I got tired of running reduced milage because of my left hip tightening, so I went to a Physical Therapist this morning to find out whats up.
The bad news: It is my iliopsoas muscle that is tightening up as I run. Most likely caused by sitting at a desk for too long (like 26 hours straight? Thanks, job!), and the stoopid unproven shoes. Its a tough one to heal, and I was worried it was actually a sprain or strain, which would take me off the road for at least 3 weeks. The good news: it is not a sprain, and it is easy for a therapist trained in ART massage to fix it. I contacted a Physical Therapist in Soho (chosen for proximity to the N/R line, and because he has the NYRR/Marathon massage coordinator on staff), and got myself in to see him this morning. We talked for a bit, and then onto the table to dig around and release some muscles!
ART hurts. Here is a video showing the massage he used on me, if you are interested in seeing it. He makes it look a lot more gentle and mild than a psoas massage usually feels.
Chris told me to 'feel free to yell' just before he dug his hand in for the first pass. Thanks, Chris. I believe I will take you up on that offer. Here is a video that shows what it actually feels like.
We did a few more techniques that only hurt-ish compared to the psoas massage, but it was still pretty uncomfortable. And then...I got off the table. I could walk! No pain! Chris is thinking I need 3 more sessions of muscle grabbing before I'll be done. He suggested I try running tonight (but not to be surprised if it was too early), and I did...but it was too early. Tightened up fairly quickly, so I walked to the subway station at 81st street. Well, hobbled; it was so tight, I could barely move. Resigned myself to heavy stretching, heat/ice and painkillers when I got home. Then I got off the train twenty minutes later at 14th st. and had no pain, and my full range of motion was back. Amazing! Chris says I will probably hate him tomorrow, as it will hurt a little more while it continues to relax and release all the scar tissue, but this is still an amazing improvement on recovery time for me, so I'm pretty much sold on whatever he wants to hit me with.
Will be cross training on the eliptical and bike for a few days, and then will add water running once a week as soon as the new session starts, but I'm really looking forward to getting back on the road at full mileage!