Thursday, August 11, 2011

Holy Semimembranosus Sartorius Gracilis!!!!

You are probably thinking, WTF kind of language is Jon blabbering on about now?

Leg muscles!

A little secret, the "I" word has leaked out, yet again.....injury, how I hate thee!


And its totally ALL my fault. Swallowing my pride here. Eating a slice of humble pie. Checking my ego at the door. So here goes.

See, even though two weeks out from your first Ironman you think you are fully recovered, guess what? YOU ARE NOT!!!!

Your legs might feel totally fine and you belt out a 9.22 miler @ an 8:08 pace, your fastest run like this in months, but guess what? THEY AREN'T!!!!!

And what happens? You go crawling back to your PT, head hung in shame with the PT shaking her head. You can hear her thoughts, "WTF did this dumbass do now? I just saw him last week and should not be seeing him until November!" (true story!)

Well that nine miler last Saturday did some damage. I ran too hard. I wasn't ready yet! I didn't listen to my coach. He prescribed 75 minutes EASY. Yes. EASY! Why can't I listen? I don't know HOW my ego fit through my front door after that run. *stupid* *stupid*

I ran Monday easy, Tuesday at the track fast, and Wednesday morning for only 26 minutes. I had to stop during the run because it hurt too much. Punishment enough? I don't think so. After a stretch and foam roll, the knee was fine after Monday and Tuesday's runs. Wednesday morning's run pushed me over the edge.

Long story short, the interior of my knee hurts while running. There are three muscles (and probably more)  that attach there, the Semimembranosus (a hamstring muscle):
rear view - (source)
The Sartorius (connects from your hip down, wraps around the quads and connects to your interior knee):
front view - (source)
And finally the Gracilis (helps with the adductors and is the inside most muscle of the upper leg).
rear view - (source)

Basically these muscles allow you to cross your leg. How did I strain them so much that they are yanking on their connection points in the interior of the knee? Who knows. Probably at Lake Placid! Or I have a muscle imbalance. Regardless, they need to be stretched out (which isn't so easy for these muscles)  and strengthened, so a lot of hip flexor and adductor stretches will be done.

But most importantly, I have a WONDERFUL PT who has gotten me through every injury I have sustained, so much so that I successfully trained and raced through a much more painful knee injury 18 months ago.

Soooooooo, now I have homework. I have two new stretches: Hip Flexor and Adductor.
this is not me! - (source)

still not me - (source)

I also have three strengthening exercises via the resistance band.

Huge thank you to for the images and video of the stretches, muscles, strengthening exercises, and knowledge.

Btw, I find all of this fascinating! So cool to learn how each muscle is connected and what they do. Makes me wanna learn anatomy finally.

At least step #1 is over with: Admit that you are injured.

I just wrote up my goals post leading up the NYC Marathon. An injured ankle and back spasm knocked me out of that race last year. I have a score to settle with the Marathon. Sorry Injury, but I am fighting back! BRING IT!!!


  1. Sorry for the knee pain. That kinda sucks! I hope the stretches help you recover and get well soon, AND, I hope it doesn't slow you down for marathon training.

  2. hmmmmm somehow I missed "speed work" in your list of goals ;)

    I know you are in "ironman" shape. You are not in stand alone marathon shape. Big difference.

    Personally, I would start at the beginning of your plan and cut out a week in each phase (typically 1 month phases) in order to get the end of the schedule lined up nicely with race date. You should be doing base pace running right now, nothing crazy in order to get your body geared up for running.

    Keep in mind... I would estimate more than 75% of triathlon injuries are from running. I would also estimate 100% of running injuries are from running (did you get that last stat? read it again... ok.).

    You can't be wreckless with running, there is no cross training to let you get away with speed work, there is more running after speed work.

    I only speak from experience, you read all my woe is me posts when I was focusing only on running and kept getting injured. LEARN from my own idiot ways!!! Trust the plan, when they say run base pace, do it, when they say you are allowed to push the pace do it.

    One last item... a lot of these muscles around the knees are stabilizer muscles. Make sure you are running on level surfaces and maintain a "base pace".

    Like I said, my mission is to prevent anyone from doing what I did to myself haha, my ego was never checked at the door because I was never able to make it to the door, it was that big. Be smart. Hope you can adjust the plan a bit to accommodate for this.

  3. crap, sorry that was a super long comment haha. my bad.

  4. Yikes! I know how you feel having just pushed myself harder than I should have recently. It IS really hard to admit because we should know better. Thanks for sharing, now get back to healing!

  5. more ouchy! hope you have a speedy recovery.

  6. Sorry, dude! That's really frustrating. You are in excellent overall shape right now, though, so if you just hold back a little and ramp up the running slowly you will still be in excellent shape for NYC. You have 3 months, that is MORE than enough time.

  7. That sucks. YOu have plenty of time for the mary.

  8. I also have hamstring issues in one leg (left), and it can propagate to your hips/knees/calves/ankle...not fun. Good luck!

  9. Sorry to hear this! At least you didn't wait too long to deal with it - you should be back to normal in no time. And everyone is right about ramping up the running slowly. It feels like you're not doing enough but it's giving you the base you need and you'll get to the start line healthy. PS - the connectivity stuff is way cool. I'm married to a PT and so get to learn vicariously.

  10. you are a hot mess. stop being stupid!

  11. Whoa, bummer! I thought you were just being polite when I called it at the 2.5 mile mark.

    You didn't injure your Scotch-drinking leg, did you?

  12. Your problem seems to be somewhat minor, at least you caught it early. The exercises and strengthening stuff you're doing above is pretty much exactly what I'm doing to combat runners knee. Hopefully he doesn't diagnose you as having that. I bet with maybe 2 weeks of those exercises and a break from running you'll be back to normal.

  13. Us PT's love people like you. Out there beating themselves up and needing more treatment. How do you think we make a living? No we love people like you inspire the others in the clinic to get their ass out there and DO MORE. Good with the Pes trouble...

  14. OH NO! What a bummer! I'm so sorry, but at least you have some exercises to do to help it! Hopefully it will heal soon! In the mean time, rest, relax, and TAKE IT EASY! YOU JUST DID AN IRONMAN for pete's sake!!!

  15. Bummer!

    I'm sure those stretches will help get you back on the right track. In fact, you know what those stretches look like? Oh, never mind... :-P

  16. Sorry to hear about the injury. Hope you're 100% soon!

  17. Dude. That sucks. I hope you get better soon!

  18. Thanks for the note on the knee. I mainly screwed mine up back in March from doing squats incorrectly - my knees were going inward sometimes instead of straight over the toes as I did a squat. I just didn't know exactly how to do a squat perfectly - pretty idiotic injury.

    My knees also were probably not helped by the fact that a couple days I did both running and soccer. And I was playing a lot of soccer too. So the main cause was the squats I think, and then the running and soccer probably made the problem worse. Luckily it is starting to feel better now, doing rehab exercises has really helped it. The link below discusses in more detail about my knee, this post is from April I think.

  19. Actually.... I was thinking "I didn't know Jon took anatomy..?" :)

    Bummer about the knee pain, but good that you are working with a PT. Better that you are staying with the SAME PT that treated you previously. And best that you are grown enough to know when to reign it in. Hang in there!

  20. There's always X-Box...


  21. You just posted those stretch pictures because the girl's cute, didn't you? I'm on to you Jon...

    I love the "I'm totally recovered from my Ironman three weeks ago" stage. It'll haunt you. Hope the injury is short lived!

    Lesson learned I'm assuming!

  22. Sucks, hope you are recovering and it will not mess up your marathon.


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