Thursday, August 28, 2008

Accept the Null Hypothesis

In making a scientific comparison one generally assumes the difference between outcomes is zero. If the difference turns out to be statistically "significant" one would then reject the null hypothesis. Since there is so much room for interpretation in statistics you have a hard time finding a statistician who will say something is significant or non significant. Instead they will either accept or reject the null hypothesis. In my scientific experiment of one (lacking any d.f.) I am accepting the null hypothesis.
All this means is my efforts were fruitless, thus far.
Using my full arsenal, Skil saw, table saw, belt sander, coping saw and dremel tool I removed a half inch of heel out of a perfectly good pair of shoes. I also used a caliper and level to assure I made the changes to both evenly. Amazingly I still have 10 fingers.
I was so looking forward to having a shoe which would allow some longer runs near my home. I live in the flat burbs and have a nice network of asphalt bike baths at my disposal. I have difficulty running more than about 4 miles in the Vibram KSO's and was looking for another option. It is somewhat difficult to get out to dirt trails without it chewing up a lot of time. The performance of the shoe without the radical heel/forefoot buildup was seemingly identical to the unaltered shoe. I experienced thightness in my calf/hamsting and hip within a couple miles. While the discomfort never settled in my glute it was "significant" enough that I think the trial is over.
I think I need to try to make time for more frequent but shorter runs to build up my mileage in the KSO's.
Guess thats what we'll try now.
Best of luck to all those running the SHT next weekend. I considered helping out but can't make it happen. I look forward hearing all about.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aint no Cure for the Summertime Blues

Well Im a-gonna raise a fuss, Im gonna raise a holler.
About workin all summer just to try an earn a dollar.

I’m sure I would get into too much mischief if I didn’t have to work but I sure would like to give it a try some day. Besides work the last month we’ve hosted a family reunion, including my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, been to the cabin three times and to Duluth once. Guess my family is continuing to spend the economic stimulus dollars - we didn’t get.

Here’s what’s new on the running/recovery front:

Hopefully I can build from about 12 miles per week to 30 mpw which I can carefully maintain during the winter as a base for ’09. I have not run through any significant glute/back pain to get to the 12mpw and will not increase mileage if pain increases. I have to remind myself of this once in a while. Afton, RTA and Interstate Park are excluded from the previous statement.

I’ve put a little more than 30 miles on the Vibram KSO’s and they are working out wonderfully. I have built up to 5 miles and then my calves and feet are fatigued. I have little to no discomfort in my glute while running in them, what I have experienced is short lived. I would like to find a pair of shoes without the radical heel/toe height differential so I can get a break from them once in a while and possibly get in some longer runs. I am trying to modify a pair of Asics but haven’t quite finished yet. I measured the height difference at a little over a half inch – no wonder they make you heel strike. I have had a pain in my foot for 18 months, everyone attributed it to the sciatica. I figured I’d go see a podiatrist. X-ray looked fine and revealed I have a bunch of extra bones in my foot, guess I got a few more than the allotted 206 I already knew about. They are called accessory ossicles, interesting, but not an issue as far as my foot pain goes. He determined I have a tendon issue somewhere on my third metatarsal, or between the third and fourth. Anyway he gave me a cortisone injection and sent me on my way. Side note – I have also had a VERY tight calf muscle, all of this is on the same side. The next morning, and every day since, the foot pain has been reduced and the affected calf is indistinguishable from the other. I also noticed that I have not had to stop to stretch my hamstring since the injection. Could it be that simple?

Continuing the majority of the exercises listed previously but exchanging a few for some more advanced methods. I believe the inversion table has helped considerably to the healing process. I don’t know why the establishment is so dead set against spinal decompression when so many people apparently benefit from it. I know it has its issues but it shouldn’t be shunned. Upper hamstring tendonitis. Wasn’t sure if I had it but as everything else is subsiding it sure seems like this is/was a player in the game. I have added those exercises back into the mix.

Got to admit it is tough to read about everyone getting ready for and competing in the various races. On one hand it is fun to keep in touch with the scene but on the other is hard to see so much time go by without being able to participate. I will start to look at the late fall and spring schedules to see what may pique my interest. Maybe I'll do a little more volunteering as well.