Tuesday, 13 January 2015

How an injury helps

     It’s been a while since my last musings, so what’s been going on? My race diary has been empty since the Marysville Running Festival in November, as the week after my 10k dash my Achilles flared up and gave me grief.

I'd been burning up the trails!
     If I were a car, I’d be the perfect car. You know how when you take the car to the mechanic to get that issue checked and the car is perfect (I swear it’s the International Car Conspiracy) and you feel like a twit, well the morning I was due to see the Physio for a ‘just because’ check-up was the morning my Achilles flared up.        Perfect, I got to go and see Freedom Sports Medicine in Croydon with the issue alive and well.
     I had booked in with Ross for a ‘Free2Run’ assessment. This entailed a range of movement analysis, a running technique breakdown on the treadmill and the follow exercise regime.

     To make a long story short, I had very restricted range of movement in my ankles/Achilles due to extremely tight calves and the entire muscle groups of both feet. This had compounded over time and resulted in the arrival of Mr Achilles Tendinitis. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting and running with Mr Tendinitis, he does his very best to make each stride as painful as he can. I’d much rather run without him. I also have an imbalance in the muscle development in my legs. If I can describe it right, my right quad is underdeveloped while the calf muscle is very strong. In my left, the Quad muscle is very strong while the left calf is underdeveloped. Essentially I have this weird cross leg thing happening!
     So how did the Achilles Tendinitis develop? Slackness. For a long period of time I was a religious roller and stretcher, hitting the calves, quads and glutes each night. In the last six months I had gotten lazy and it came back to bite me in the leg.  
Me and #RoyalBay pulling the Trigger
The prescribed treatment was 2x 10 minutes of rolling each calf (hmpf, my 2 minutes a day just wasn’t cutting the mustard) and 2 x 2 minutes of golf ball roll overs each day (welcome to the house of pain!). This was to relive the tightness in the lower legs to combat the Achilles. I also had single leg squats, calf raises and glute bridges/ skier’s thrown into the mix to help combat my muscular imbalance. I also figured it couldn’t hurt to get my sexy Royal Bay Compression socks on each night for that little extra 1%.
I threw in a self-imposed running ban right throughout November to give maximum recovery time. This didn’t mean I got to sit on my arse and get fat, it meant hitting the spin bike twice a week and dusting off the mountain bike for some weekend adventures. And… I’ve loved it!
Since getting back on the bike I’ve discovered some great new trails within riding/running distance from home. As a bonus I've also managed to build up the strength in my quads!
This was my view for a while!

Got me some new shades!

Getting arty with the bike, #Strydaforce compression helped

     By refraining from running until late December I’ve really enjoyed learning to run again. Every run is a focus on form, on breathing, on taking in the world around me. Every run I’m getting stronger, learning to find my feet again, learning to get back my desire.
Nothing beats a run with your mates!
     The recovery process has been slow, but it has also given me time to focus on Mrs Fish and her running. And, I was more than a little jealous that she got to run Two Bays without me. It also gave me the opportunity to be at the finish line of one of my favourite events and see all of my DTR mates racing strong.
     Where to from now? I’m hoping that my leg work is going to translate into some quicker times over the coming year, allowing be to continue to grow as a runner.
You know where to find me...
     Well, till next my friends. Now get out there and make friends with your roller!