"My running improved dramatically and recovery after long runs was quick."
In 2006 at that age of 44 I started running for the first time in my life and 8 months later I was running my first trail endurance race. Over the next few months I would run two fifty mile races and then on April 26, 2008 I couldn’t finish the Zane Grey 50 mile race due to a painful IT Band which made it almost impossible to just walk, I limped into mile 33 aid station where I dropped from the race. My IT Band had bothered me on and off throughout my running but never this bad. A week later I walked into Endurance Rehab and met Matt Kraemer for the first time. I was impressed with his knowledge of the human body and his inspection of mine led to a diagnosis of imbalances in my legs, some muscles being too tight and others too weak. I saw Matt three more times and he taught me the stretches and exercises I would need to do to balance out my legs and rotate my hips in. After two weeks of stretching myself out, just as Matt promised, my muscles were no longer tight but from then on the stretch was for maintenance. My running improved dramatically and recovery after long runs was quick. Matt kept me running while I was injured warning “stop when it hurts.” In June of 2008 I finished my first 100 mile race, no pain, no IT Band issues and the next day I was stretching limber, not tight muscles.
Unfortunately the exercises Matt prescribed for my weak hip muscles I neglected to do and in September of 08 I came down with a nagging hip injury. Several frustrating doctor visits later I returned to Matt and his words “if you don’t strengthen your hips you will be coming to see me again and again” motivated me to fully ready my body for many races to come. Knowing I hate to exercise Matt designed me a plan where I could work out three times a week for 30 minutes. In March of 09 after 8 weeks of exercise I finished my third 50 mile race and although I was undertrained and 10 pounds heavy my legs felt fresh crossing the finish line. The same story would be repeated on April 25, 2008 when I returned to finish Zane Grey 50 miler.
My running future looks bright as long as I continue the stretching and strengthening, I'm now a more efficient runner and never thought I could feel so good after running these distances.