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Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Two Words: Hip. Flexors.

Or maybe three:  Hip.  Flexors.  TIGHT.

I joined up with one of my BRFF’s, SAYruh Goodie Two Shoes, at the 3rd Annual Navy Nautical 10 Miler Sunday morning.  It’s a great race, renowned in the first two years for being hotter than the hubs of hell – or Afghanistan – which I think is hotter than hell so Afghanistan gets one point.  This year dawned bright and cool; it was in the low 60’s when I drove to the Naval Base.  I didn’t have very high expectations, performance-wise, but knew the race would be fun and at least not so hot this year.

This race is awesome/interesting for several reasons:

  • it supports the Fisher House which is rather like Target House for St. Jude (Fisher House provides a place for loved ones to be near their family member in the service during illness, injury or disease)
  • it is run on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of D-Day
  • it’s 10 nautical miles because on D-Day it was approximately 10NM from the horizon to the beach, making 10NM (11.5 land miles) how far the Allied Forces had to travel while under threat of German mortars before they were on dry land
  • each year they continue to add Satellite Races in locations like  Afghanistan, Djibouti, and Kuwait, where the service men and women participate.

After learning all that and running 10 NM without German mortars falling all about me, I felt particularly embarrassed that I grumbled about hard hard the run was.  Even more so because it wasn’t even really hot.

However – difficult, it was.  My quads were tired and tight from the first step to the last, particularly my hip flexors, I felt like I was running in short, tight little baby steps.  I’m glad I had Sayruh G2S with me because she pushed me.  And I pushed her.  We shared equally in our pain, occasionally emitting a weak *honk* and about mile 9 or 10 I felt a twinge of BFOS which had me a bit nervous.  I am getting really tired of my butt falling off.  Unless you are a fellow BFOS sufferer you will not understand the pain and suffering of a butt falling off.  Consider this:  Part of your butt is trying to fall off.  You sit down at the kitchen table to eat.  You are sitting sideways because part of your butt is falling off.  You’re really hungry because even though you were not subjected to German mortar (for which you are truly grateful, and incredibly grateful to all the wonderful service men and women that make it possible for your butt to fall off in safety) you did just run 10NM and you’re HUNGRY.  You scoop a nice fork full of spaghetti and meatballs which immediately slides off the fork because you are listing to port.

For you cynics out there that think this is not a sad thing, please see this to fully understand the pain and suffering this syndrome can cause in all aspects of your life.  It’s a hard thing to watch, but if you do watch this video I think you will have a new empathy for BFOS sufferers and their sorrow.  Probably you should go get some tissues before you watch it, tho.

We probably looked pretty stupid, SG2S and I.  We walked every water stop and we would stretch, arms overhead, then stretch our legs by taking long, shallow lunges.  I’m running in my Hokas all the time, now, so I also looked like some newbie, unaware of the class-action suit, wearing Sketchers from Payless Shoes Store to run 11 miles while firming and toning my falling off butt.  Plus we thought we were funny so we exaggerated every movement, turning the stretch into a palms up salute to the sun and the shallow lunges into a distance contest.  Since SG2S is about 5’3″ to my 5’8″ – I won.

At 9.25NM I was pretty much horse to the barn, I knew I was close to the finish line although I couldn’t see it.  For a minute I kind of lost all thought, went to the dark place a bit.  Suddenly I realized SG2S wasn’t next to me.  I stopped and looked around.  “SAYRUH!!!” – there she was, behind me.  “What happened?” I asked.  She said, “you took off like a bat!” I told her apparently I’d gone to the dark place in my brain for a minute.  I’d never done that in a race before.  Very interesting.

I think the spinning/cross training is helping, because while my hip flexors were very tight yesterday – which is not something I usually have issues with – this morning we are being an equal opportunity painfest and every single muscle between my hips and my knees hurt equally:  front, back, side to side.  Only crazy nutjob runners would understand that I see this as a good thing, everything must be getting stronger if I’m using all the muscles evenly.  In my new-found commitment to doing everything possible to be fit and in pain I’ve decided I might possibly consider trying the 10:15 Yoga class at the Center, unless I’m successful in my attempts to talk myself out of it.  We’re about 50/50 right now.

