The pelvis, stride length and SPM in running

After a phone-call with my physio today I put in a special sole in my running shoes since we suspect that it’s Morton’s Neuroma. I went out in the sun and crisp winter landscape for an extremely easy test jogg and it fell out well. No pain in the left foot or toe. The right calve is a bit annoyed when I walk but that will disappear when I can start to run more and the left foot is back to normal. But first things first, baby steps, one small step at a time.

Speaking of small steps. Looking at my charts from the run I’m pleased to see that I haven’t decreased my “cadence” or SPM (steps per minutes) as I’m used to calling it in running. It has been a long journey for me and I will try to share the knowledge and experience I have from this here.

The pelvis
SI-joint belt

In the beginning when I started running more frequently and also got help from the world’s greatest physios I had a much lower SPM than today and I walked and ran with much “longer” and more stretched out step making the strain on my pelvis and knees very high. Actually my power-walking maybe even hurt my pelvis more than it benefited from it so for almost a year I had to wear a Sacriliac Belt, you know the kind that pregnant people use for sacroiliac joint problems. I also started learning how to walk with a proper posture and smaller steps and to run more bio-mechanically efficient to relieve the strain on my poor old hurting pelvis.

The pelvis Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0 Fred the Oyster)

The pelvis is quite complex but simplified the two hip bones (2-4) are connected in the back by the sacrum (1) and in the front at the pubic symphysis (5).  When you walk the two hip bones rotates so that when you move a leg forward the hip bone on that side rotates back a bit while the hip bone on the other side (the one with the leg back) rotates to the front. This rotation increases the bigger steps you take and decreases when you take shorter steps.

When you run your fly. Well it does not always feel that way but in a way you do. The difference between walking and running is note a certain pace but the fact that you, when you run, have one foot on the ground at a time and in between you fly a bit. In practice this means that at a certain stride length when you run compared to that stride length when you’re walking will be less strenuous on your pelvis because your legs don’t have to stretch from one foot to another, both feet on the ground, but instead you fly a bit. Thus, the pelvis rotation in such a comparison will not be as great in running as in walking.

So when running, “shortening” the stride and/or increasing the SPM will lessen the stress on the pelvis. It will also do a lot of other things. However, only shortening my step was not enough for me to be able to run free. There was a lot of work to be done with posture but that will be the subject of another blog.

Now we will pack and then off to Portugal!

Strength Training

So a week of not doing very much apart from a little bit of Ashtanga Yoga and swimming is over. I’ve rested the foot to the max and it maybe feels a bit better, I’m not sure.

Today was the second time in the gym in a very long time and I constructed a tailored program to fit my status and injury that consists of:

1) Activation of the transversus (apparently out of order a bit)
2) Upper body
3) Lower body

I’m planning on doing

  • Ashtanga 2-3 times per week
  • Strength 2-3 sessions per week the days I’m not doing Yoga and when I’m at home and not travelling  supporting on competitions or alike.
  • Cardio 2-3 times per week

Each strength training session must start with #1 and then either #2 and #3 or both depending on what type of cardio I’ve been doing or have planned.  The most difficult part will be to find cardio that does not affect my foot and first I have a week in Portugal supporting Benen på Ryggen at ALUT.

Se ya’ll!

Lady Short Legs Meets Stormberg

For most of my 49 years I have not been able to buy a pair of pants just like that. Too long legs or too wide in the waist unless. Of course I know how to sew but if you buy trousers for a lot of money it’s just annoying that you should be forced to spend several hours doing alterations to them. For outdoor trousers it’s sometimes not even possible with all functionalities and details at the end of the leg. I’ve bought Fjällrävens raw length before but they have no stretch and I need a huge size to be able to move freely and in the huge size the waist is way to big… yeah you get the drift.

So now I read about Norwegian Stormberg in a forum and thought I’d try them out since you have 100 days to return and only to a very small fee and all the stuff you need to return is included in the delivery.

