Back On Track

29 11 2007

Hmm, well my lower back was absolutely killing me yesterday after placing bread in the fridge the ‘wrong’ way.  It was very painful to even roll over to sit up. Slept not so well last night, but felt somewhat better this AM. At least I could walk around without looking like I need a cane. Now I just got back home from an appointment with the chiropractor who helped me out with my sore neck two months ago, and things are feeling great. I avoided seeing a chiropractor nearby yesterday, and the wait was worth it. This guy is not your typical back-cracker. He’s rather cynical of the traditional practice of chiropractic, and focuses more on deep connective tissue rehabilitation and massage. I was used to the 5-7 minute ‘adjustment’ sessions, but I just spent 75 minutes having my back muscles worked over every which way without a single ‘pop’. I told him I was skeptical about whether I could run my race on Saturday, but by the end of the session he was confident that I’d be ready to roll. Of course I’ll wait until Saturday to decide for sure, but the way my back feels right now, giddyup! My expectations won’t be high given how light my training has been this month, but just the idea that I should be able to complete a 5k within 72 hours of that crazy back spasm would feel like a tremendous accomplishment in itself.

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Let’s Get Physio

20 11 2007

Well, my run this past Saturday was a little bit of a disaster. It had been two full weeks since my left knee injury; one week off entirely, and the second was symptom-free on the treadmill. About 4k in to my Saturday run and in the middle of a long climb, I could tell my knee was still messed up. Once I made it to 4.43km (half of my intended 5.5 mile Ryan Shay memorial run), I reversed course and backtracked instead of facing the longer and steeper hills had I continued.  By 5k the pain was every bit as bad as it was two weeks before and I resorted to walking. This was tremendously frustrating, but the ‘smart’ (i.e., rational) thing to do. Of course, as soon as I started walking I was seeing more and more runners on the path. Once demoted to a walker, I felt the double humiliation of no longer being worthy of the Runner’s Nod/Wave, while also progressing slow enough to draw “Hello”s from dog walkers and stroller-pushers. So, whenever the path would approach any semblance of flatness, I ran again. The flats were virtually pain-free, but any incline reawakened the daggers in my knee. With this combination of mostly walking and brief running spurts, I made it back home in a surprisingly quick 57:00 for 9k. This was helped greatly by a first 4k in just over 20:00, which I think is a new PR for that distance. My short-term goal is to get under 25:00 for a 5k, but that’s all moot if I’m injured.

I want to treat this injury as effectively as possible and it seems serious enough that two weeks of taking it very easy didn’t fully alleviate the problem. So today I went and saw a physiotherapist for the first time. While there is a little bit of hamstring tendinitis towards the outside of the knee, this wouldn’t be the source of the severe pain. The physio recommended x-rays to see whether I might have a little bone fragment floating around back there after I bashed the kneecap in at the end of October. That’s a little more serious than I thought, but at least it would be a logical explanation for why I can walk and run on a treadmill with no problems but the hills kill my knee. It will be a while before I know, but in the meantime they put me on this muscle-twitcher device that provides pulsing electrical stimulation to the area to reduce inflammation. Weird sensation, but so far so good. I’ve been told to take it easy, but I’m just keeping my fingers crossed I can get a few decent training runs in before my next race on December 1st!