hatchdad

Evolution of a Man


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Post Injury and Training


My last post was on the 11th of January, and it was after I had hurt my knee.  More accurately, I had hurt my quadrilateral muscles at the place where they attached to my knee.  This was after I had run 12 miles for the first time.

Since then, I’ve been going to a physical therapist,  It’s been really helpful to have some guidance on the types and amounts of stretches and strengthening exercises.  I started them the Tuesday after the 12 miler where I aggravated them in the first place, and skipped all my runs for the remainder of the week, and we pushed our Saturday big run until Sunday..but I still missed it come Sunday.  My leg still just wasn’t up to snuff.  I tried to run again on Monday, and only got a half an hour out when I knew I had to stop, or else.

I had thoughts of dashing the marathon.

I really didn’t want to give up though.  Twice a day since then, I’ve been doing my exercises, and have seen the Physical Therapist 4 other times (with two more scheduled).  On the 19th, I went out with Chris to run, having the blessing of my PT and the feeling like I could go and do it…and I DID!  I ran 14 miles on January 19th, which surpasses the 13.1 mark for a 1/2 marathon!  My knee felt really good, and I was happy to have made it out.

I thought with my stretches that I’d be able to run my regular monday/wednesday/thursday/saturday schedule the following week.  This was not to be however.  My knee strikes again!  after the 14, I couldn’t muster the will to run through the pain (and I didn’t want to really damage an already achy knee).  Additionally, come Wednesday, it snowed heavily here.  The paths were icy and slick, and we decided to not run and risk injury (especially in the dark wee hours of the morning).  It persisted even on Saturday, but I needed to get back out there.

I ended up going to Claude Moore Park, where they have an indoor running track, full gym, and pool.  My PT had mentioned that running in a pool could keep me training when I couldn’t handle the impact with my knee, so to Claude Moore Park I went on Saturday the 26th.  I thought to eschew the pool until I needed to, so I went to the elevated indoor track, stretched for a good half hour before hand, and began.  I had intended to run 16 miles, but ended with 13.3 miles in, having run for about 2 hours.  Boredom had done me in, in the end – the Fellowship of the Ring was completed, and I had neglected to bring the Two Towers to continue the quest.  Music was ok for a while, but every lap I saw the clock on the wall, not moving.  It was pretty demotivating.  After the 2 hours of running, I gave up the goose and did another 20mins of stretching.  I had a banana, and a blueberry protein shake (which both felt amazing).

This morning Chris and I ran 8 miles.  The backs of my legs and knees felt pretty tight, but it wasn’t unbearable and I was able to keep running for the finish.  My goal this weekend, in keeping in line with my schedule, is to run 18 miles this weekend.  That’s a fair clip farther than the 14 we ran, and we never ran the 16 we were supposed to hit.  I think it’s worth doing though, especially as we wind down towards the marathon.  Those long training runs are going to be essential training for our mental state of being.  We need to know we can run that far before we get to the marathon.  They say its a mental game, and I’m starting to believe that it will be, but that’s only if the physical game allows us to get there.

Until then.

Greg


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Physical Therapy, out for a week.


I went to see a physical therapist, to evaluate my knee and get some tips for making it better, and to receive some advice on when I should go running again. After an initial evaluation, I was told that I basically have slight tendonitis in the patella (kneecap), where my quads attach, and stretching will help, as well as strengthening exercises. She prescribed the following stretches and strengthening exercises (for both legs, to keep them evenly worked out). These exercises are intended to strengthen the quads to the point where they can handle the amount of running I’m throwing at them.

  STRETCHES

hamstringstretchHamstring stretch

Your hamstring muscle runs along the back of your upper leg. To stretch your hamstring muscles:

  • Lie on the floor near the outer corner of a wall or a door frame.
  • Raise your left leg and rest your left heel against the wall. Keep your left knee slightly bent.
  • Gently straighten your left leg until you feel a stretch along the back of your left thigh.
  • Hold for about 20 seconds.
  • Switch legs and repeat.
  • As your flexibility increases, maximize the stretch by gradually scooting yourself closer to the wall or door frame.
  • Repeat this for each leg 3 times.

itbstretch

Iliotibial Band Stretch

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a band of tissue that runs along the outside of your hip, thigh and knee. To stretch your ITB:

  • Stand near a wall or a piece of sturdy exercise equipment for support.
  • Cross your left leg over your right leg at the ankle.
  • Extend your left arm overhead, reaching toward your right side. You’ll feel a stretch along your left hip.
  • Hold for about 20 seconds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Do each leg 3 times.

 

 

wall_1wall_2wall_3wall_4

Wall Stretch (Weight bearing Gastrocnemius and soleus muscles)

This stretch primarily addresses tension and lack of range of motion in the gastrocnemius muscle (outer calf), soleus muscle (inner calf), achilles tendonposterior tibial tendon and the plantar fascia.

  • This stretch is best performed in a doorway, although any other flat surface will work. Always perform this stretch while wearing supportive footwear.
  • Stand in the doorway, arms’ length away. Place one forefoot up against the door jam with the heel seated firmly on the floor.
  • Grab the door fame at waist level and pull your hip toward the door frame. Tension should develop anywhere from the back of the knee down through the calf, achilles, heel and into the long arch.
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • repeat for each leg, 3 times.

lying quad stretch

Lying Quad Stretch

  • Lie on the edge of a table or bed.
  • let one half of your body lean off
  • While holding on to something to keep you on the table/bed, grab the ankle of the leg hanging off (or use a band to pull it).
  • Allow a deep stretch to happen, while pulling the ankle towards the butt.

I was also prescribed some preliminary strengthening exercises (isometrics).  

 

short arc quads

Short Arc Quads.

  • Place a towel roll under your knee.
  • Kick your leg up working to straighten the knee.
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 reps each leg.

straight leg raise

Straight Leg Raise (Flexion)

  • Tighten your thigh. Once you have the thigh muscle tight, raise the entire leg so your foot raises 10 inches.
  • Lower the leg and relax the thigh muscle. It is important to relax the thigh between repetitions so that you get good at illuming your thigh muscle on and off .
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 reps, each leg.

cross legged adduction

Cross-leg Adduction

In the images above, the exercise I’m doing is the bottom example.

  • Hold your trunk tight and keep your back straight
  • Lie on your side and support your head
  • Cross your top leg in front of you
  • Keep your bottom leg straight
  • Raise your bottom leg so your foot is level with (or slightly higher than) the opposite hip
  • Lower the leg so your foot touches the floor

quad sets with flexion

Quad sets (with Flexion)

  • Sit with a rolled hand towel under the knee
  • exert as much force as you can downward with the knee onto the towel.
  • Repeat 2 sets of 10 repetitions, holding each for 3 seconds, for each leg.

If you feel like getting into running, these are some great stretches and exercises to prepare your muscles and ligaments for the task.  I wish I had a list of these when I started.

Enjoy, and happy running!