Friday, April 6, 2012

Recovery, the real truth

The real truth is that the injury I've sustained is semi-serious.  I say 'semi' because I didn't rupture, break, or sever anything.  It's not terminal.  It's not life threatening.  I say 'serious' because had I left it untreated, it would have impacted everything I do, every move I make, and my future in upright mobility. 

The full impact of the seriousness of this injury didn't really strike me until last night at physical therapy.  My physical therapist told me that I took a pretty good hit with this injury, it was a 'pretty good one', if you want to call it that.  I expressed my disappointment after my return to the track with my team Wednesday night.  I set my sights on doing just a few laps, not keeping up with the whole bunch, and in the end I was sore, uncomfortable, and really, really disappointed.  It hurt.  It didn't feel right.  I never got in the groove.

My therapist explained that the reason I felt OK during the Shamrock Shuffle, the race I did on the sly, was that I took two full miles to find that place that felt OK.  I went two full miles that day before stopping (just shy of 3 total), but Wednesday I only went maybe 3/4 of a mile in total.  One lap around the track isn't going to get me in the groove, no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable it is.  He was totally right.

There's a song for everything out there
My other mistake was that I stretched before I ran.  That, in itself, is not a mistake.  Some people stretch before every run.  I never have, and it turns out, don't really need to.  With my injury, I need to strengthen more than stretch.  Strength is what will get me where I want to go, not stretching.  I knew when I stretched that I'd pulled on something I didn't need to pull on, and I paid for it.  Lesson learned. 

No harm done, no set back, no scolding from the therapist.  Just soldiering on and adding more work to the already full schedule of recovery therapy.  Last night we added plyometrics and an incline on the AlterG.  Inclines.  I got hurt doing hill repeats, incline work.  Now I have to do it as part of my return to the one thing that has kept me from being on the news sane for the past two years. 

It's hard work.  Running is hard work.  Returning to it after a break is hard work.  Working on making your body better, so you can run better, is hard work. 

I know I won't be back to my speedy self right away, but it's sure humbling when you can't finish a workout like you used to be able to do.   That day will come, though.  That day will come.