjustment that supposedly aligned everything and measured again. But you are right - I want to make sure it isn't related to my hip stuff.

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  12. I am always so impressed reading about you running in freezing weather and wind, I'm such a baby, there is no way I'd be out there!! Of course I've yet to find a local trail to run on, but someday I'll try the trail run and see if I enjoy it. Let me know if the lift helps with anything besides the limp, if it does I need to buy some!!

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  13. I will email you back here soon (promise :)) but was happy to hear you went to see MP, I hope this is the magical answers to your ailment and the simple lift will help. Hell, if you get an increase in your bank account, let me know, I'll be booking an appt in a heartbeat, even if I don't have anything bothering me right now. I can make it up ... besides, it's just a matter of time before I do :).

    The trail races I've done, I just try to get on as many trail runs as I can beforehand but I never seem to get in as many as I'd like. Just know that your pace will be slower....and look down constantly so as not to trip.

    Any interest in this, a girls' weekend, perhaps? :)
    http://www.leadvilleraceseries.com/page/show/311959-heavy-half-marathon

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    1. That looks like a blast!! But I think that's the weekend I'm in Vegas. Instead of climbing mountains I'll be sinning big time.

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  14. FYI - PTs love shoe lifts- not that there's anything wrong with that. BUT if your LLD is less than 2 cm, than it probably isn't worth worrying about orthotics.

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  15. Let me know if the lift works. I used to work at an orthotic company and was never sure if lifts worked. It would be nice if you could just have a lift instead of an orthotic. Cost a lot less.

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  16. Things I noticed in this post:

    1) Forget The Vein (btw you haven't mentioned him in a while and I forgot his name) we are now talking about The Calf

    2) Did Emily take this picture b/c you are not that tall to make your legs look like they are 6' long

    3) Did you get your drawing technique from Lindsay over at Chasing The Kenyans?

    4) One leg longer than the other would mean that all you do is run in circles. Is this true?

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  17. The lift thing...a PT told me that once upon a time (early 90's). I did the lift biz for a little while but then stopped. My current PT has never mentioned this being a problem. Keep us posted about your lift developments...I'm super curious.

    Training for a trail marathon...I'd approach it similarly to a 'regular' marathon. It isn't like you live in an area where you'll need to simulate trail running ;-)

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  18. I went to a chiropractor about 4 months after I started running because I was having all kinds of trouble with my lower back and hip. After x-rays, I found out I have a leg that is shorter than the other which throws off my alignment. I use a lift in my running shoes always, but have become lazy about keeping a lift in any other shoes. Knock on wood, I haven't had any problems since I started using the lift while running and it's been a year and a half. Hope yours works magic for you!

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    1. This is really good to hear. I have tried to many things that have not worked, so I figure it can't hurt to try this as well. I'm not out anything except the cost for the $7 lift. My PT told me the same thing- the longer leg was whacking me out of alignment

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  19. Sexy legs...

    and don't worry about running on the trail it will be easy, maybe a little slower, but easy...

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  20. I ran Imogene this past year...to prepare (which I did not do nearly enough), I went hiking/trail running every weekend that I could and made sure it included lots of hills. I tried to train at a higher elevation as much as possible as well. I never had anything "set in stone"...just went with my gut feeling. It turned out ok :)

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  21. I just did a trail half and I learned that I had to be patient and run much slower than planned for the first few miles as the field started to space itself out. I felt like for most of the race I had to "reel it in" when it comes to my pace, but in the end I was glad I resisted running too quickly because otherwise I would have run out of steam with several miles to go.

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  22. Thanks so much for the continuous laughs! If the lifts solve all your problems, please let me know since I could use a pair or 500 now! And more immediately, can you bring some incredible trails with mountain views to Florida? I'll bring the currently 68 and partly sunny...

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  23. Hey Bess, I have a question for you (totally unrelated to your blog topic - of course!) I have my first tri suit hanging staring at me where ever I go. This might be a dumb question but what's the go with knickers underneath them??? Thumbs up or thumbs down???? I have enough issues with all that lycra, I dont need to make any more rookie mistakes!
    Thanks in advance!

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  24. I, too, have a left leg that is longer than my right, which my PT says is causing me problems. Hence, the same lift in my shoe and, no, it hasn't cured me of the need to take a crap on every run! I think that's just part of having longer-left-leg syndrome. :(

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  25. Oh, wait. The lift is in my left shoe so I guess my right leg is longer. I'm mildly dyslexic, too, which gives me problems distinguishing right from left. Add that to my personal challenges!

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  26. I (K) have been using a heel lift in all my shoes for about two years. I started having a little, non-serious issue with my one hip and a little aggravation on that IT band. I complained to my chiropractor who reminded me that that particular leg was a bit shorter than the other. My leg length discrepancy is due to a hip that is cocked up at a funny angle due to a bit of curve in my spine probably caused by the extra vertebrae in my lumbar region. Did you catch all that??? :-) Anyhoo, chiro gave me a hand full of heel lifts and told me to wear them at all times in all shoes. I asked, "Even in my running shoes? Even if I tend toward more of a mid-foot strike rather than a strong heel strike?". Yes and yes. Been wearing them in ALL my shoes and slippers every since and no recurring issues. BTW, you might want to shim your cleat in your bike shoes, too. I found that my hip was being aggravated, on my short side when I pedaled, because I was reaching just a bit with that leg. Hope things improve! The trail race series in Pagosa has been beckoning to me for several years.... It looks like a good one!

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