Back to earth with a crash : my Mogwai must have eaten after midnight
After recently writing that my chiropractor had signed me off as no longer needing her treatment for my back and SI, my positive mood was shattered last night when my physio confirmed what I had been
dreading denying knew all along – my calf problem is more than just a niggle and I am to DO. NO. RUNNING. Seems my Mogwai has turned into a Gremlin anyway…
It’s only for three weeks at this stage, but “Boo!” all the same! There goes my plan of starting marathon training in two weeks, there goes the idea of running my age for my birthday the weekend after next, gone is my chance to run along Las Ramblas and the Barcelona beach this weekend while I’m holidaying with the parents!
Ok, that’s enough whining and being a Negative Nigel. Time to suck it up and live by the advice I give other people all the time:
It’s an injury. Runners get injured all the time. Runners recover from injuries all the time. I should have got this sorted ages ago instead of trying to run through it. Doing the ‘no running’ time now will reward me with more fruitful running in the future.
Onwards : the diagnosis
My physio thinks my calf issue is an overuse injury, related to a weak gluteus medius on my right side and associated reduced range of motion in my hip. This is causing two things:
- A hip which ‘collapses’ on the right side, preventing my gluteus Maximus and hamstring from developing full power, requiring more propulsion from my calf.
- Supination on my right side, meaning insufficient pronation on foot strike and through my contact phase, loading most of my weight on the outside of my foot, overloading the outside of an already overloaded muscle.
Upwards : the treatment
Thankfully the issue with my calf is only muscular (not yet turned into a tendonopathy) so the three weeks off running is about achieving the swiftest recovery possible with aggressive treatment.
Which means pain. Lots of it. Trigger point therapy (find the knot in the muscle and PRESS until the spasm stops and the muscle relaxes), dry needling (acupuncture needles into the knots which are then manipulated to release) and deep tissue massage to stretch out the tissue after the knots have released. Then at home I need to do foam rolling on the area, along with golf ball massage and, if I can stand it, trigger point massage using my knuckles.
I also need to do a bio-mechanical assessment to ascertain in what manner the weak glute medius is affecting my gait, particularly my hip and back movement, to see where my form needs tweaking. However, this can only done when I can actually run at speed so likely to be in about a week.
Tell you what, I’m glad I went on my preemptive 30 day Hip flexor and Glute challenge. I do need to add in more exercises that focus on my glute medius, but I feel like I’ve got a bit of a head start on dealing with my glute weakness and imbalance.
Silver linings : finding the brighter side
Now, because I always try to find the silver lining to all situations, no running for three weeks means some good things. I can enjoy the ‘silly season’ without doing painful ‘hangover runs’ (think TinyRunner’s last post). It also means extra time in bed on Tues/Wed/Thurs mornings (we’ll see what my body thinks of pre-dawn runs come January) so for now I’m going to enjoy the lie-ins.
And, no long runs on Saturdays and associated recovery (stuffing my face and napping) period will instead give me time to do things like Christmas shopping and other stuff. Which is a very good thing because I think my girlfriend seriously worries that I’m going to go for a long run instead of buying her that handbag she wants. Let’s face it, what will all the running, the blogging and the Facebook page, her worry is not unfounded – it could have happened 😉
Happy running everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the run up to Christmas and are enjoying the ‘silly season’!
Get Going, Get Running!