One of the reasons why Saturday’s run was challenging was that my left knee was hurting. It began around mile 7 and lasted well into the week. Okay, so it is only Tuesday, but feels like a long time. I don’t have time to mess around with injuries.
I made an appointment for a torture session with Kris, my favorite sports massage therapist. She also happens to be one of the TNT coaches. In the past, Kris has worked on my feet and lower legs, as well as my low back following a rear-ender. She has worked many a miracle, but she is also good for telling you to back off if needed. I was hoping that she would not be prescribing a break from running.
The appointment began innocently with the usual poking and prodding, as well as movements designed to test for the various knee ailments. Finally, with my legs extended out straight, she determined that my left leg was higher than my right (even though the actual length of my legs was equal). She rolled me onto my right side and began working on my left lateral thigh.
I writhed in pain, gritted my teeth, and whimpered until she finally gave me a stress ball to squeeze. “I thought that you said that you were using the foam roller,” she said with surprise. She added, “I am barely using pressure.” Apparently, I needed lessons in foam rolling techniques for the purpose of self-inflicted pain. I was not doing it correctly.
I also learned that I need to train my gluts to join the team, and help my knees and ankles more. This is a polite way of telling me that I have a lazy ass.
Of all of the past visits, Kris has never hurt me so good. I went straight from the table, to the stretching room, and then into the ice bath to numb the effects. I left with a new list of exercises, stretches, and foam rolling moves to add to my daily activities. Let me just say that I hope to have buns of steel in a few weeks.
I was given the option to skip the track workout all together, but I was NOT given permission to sit on the couch and do nothing. So, I arrived at the track just in time to follow the crowd as the team warmed up. Right away, I found it impossible to run without pain. Instead of running for 15 minutes, I walked hoping that warming up slowly might yield some better results. By the time we returned to the track, I was able to jog.
I joined the team for the dynamic stretches, followed by the drills. I walked on my toes, and on my heals. I kicked butt, and did high-knees. I even cheer-leaded and karaoked. I did all that without pain, so I joined the 3-4 group (instead of my usual group) for some Yasso 800’s.
I started out tentatively and quickly discovered that I was not hurting. I targeted a 4 minute Yasso 800, and surprised myself with a consistent 3:53-3:55. Running near the front of the pack, I felt good. But the good lasted for only 4 1/2 repeats. On the 5th, I began to feel the start of a new pain. I left the group and walked an additional mile at as brisk a pace as my legs would take me.
Later, I sat on the coach and tried to figure out how to isolate one glut at a time and not allow my thigh or back to tighten along with it. I am finding that this is quite a challenging act for me. I persisted. After the glut ups, I went to the freezer for an ice pack and made a sweet discovery – a nice chunk of ice cold dark chocolate.
Of course I ate it! I am human you know. Now, I wonder how many glut ups I’ll need to perform in order to counteract the effects of that chocolate on my soon-to-be buns of steel.