Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Achy, Breaky Glutes

I've noticed a little bit of twinginess (that's a word, right?) in my right knee since my half marathon last month.  A slight bark when I've been sitting in one position for too long.  A whisper for the first mile of a run.  A whimper when climbing stairs.  I was sure that it was just overuse from the recent training cycle, so I increased my foam rolling and stretching regimens but otherwise just ignored it.  Good things always happen when you ignore warning signs, right?

My dear foam roller and Stick.
While good and loyal friends, they can't solve all problems.

On Monday, I finally admitted that it wasn't getting any better.  With marathon training dawning in less than a month, the last thing I need right now is an injury.  I reluctantly consulted Dr. Google and was surprised to see that my symptoms matched up with those of runner's knee.  But that often stems from weak glutes, I told myself.  How could I have weak glutes?!  I'm a squatting machine!

Or rather, I was a squatting machine.  You know, five or so months ago...  It turns out, all that glute strength disappears when you fall off the squatting bandwagon.  Who knew?

My ego bruised, I set out to do some clamshells, fire hydrants, and side-lying leg lifts to rebuild my former glute strength.  And was I ever humbled!  By the end of my "easy" sets of 15 on each side, my glutes were burning.  Clearly, my glute strength these days leaves much to be desired.  On the up side, my right knee has been silent since last night.  Two days of renewed commitment to glute strengthening, and my knee is happier than it's been in a month.  Now my achy glutes, on the other hand, are another story...

Do you ever suffer from denial regarding your body's strengths - and weaknesses?