Friday, July 03, 2009

Injury Update

Injury update: No improvement!

I ran a total of 3 times in June – and each time was a calamity! Let me explain.

At the end of my 2nd week in the High Country my leg was hurting badly. I decided to rest, cross train (2 hrs on an exercise bike, weight machines and pool at the Rec Center) and let it heal. A few weeks later the leg felt OK so I tried an easy 5-mile test run. After the run the leg hurt badly again and throbbed 24 X 7. I decided to go for some/more PT (physical therapy) with an old friend/masseuse Peggi de Sade who specializes in massage and PT for injuries. She started a treatment of stretching and applying pressure to trigger points. For those not familiar with this ‘torture’ technique she probes ‘trigger’ points along the legs and back to find the ones causing the pain and then applies pressure to each point to a level where I cry/scream in agony and beg for mercy (what a wuss – I am surprised you didn’t hear my screams in Africa?). After what seems like an eternity the pain eases and she begins again. Eventually the trigger points release and the pain goes away! It works and after each session the leg would feel much better and I would wait a few days and try another test run. Same result – the leg would hurt after the run and I was back to Square Zero and more ‘trigger’ torture. After the third test and a short rest the leg started to hurt even after 30 minutes on the exercise bike? Peggi thinks that one of the major muscles – probably the hip flexor- is so screwed up that it is not able to function properly and believes it is causing the other muscles and tendons such as the ITL Band and the piriformis tendon to compensate and overwork until they are also messed up. It is a never-ending vicious/painful circle that starts again every time I try to run? And now my back has started to hurt again? So Peggi and I have agreed on a new strategy/direction: NO running – NO biking – NO anything that causes stress/pain in the leg. Cross training will now be restricted to weight machines for the upper body and the pool/swimming. Have you ever tried to swim 1 mile in a lap pool? Boring!!!!! It is impossible to keep track/count of your laps after 10 minutes!

Maddog would probably have gone off the deep end by now – except for two things:
1) After I cancelled the marathons in Guatemala and Boston I wisely refused to make any more ‘goals’ or commitments for running. This has alleviated any stress or motivation to run through the injury. I will wait until I am 100% healthy and injury-free before I make any more commitments!
2) I started a project that I had been delaying for years. I have always wanted to convert and edit more than 30 years of family home movies to DVD. It is a tedious and time-consuming task – even more so when you are handicapped with an ancient computer (in Colorado) that is agonizingly slow and inefficient and only has a 75GByte hard drive! (I didn’t remember that computers actually had such small memories?) A typical video file runs 10 to 20 GB so I would have to finish one file, copy it to a portable hard drive and then delete the file from the main hard drive to free up space for the next file/project. On one particularly frustrating/bad computer day after 8 hrs of editing several hrs of home movies down to a 90-min video file my computer locked up and I lost the whole file and had to start over! I am surprised y’all didn’t hear the screams and foul language all the way to NZ that day? Fortunately that project kept me busy for almost 6 weeks but alas I finished this past week.

So now I am bored! Really bored! Hopefully in a few weeks Peggi can straighten out the tangled mess in my leg to make both it and my back pain free and I can continue training? I am trying valiantly to accept this couch-potato life but a day seems very long when you can’t exercise for 2 to 3 hrs!! Perhaps I can get some clues/suggestions from all you couch potatoes out there?

If this strategy/treatment doesn’t work I am not sure what the next step is? Probably I will look for a Sports Clinic/doctor that specializes in runners and biomechanics to see if he can figure out what the Hell the problem is and how to fix it?

Footnote: While waiting for the Sports Manager to have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff on Jun 29 I visited the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, CO. After meeting with a team of medical experts for about one hour I scheduled an appointment the 2nd week of July to begin diagnosis and treatment of whatever ails me. I am optimistic that this team can fix my problems?

Stay tuned ( and keep your fingers crossed).

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