Stormberg has two shell pant models with extra short legs – I bought both of them, the Finse (1299 on sale for 1169) and the Farvatn (1199 kr, on sale for 599 kr).

The Finse did not fit due to the reinforced rear and hence not so stretchy so I sent these back. I had a feeling that this would be the case when I ordered but I really wanted to try to be sure.

Stormbergs picture

The model I will keep and start using is called Farvatn. It is a waterproof, fast-dry, lightweight, stretch, shell pant with a soft cozy insulation to keep you warm. For me, with cold urticaria, it’s a perfect pant as is above zero, even up to 15 degrees when I’m not moving fast.

The full length pic to the right I’ve borrowed from Stormberg, all other pics are my own. A full review with my own pictures of me in the pants will core in a while when I’ve used them. Until then, these are the specifications:

  • 5 cm shorter
  • Wind and waterproof (12 000 mm)
  • Moist transport (8 000 gr/m2/24t)
  • Soft Insluation
  • Belt loops
  • Velcroe for adjusting waist
  • Elastic adjustment end of leg
  • ProreTex® Ultrashell™
  • 12-8 membrane
Rear pocket
Right front pocket and leg pocket
Front zipper

Birch Spatula

I bought an ax the other day. Then I bought a carving knife. I thought maybe I could do something useful out of wood. I thought long and well for two weeks, roaming the internet for videos on carving and bushcraft, and came to the conclusion that I want to do something that I can use and the only thing I could figure out we really needed was a spatula.

A spatula it is!

Although I did get the theoretical knowledge I did not take down the birch myself but instead I took a big chunk of a trunk that lie around waiting to become firewood. I split it in half, then split the halves in different sections to see if any of them wanted to become a spatula. I couldn’t really find a very good piece since the chunk was very dry and had numerous cracks and splits in the endings but one piece seemed better than the others so it had to be that one

Only an ax as a tool so far. And a pen marker 😛

Since carving with an ax is so new to me I took it slowly. I was determined to use the ax as far as possible and ready for the possibility of the wood splitting my project to pieces but none of this happened. I hadn’t bought a fancy ax. Nor had I bought a lightweight ax. I just bought a one that was good looking. Or maybe it was the only one that was sharp OTS. Apparently axes are sold blunt. Anyway I bought a fairly cheap “outdoor” ax from Hultafors.

A bit after this I went over to using the knife but still used the ax at times.

I chopped with the ax until the tip was 3 mm then went over to using the Mora wood carving knife and the ax when needed.

After 3 hours of which 1 hour was contemplating and just looking out the window with a cup of coffee and my piece of wood I was finished with the bushcraft version which you see in the below picture.

Bushcraft spatula that later became a bit more fancy

Since I was eager to put it among the other kitchen tools I got some sanding paper and finished it off. That took about one hour. The photo below is before I oiled it with rape seed oil.

Some oil and voilà – my first hand carved… anything!

Via Algarviana Ultra Trail – Via Algarviana

72 hours   –   300 km –  6 680 altitude gain

Next weekend “Benen på Ryggen” and I are travelling to Portugal for the Algarviana  Ultra Trail mostly on the Via Algarviana. He will do the running and my mission is to support and cheer. During the week we’re there we will try to figure out if this route is a feasible project for me during 2019.

The race is held for the second year. They have a limit of 100 participants and in 2017 there were 55 participants registered. 34 of these did the whole distance of 300 km by them self, the rest in relay. 17 of the single finished in everything from 43h 6min to 70h 48 min.

This year there are 66 solo runners registered.

Stay tuned for more updates!

The Via Algarvia


Ultimate Direction Adventure Vesta 4.0 SHORT REVIEW

So, I’ve had it for some time now  the Ultimate Direction Women’s Adventure Vesta 4.0 and have a more balanced view of it now and below is a short review.