You have to understand, both of you, that I hate yoga.  First:  I’m about as flexible, physically, as a 2×4 at Lowe’s.  Second:  I did try it once.  I ended up on the mat next to a professional ballerina.  She was absolutely beautiful.  Tiny little thing, white-blond hair, big blue eyes, and she could pull her leg up over her head and then rotate.  I fell over.

I mean, I actually fell over, not that I fell over with amazement.  I didn’t land on her, luckily, or she’d have been squished to death.  It was like watching an elephant try to race a squirrel up a tree.  Pathetic.  The class was posted to be 50 minutes but I’m pretty sure it lasted at least a week.  I got in the car, went home, and hid in the closet.

I decided maybe I should try Pilates.  My trainer, Killer, was teaching the Pilates class and she encouraged me to do it.  Since I have a huge girl crush on her despite the fact that she lies awake all night thinking of new tortures involving large stability balls, ropes, and hinges-and-pullies, I agreed.  There was one exercise where you lie on your back, arms at your sides, legs straight up in the air (so you look like the letter “L” on it’s side) and you are supposed to balance the stability ball (3 feet in diameter) on the soles of your upraised feet.  *are you sh*tting me??*  Killer helpfully suggested that the ‘new people’ in the class could scootch up to the wall and raise their legs against it for more stability.  I did.  It didn’t help.  I dropped the ball on the head of the lady next to me.  Unfortunately, I found that funny and laughed.  Socially unacceptable.

Since I’ve been writing I’ve kinda decided I might bag the yoga.  Now a couple other BRFF’s and I are chatting online and they may have convinced me to try Pilates tonight.  At least if they are there and I drop the ball on someone’s head I know for sure I won’t be the only one laughing.  And if I get tossed out of class I won’t be alone.  I’m thinking about it, unless I’m successful in my attempts to talk myself out of it.  We’re about 40/60 right now.

I can hear thunder in the distance.  We’re supposed to have rainstorms off and on all day.  Last night we had a huge rain/thunderstorm.  About 3am there was big one, very close by, and I heard loud thud.  “What was that?!”  Hubs replied, “Chunk fell off the bed.”  HAHAHAHAHA  You begin to understand why she’s called Chunk.  When I got her last summer Traitor was living with us for a couple months while he looked for a job after graduation.  I brought her home and told him she was a boy kitten, help me come up with a name.  He suggested Chester as a joke but I loved it.  The next day I took all 6.5 ounces of Chester to the vet where he announced Chester is a girl.  She’s a calico.  How did I even think she was a boy?  So I decided to call her Chessie but it totally didn’t fit.  When she got up to about a pound and was old enough to climb up the chairs she would balance herself on the arm of the chair and throw herself off, leaping into space with all four legs outstretched like a flying squirrel, landing with a very loud THUMP.  Definitely not a cat which should be named “Grace”.  Hubs started saying, “well, the Chunk just jumped off the chair” and there you go.

It’s real pretty out right now, overcast and cool, birds singing and cooing.  I bought a new book yesterday.  I hesitated, wondering if I’d like it, but I got into it last night.  It’s going to be 90 later today, which between the hubs not being here for dinner tonight, the tired legs, and the laziness of a warm summer day it could be that the book and I bag everything by about 4:30pm and call it a day.

I’m glad I did the race yesterday, I’m glad my Hip Flexors are tight, I’m glad my thighs are equal opportunity hurters, and I managed to be 5th in my age group despite walking water stops and not being in the best of shape.  If those two bee-ahches from Baton Rouge hadn’t shown up and run like a couple of bats I’d have placed, but you can’t really be mad about someone running 10NM 10 and 20 minutes faster that you.  That’s just plain awesome.  It’s 10:32 now and darn it, I missed the Yoga class, shoot.  Murph is sleeping next to me in my office and Chunker is being real sweet, on my lap, trying to smack my hands while I type.  Little cutie.  It’s a great day.

