Sunday, June 6, 2010

2 Week Penalty...for Lack of Patience!

I miss the trails...

I've been sidelined for a week now due to an
Achilles tendinitis injury, and I'm already chomping at the bit to get back out there. Patience Phil...patience!

Over the past 15yrs, I've been plagued with tons of little nagging 'old-man' injuries, that for the most part, I blame on my poor body mechanics (the other reason is simple stupidity!). Like it or not, as much as I love to run, I'm prone to injuries regardless of the effort I've put into building a strong base. Chalk it up to one of those facts-of-'running'-life for me. But, it occured to me a long ago, that if I can't dodge the injury train - I might as well learn to deal with it!

One of the (only) positives of going through all these injuries every spring/summer is that I've now built a good recovery program that revolves around a fantastic team of therapists that work as one to piece me back together, and back on the trails as soon as possible! The other part of the recovery 'recipe' is PATIENCE - I don't think I was at school on the day they were passing around the bucket of patience 'pills'...Might have been out running I think...Anyways...

I think it that the main reason for an injury's failure to recover is due to a runner's lack of patience in letting the injury heal - meaning that they try to run too early in the recovery process...Fair statement? Looking back at my injuries, past and present included, I would tend to agree.

Here's another exert from my log, and the sequence of events to give perspective/context on the cause of my injury, recovery process and tools...

Wed May 26: 50km trail run (5hrs) - Did ABC's to warmup and loosen up the hips/legs. Great long easy run, felt good all the way around Mt Rundle running clockwise (easy way). Legs felt good afterwards, but noticed a slight irritation after shower/stretch session in right Achilles. Uh-oh...

Thurs May 27: Easy Core + spin bike - Stayed off the legs today. Lucky to get appointments today with both
Active Motion Phsyio (massage) and Active Edge Chiropractic (ART+ Graston - note: watch the cool slideshow on GT...very cool!). Great treatments to get on top of this 'could-become' injury ASAP!

Fri May 28: Easy Core + spin bike + short test run - A tiny bit of tenderness in achilles...probably from yesterday's treatments - should be good to go for tomorrow's race!

Sat May 29:
Crazy Soles Nipika Trail Race (25km) - Great race, body felt super strong, lots left in the tank! Unfortunately, ankle was not ready for tough technical twists/turns on the trail and Achilles got aggravated about 15km mark...Crepitus set in later in the evening - not good! Lots of icing + Vitamin I (ibuprofen) in the evening. Slept with compression sock.

Sun May 30: Easy road ride - Good to get off legs...still a bit of crepitus. Lots of icing today, stretching and Vitamin I. Slept w/ compression sock again.

Mon May 31 - Sat June 5: Core and Spin/road bike only - Took advantage of injury to take a rest week (since my body was telling me it was tired anyways!). A quick recap of the week's treatments:
- Massage (2): Monday and Thurs
- ART + Graston (2): Monday and Wed
- 10min icing session: 2 times/day with Japanese mint oil
- Wearing compression sock all day to increase blood flow to area

- Vitamin I: 600-800mg X 2 times/day
- Flax Seed oil: 2tbsp/day
Traumeel/Arnica cream...Note: There's a lot of controversy on Traumeel...but why not try it!

Sun June 6: 3h20 min Long-easy ride. Body is feeling very good - Achilles is much better but still a bit tender in one spot.

So that's that...Looking back, I jumped the gun and raced too soon, and on a course that pushed the limits of the ankle. The severity of the injury could have been avoided for sure...Looking at the positive side, t
he timing was as good as it gets as far as getting an injury. I had planned a rest week, perhaps not so 'restful' but lower in volume nonetheless. This way, I will be able to start off the next cycle fully charged!

I leave in a week for France again...Salomon's launching a new trail shoe called the XR! If all goes well in the recovery process (which I know it will), I'll be running on some trails again very soon...

Patience Phil, patience...


Amber Dawn said...

rest up! I agree, the toughest part is being patient, even when you know it is for the best!
If Salomon needs any testers for that new shoe I would be a willing volunteer- Death Race training is ramping up!

Derrick said...

Heel quickly Phil! And if you ever find a supply of those 'patience pills', can you sent some my way.

Tom Craik said...

I love that you're trying it all (rest wise) after trying every type of training possible. That calendar of training is crazy. HOLY! You're awesome.

Anyway, I hope the week in France doesn't kill ya. Feet up, case o'1664, and some easy time. Have a great trip.

Phil said...

Thanks for the comments...Speaking of patience, it will definitely be tested this week, where the hardest part of the recovery process is now starting since I don't feel anymore pain in the achilles! Good because I'm almost there, but very bad because I want to go run a little longer than the 30min (9min Run + 1min walk and repeat) routine I've got planned for today - "Soooo....I guess running 50k this weekend is out of the questions?" My therapist just shook his head...(He doesn't have my sense of humour ;)

Amber: Looking forward to meeting you at DR! ...and I'm sure we'll have demos out at trail races very soon for you to try!

Derrick: For someone with a 7,470-day running streak, I'm amazed that you keep on running without any 'crippling' injuries. I'm sure you've had those days where pain (almost) made you think about stopping the long did you run that day?

Tom: I'm a firm believer that if more runners took the time to drink a (few) brew(s) instead of stressing about their recovery (or training plans, race prep, etc...)that they would would probably recover or race faster! So on that note...

Johnny said...

Hi, Phil.

What's this ABC warmup for the hips and legs?

Phil said...

Johnny: Had to do a bit of a search to find a worthy pictures for you, but a good description of the drill from Jasper Blake here:

Blake writes: "The Basics- ABC’s
Probably the most common running drills are called A’s, B’s and C’s. If you have ever been to a coached track workout then you are probably familiar with this trio. Each drill mimics and exaggerates a specific stage in a running stride. A’s mimic the beginning of the stride where the knee drives forward and up. B’s are actually a hurdlers drill where the leg follows the same path as in an A but instead of coming straight down, the foot is extended forward as if you were going over a hurdle. Finally, for C’s, imagine running but instead of driving the knee forward, you kick yourself in the buttocks with your heels. C’s are used to exaggerate the recovery phase of a running stride."

I've been using this for the past few weeks to get the kinks out before I head out - I also add in some running lunges where I exagerate the running motion, driving the knee forward and up, as if I was jumping from one leg to leg.

This is also part of my recovery program now that the achilles is getting back on track, as well as skipping rope!

Thx for following!

Derrick said...

Yup, there have been a number of days that have had me question the streak...from nasty injuries to quite ill. Toughest day to run was probably the day after my first 100miler. It was ugly. My minimum is 20mins per day. Fun to look back on it though and can't imagine a day without a run on the trails.

Good description of abc drills. Amazing that there aren't good photos of the sequence out there considering they've been around for so long. I remember it being hilarious when I was coaching high school track and getting new runners doing these drills at the start of the season...always good for some interesting interpretations of Monty Python's 'funny walk skit'.