Thursday, October 21, 2010

Injury: Reflections

I thinks it's about time to share a little something about injury I already experienced what it feels like, and it seems a lot of people are training for their big run this coming January.

Injuries are part of any athlete's obstacles in his career. Injuries come in many forms such as accidents, genetics (e.g. bow-legged, or uneven length of your knees or even arms), or just simply over exertion or over training. Usually injuries happen if an athlete is training for something, thus hampering his progress or even withdraw from his targeted event. Injuries just give a physical blow to an athlete, it also affects their emotions, finances and psyche. When I was younger, two bright basketball players, Anfernie "Penny" Hardaway and Grant Hill. They were vying for the title of being Michael Jordan's Air Apparent. But both players were plagued by injuries. Penny Hardaway never recovered his old form and dwindled and is never heard again. Good thing for Grant Hill, although his road to full recovery was long and even lost part of his old self, but then again you can still see him play with heart with the Phoenix Suns.

As for me, when the doctor spilled that I had ITBS,  it was like, "Oh no! I am going to miss Milo!". But I have to, or else I can no longer run. The thought of sacrificing something you've worked so hard in the past month for something that is long term was easy, though. But the thought of seeing people receiving their finisher's medal is some compelling that i committed a deadly sin we Catholics consider, envy! Yes, i had a bruised up ego, that once I get out of this misery, I mean injury, I will fight back! Oh boy, I have been watching too much sports-related movies! Might Ducks trilogy, anyone?

While still on a hiatus, I was doing a little recollection. WHERE THE HECK DID I GO WRONG? So I did some research, and some of those recommended stretching for ITBS as demonstrated by my physiatrist. It was then that I discovered that my BAD habit of not having a post run cool down was the culprit! I have seen countless post run stretching but this one below are the most effective!

I swear (I know swearing is bad!), ever since I incorporate these stretches after each run, I do not experience any hinging feeling on my knees or even a limp. It's a must try!

I also learned to train smarter. As part of my recovery I avoided the hills and just run around the track oval where it's flat and cushioned which is good for my knees. I initially run for only 4 kilometers twice during the weekdays, and road walk on Sundays. I did that for two weeks, then on the week after that, I still ran 4 kilometers around the track , then ran 5 kilometers that very Saturday. I gradually increased my mileage week, after week. By this time, I am already running 3x on weekdays, with Sundays as my long run. I alternately train either on track or on the road with hills weekly, but soon enough, I might be alternating them within the week. I just had my first double digit run last Sunday, so I am looking forward to run the same route this weekend.

Adding a bit of yoga and Pilates like exercises for cross-training also helps. 
Injuries is part of our lives as runners, it would depend on your attitude in dealing with it! Run smart, everyone!


caloyb said...

nice entry here, doc. having gone through an injury, recovered, and now back into running your experience can really teach other runners a lot. i look at people's posts about their runs on the net and i just shake my head at this gung-ho attitude that some people have - doing too much too soon, shunning rest despite an injury because "sayang ang miles." sayang ang running pag hindi ka na nakabalik ng maayos from your injury. it's always difficult to stop, but at times we really must, so that we can keep going.

Ling said...

Hey Sir Caloy! Yeah, this is worth a post. Why? Because it reminded me that I am a human being, and that injuries are part of being an athlete. "Natauhan" ako, or I got enlightened after my injury. It made me a smarter runner.

Jacob said...

Very informative post. I'm currently suffering from ITBS and I'm going to do the stretches you posted. Thanks!

Ling said...

No problem, Jacob! It's nice to hear that i helped someone who has the same injury as mine.