The only thing that could ruin this day is if I found out something incredibly First World Television like, Bristol Palin is going to have a reality show about her life.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh gaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwd…

Going back to the dark place, it’s safer there.

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11 thoughts on “Two Words: Hip. Flexors.

  1. I loved the post–thanks. I have strange relationship with my hip-flexors. They seem to live by their own set of rules. Recently, whilst my wife’s friends (physiotherapist trying to realign my lower back), she found it incredulous that hip-flexors could be so tight and yet not prevent me from running at my pace. My leg hangs above horizontal when laying off the table–it’s not supposed to do that. I cannot afford to visit her as often as I need to, so I just hang my butt off the top of the stairs and let gravity do all the work.

    • I have a friend who does the “Bowen” technique, it’s great! I just wish I would continue to feel the way I do when I leave her. But like you said – expensive. She’s the one who discovered my BFOS. I did not end up doing Pilates last night because I was still working – have you tried anything like that or Yoga?

  2. BFOS is brutal. Of course, I wish mine would fall off, because there’s too much of it there in the first place, but it insists on just hurting like it might fall off, which is less cool.

    Congrats on the race. And I’m glad you still have hip flexors and a butt. I’ve heard you need them for Pilates. BTW, please tell me how it is–I’ve heard it’s better than yoga but haven’t tried it.

    • Yes, so few understand what it’s like when your meatball rolls off of the table. I agree, if the damn thing is going to continue to hurt could it please just fall all the way off. I’m sure J-Lo has enough, I could get a transplant. I did not end up going to Pilates, I was trying to finish up some stuff for work; this is my busy time of the year and I don’t want to get behind *behind* hahahaha but I did record a yoga program on TV. We’ll see if I actually do it…
      I am going to do the Pilates tho. When I did do it that one time I think it was more work than Yoga. Then I ended up glad I didn’t go because Sir William the Traitor came over to put some stuff in the attic and we got pizza and visited for a few minutes before he had to go pack more stuff.
      Also, Bristol Palin truly is going to have a reality show.

  3. Here are some more words for you…YOGA IS GOOD FOR RUNNERS. Not that you have to show up at a class. You may benefit from a free podcast produced by (I get the freebies from iTunes) called “yoga for runners,” or another freebie from Yoga Journal called “hip openers.” Twenty to thirty minutes a couple times a week (yeah, you need to add something to your routine!), and I guarantee you will get some relief. Work particularly on that runners’ lunge and a flow from kneeling side angle to gate, moving with the breath as a timing device, of course. Go, my friend, and be zen…

  4. Hey – that’s a great idea! I could use my iPad, maybe. Oooooooooooooommmmmmmmm

  5. I have developed what HCRP calls “Finish Line Syndrome” wherein, upon coming within eyeshot of the end of my run I pick up my pace to a ridiculous, unsustainable speed. Which is okay if I’m within oh, say, 100 feet of said end point. But if it’s one of those really long, straight line running venues and I can see the “Finish Line” from say half a mile out. Yeah. That doesn’t work out so well for me.

    • Apparently that’s what I did when I went in the dark spot. I was really hurting by this time, where every movement you make your brain is saying, “Seriously. Stop. Now. Seriously.” We had just gone past the 9NM spot and I knew it was less than 10 more minutes of pain. I guess Brain decided if I wasn’t going to listen, and stop, then it was getting us the heck to the FL ASAP.

      • We’re planning on doing that race next year.

        First I have to survive Mutherhill and Jr. Mutherhill on the 23rd. Fortunately we live close and we’re planning on doing at least one training run on the Ultimate course before Race Day.
        God help me!

        • You’ll make it. Just don’t focus on time, just focus on staying at a workable pace. And HYDRATE. Just read an interesting article today, I’m going to try to condense it and put it out for the WRWM group. One thing they said is the day before a hot race do not drink water unless with a meal – drink all day long but drink hydration beverages, particularly with sodium. I’ll get it to you before the Ultimate so you can check it out!

          • You ROCK!

            And yeah, when you read the post I’m about to put up you will understand just how much I appreciate the need for adequate hydration!

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