Despite my fractured toe I have been using the vest quite a lot although not during very much running but I’ve tested it both at home, during autumn, and in warmer very summery climate. The unisex UD vest I’ve had before (Scott Jurek Ultra 3.0) still feels better on the back despite what I claimed in my pre-review :D.

So here’s a short review (not including the not so good bladder in detail):


  • The boobs – where the heck am I supposed to have my boobs?? On the first try I had a sports bra, a sweater, fleece vest and a jacket making my front pretty flat and as long as I have a lot of clothes it is ok and if I don’t close the chest strap it’s ok but then it does not stay put.
  • If you fill the front pockets your arms brush against the pockets every step. Not comfy at all. Again they forgot that women have tits.
  • As suspected I had to tighten the fancy cinche system and in doing so the plastic endings folded inwards poking right into my ribs in the back (see pic). Not comfortable at all and really remarkable that no one have thought about or discovered this during the development – I thought they had a lot of people thinking, testing and developing these things but now I suspect it has gone a bit to fast from idea to realization.
  • One day it was super hot and I tried running with only my sports bra which isn’t a problem at all with my old UD but the fabric is too harsh and stiff and (again!) the cinch thingies are even worse because you can feel and the above-mentioned  and the other hard plastic  against the skin  (see pic).
  • Front straps are easy to adjust stepless vertically.
  • The rod along which the front strap mechanisms does not form itself to your body contour but flexes back instead. Makes it highly durable but uncomfortable on my boobs.


  • 3 zipper pockets and one open around waist – the front zipper and open pocket are easy to reach but the two others are bit more tricky, so difficult I’ve ended up not using them during running at all.
  • 1 big taco zipper in front – it fits my huge Galaxy Note 8 but if you do not pack it fully stuff bounces around in it. Also, if you pack like a Note 8 it will be in the way of your arm every time you swing your arm – not much, but it will touch.
  • 2 zipper pockets on back – I still haven’t figured out how to pack optimally but they are ok. One has a key clasp in it which is very good. If you use the tightening straps these will be in the way for the zippers which is a bit fiddly.

  • 1 string lock front pocket – the closing mechanism on this one has broken. It took only 6 runs. Before that it was really good and one of the features of my old SJ I really love.
  • 1 separate section (with zipper) for hydration bladder  – the section is not tight enough so the bladder folds when empty eve if I hang it as supposed. Also this compartment is difficult to open when you use the tightening strings.

    Strings in the way when opening bladder compartment
  • 1 main storage compartment with a zipper that allows you to enter the compartment both from the top and from the side. This is where I keep my extra clothes in an Exped Fold Drybag size S.

  • Outside the back zipper pockets and the main compartment is a pocket that I have used for either quick stow away of a rain jacket or my electronics which I store in an Exped Fold Drybag size XS.

  • You can tighten the whole back sack with rubber strings on hooks when you do not pack fully. This looks weird and assymetrical but you can tighten and loosen as much as you want depending on how much you pack. A no bump guarantee.

    Tightened to the max the vesta is almost flat. A no bumping guarantee!
  • Since I do not use poles I have not tested that functionality

Hydration system

  • Prepared for bladder & hose with canals and separat bladder compartment
  • The 1.5 liter bladder from Ultimate Direction sucks!!!!!! It does not resemble the 2.0 liter my husband got so this is either specific for the 1.5 or just a stupid “upgrade”. It’s hard to close since it’s all soft plastic and not hard as before. I can just imagine myself after 20 miles – no thank you.
    Also the vaults both near the bladder and the mouth have been malfunctioning several times. Once when I pulled to open the vault before putting it to my mouth the whole thing came loose and I sprayed water all over me and the floor of the bus.
  • I sold the “body bottle” for the right front pocket so no review of that.


