Sunday, October 2, 2011

Injury Woes

You think you are in relatively decent shape and your training expands in new directions. You start toying with the idea to maybe enter one of the longer xc-ski events, you turn 50 and think that there are a few people that age out there who are less fit then you ... and reality check.

This all started with a nagging ache in my left knee which I contracted this spring while out for my first significant bike ride. The pain was low-grade, did not bother me while running, it was just there, in the background. I finally caved and went to see my trusty exercise physician, Dr. Abraham at HP Como. She prodded, pulled and twisted my limb and declared that it was nothing serious. At one point during the exam she exclaimed "oh my, are you ever stiff and inflexible." She offered PT as an option and prescribed flexibility exercises. I declined the PT but started doing a 10-15 minute stretching routine after every workout. The results were amazing, the pain that had persisted for almost three months vanished within 3-4 weeks. 

My exercise regimen kicked into high gear. Sisu ski group, slow and long runs, tempo runs intervals and fartlek, and, while in Europe, some serious hills. I had thought for a while to add a strength workout my exercise program and tried out a boot camp at the Edina YMCA. My muscles were very sore after the first class I took on Labor Day. I took it appropriately easy during that week, did an orienteering race where I contracted some nasty heel blisters but went back to boot camp on the next Monday. 

I don't know whether I was still too tired from the O-meet or whether I am simply not fit enough to start a new exercise clase but after the second boot camp, I did not experience sore muscles but sore knees. Both sides seemed swollen and there was a definite feeling of instability and some popping in the right knee. What a bummer. I followed the RICE principles and rested, iced, elevated and when engaging in activity, I compressed. Since that right knee seemed a little more serious, I also made another appointment with Dr. Abraham. I went running only a few times, fortunately Sisu Year-Round Group was on a roller skiing portion of the schedule which was not as hard on my knee. Things seemed to not get any better and I waited till the 9/24 to make up my mind on doing the Intertstate Park O Meet. But I did it, opting for the shorter choice and also doing the white/yellow course. The knee felt ok but I did contract a new injury, a sprained toe joint which I contracted when my foot got wedged between two rocks, forcing the big to into hyper-extension.

Unitl my appointment on Thursday of that week, my knee felt actually better, it may just have been overshadowed by the pain in the big toe. Again, Dr. Abraham ended up saying that my knee issue did not seem to be too serious. Same directions as the previous time, listening to the knee, and working on strengthening the muscles around it, especially the m. vastus medialis which she found to be "mushy."

I went for a good roller ski workout this last Sunday, since the rigid boot protects my toe, which is still smarting. I am wondering if I'll be able to do the Minnegoat. If I am smart, should probably only do the short one. We'll see ...

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