Thursday, April 1, 2010

Turn that Frown Upside-Down

After a rough start to the week, things seem to be falling into place. My ten minute visit with the doctor at the Sports Medicine Clinic Tuesday morning was a huge bust. Or was it?

Perhaps I set my expectations too high. I booked the appointment when I was at my lowest. My ankle hurt, my left side hurt, I didn’t know which side to limp on. I questioned everything that I was doing. Instead of getting better, I was getting worse.

The doctor confirmed that everything that I was on the right path with everything I was doing to address the Achilles tendinopathy. The physiotherapy, the massage, the chiropractic adjustments were all the right steps. Backing off on the training wouldn’t hurt. He suggested changing from OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. He’d prefer I consider using the NSAID, Ketorolac that I was prescribed for migraine headaches. He also suggested being assessed for an orthotic and provided a script for my medical benefits provider.

The whole exam and “diagnosis” took less than 10 minutes. Even the parking lot attendant seemed surprised I was in and out so quickly.

It’s taken awhile to process the entire experience. I’m sure that if the appointment happened closer to the time I was experiencing my problems running that the results would have different, but I also already know through Dr.(Nicole) Hammond’s examination and analysis what was causing the left side weakness problem and have a treatment program that includes strengthening exercises initiated to address the underlying issues. I’m much more confident this approach will work than popping some pain killers and slowing down.

Nicole was our special guest presenter for the Marathon Clinic Group. Due to a bit of a late start, she gave an overview of Biomechanics and Injury Prevention including a Q&A session in twenty minutes. I missed my opportunity to be her “dummy” but hopefully will have plenty of other opportunities in future clinics.

Just to prove that things are improving, I was able to run much closer to my “normal” tempo pace for 6km. I could still feel the left leg wobble every now and then but I had a good sense of where the ground was and could toe off much better on the left side. Checking the split times from my Garmin in Sportracks, I was surprised to see not only negative splits but progressively faster splits through each kilometer. I wasn’t expecting to see myself speed up through the last couple of kilometers, I felt my conditioning was a bit suspect from not being able to maintain a sustained tempo for about the last 6 – 8 weeks. Apparently my RPE sense is as impaired as ever.

On my way home, the timing belt in my car went bye-bye and I had to delay supper until after the vehicle was towed to the garage. Hopefully this means all my bad kharma is leaving my body seeking another weaker vessel. Thankfully, the weather is improving and I can roll down the car windows to get it totally out of my life. My savings account is taking a beating from vehicle repairs this year.

Wednesday was a lost cause for getting any training completed. I did get in my recovery exercises. You’d think things like bridges and squats and lunges weren’t much of a workout. Well, you’d be wrong. Proper technique allows you to isolate your weaker and underutilized muscles. By the end of 30 minutes, I’m sweating and breathing quite quickly. We’re not talking level 10 on the RPE scale, but we’re not talking level 1 either.

Bright and early this morning, it was the next round of pretzel, pop, pound, prod, (relax), pinpoint precision poke (breathe), palpitate, and pry my ass off the table. If I’m a good boy and eat my veggies, don’t over exert myself, and wear proper footwear, I can run 20 km on Saturday, and depending on how I’m feeling do the extra 9km with the Ottawa group.

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