+ Fits a huge amount of stuff
+ Ability to enter mail compartment from top and side
+ Great string closing on front pocket (although it broke)
+ Can be tightened if you do not pack a lot
+ Adjustable fitting (is this really a pro? See con:s)
+ OK on the back but not great


– Not as comfortable when running in tank or T-shirt on as the SJ Ultra vest
– Cinche mechanisms cuts into back
– No room for boobies – my new trail name will be Uni-Boob?
– Taco pocket – stuff bumping around if not full
– Only two colors whereof one looks horrible. I chose the blueish.
– Bladder, hose and their mechanisms are just bad
– Not able to open zipper to bladder without unhinging the tightening when using it in smallest mode


Stress fracture -the art of patience

My left foot is somewhat troublesome since a couple of months and I most likely have gotten a stress fracture at the end of the second metatarsal bone. This might be from bumping into the front of my shoe together with the fact that the front arch of the foot is too low, I’m not sure but that’s the best theory me and my physio has come up with.

My toe taped (I do need a pedicure, sorry about that :P)

The aching toe has, as a consequence, resulted in a stiff right calve and me becoming even more crooked than before and I need some time off. It could also be the other way around, that my crookedness and therefore excessive clomping and not rolling my step across the bed of the foot, have caused the whole thing. It could also be a horrible combination of any of these


Apart from a pedicure, the remedy is the same: rest, recovery and rehab. I’ve been doing easy jogging and hiking up until a couple of weeks ago but it seems as if I need a couple of weeks off. I’ve tried swimming and wet vest running but the sports tape looses its stiffness and do not give ample support.

So, for a few days now I will do only yoga that does not stress the foot too much and maybe some easy upper body rubber band and also some core exercises. After this I will step it up as fits and in collaboration with my physio.

Lessons learned

What I’ve learned is the following

  • Rest more – Or maybe just rest, period.
    After such a big effort as 100 miles in eight days I need to rest at least two weeks. I did not really give myself any rest at all. I worked a new job AND ran as usual (to survive at the new job and other stuff). I did not pay attention to the signs such as fatigue and other stuff such as minor colds hovering.
  • Set new goals – avoid post race depression
    Having completed an A-race or a big challenge, no matter what you call it you need to use the energy to set new goals not to fall in the post race depression ditch. It would be the easiest thing just to pick a race and set up a plan but I cannot do it that way. I have such problems knowing what the state of my body will be in so I have to have other types of goals. It needs more thinking, hence I tend to procrastinate.
  • Stop comparing – turn off social media
    I definitely identify myself as a runner but not running or being able to move outdoors, not only due to the fracture but also due to my cold urticaria, leaves me sad especially bright and sunny days like today. My Garmin says MOVE! social media is full of people’s most successful shots and with nearly 700 “friends” whereof maybe 80% are runners you bet there’s always someone completing a race that is so extreme I can hardly drive the distance by car without taking a break or even a nap and here I am, not being able to complete a race that “real” runners do in one day in eight fucking days without getting injured???

But heeeey STOP!

Wait a minute and THINK about it! You did make it. Now you just have to ACT on this and REFLECT on what went wrong and you will become a the STAR that you are.

With my body, barely screwed together, it’s a challenge just to stay upright.  Add menopaus almost ten years ago to my somewhat herniated disks, arthritis, gout (!) cold urticaria and whatnot. Few would have the knowledge, persistence and stamina to follow this “project” through. Just the fact that I’m not being able to set those usual goals that people are so familiar with, like running a certain race, because you never know if the body will make it is a horrible challenge – I’m surrounded with friends that want me to tag along and most often I end up being support – driving a car, meeting up here and there. Sometimes it’s fun but it also hurts in my runner’s heart seeing these beautiful surroundings and not being able to participate. Not wanting to participate.

Yes, I developed quite an aversion to my own participation in races. I don’t enjoy the challenge of  having to pay for something I’m not sure if I want to run a year in advance. I don’t fancy the hard work of fiddling my fitness to peak at certain periods. Staying strong and fit is such an accomplishment anyway with this body.

So yes that’s where I am now, looking out on a bright and blue sky pondering if I’ve ever get well and what the mening of life is if not being outdoors.