...and lower back and hips. My chronically cranky (as of the past 2+ months) lower back finally reached the breaking point in the past week--just in time for the arrival of my new bike (why naturally!). I managed 2 weak rides on Gossy before I had no choice but to leave him in the garage for the weekend. Friday and Saturday the rugrat and I put in a couple of easy runs. Saturday our loose plan was to do 2ish miles together, then I would add another 1-3 solo. But I was hurting through my hips (primarily on the left side) from the very first step. I was actually thankful that he was feeling somewhat unmotivated and happy to take many walk breaks. I was not up for anything more ambitious than that.
This guy pretty well explains what I've got going on:
I had planned to make a call to a nearby sports med office if I didn't have some relief by today (Monday). Over the past few days I have been yoga-ing the hell out of my back and doing some gentle core strengthening work, as well as exercises to strengthen my glutes and things are feeling a bit better, so I'm holding off.
I've always thought of my butt muscles as being strong, BUT I think this was more the case when I was running more than 10ish miles/week. Clearly big ≠ strong, heh. Running is one of the very best butt-strengthening exercises there are, but for about the past 6 months the balance of my workouts have tipped strongly in-favor of cycling...something that strengthens my quads, but my glutes and hamstrings have likely been allowed to languish a bit, as a result. Having overly strong quads without equally strong glutes, hammys and core is pretty much recipe for things getting yanked painfully out of alignment (and this would likely explain why tough uphills on the bike always made it feel like my glutes were being yanked downwards, dragging my lower back along--ow!). For months my lower back has been whispering at me to pay attention and get back to the variety that has worked so well for me in the past. I also need to consistently work on core strength and flexibility. I don't really enjoy these exercises, but I loathe pain and being unable to run and bike even more. Having a brand new bike collecting dust in the garage is NOT making me a happy girl, at the moment.
The only upside to all of this is that it's taking place towards the end of competition season. This would be a miserable thing to deal with if the weather were nicer. As I type this Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the East Coast and the edges of that storm system are having an effect on our own weather, as well. The next couple of days won't be nice for outdoor workouts, so more yoga and perhaps some gentle "nowhere biking" will be on the agenda, instead. This Winter regaining running fitness, strengthening my core, and dropping some weight need to be my top priorities--not grinding away on the nowhere bike for hours in front of the TV. That activity almost certainly is especially detrimental, since I am not even using my core for balance when my bike is on the trainer.
I was really bummed yesterday to skip out on a cyclocross race that I likely would have won for the women's C field, based upon where I typically placed relative to other racers who were in attendance yesterday (BUT the woman who did win was moved up to Bs...so I really dodged a bullet, there!). It was sorta bittersweet watching DH kick major butt during the B master's race. The # of benched riders associated with our LBS is growing. I really want to be off that bench for the race in 2 weekends.