by Steve Crowder
A week ago last Thursday, I literally hit a bump in the road with my training. As is generally the case this time of year, I was running in the dark when I came upon a stretch of road that had very little lighting whatsoever, preventing me from seeing something that was obviously directly within my path. I’m still not totally sure what I stepped on, but when I hit it, I stumbled for several steps and was barely able to stay upright. I immediately felt some pain in my hip, but I continued on and thought I’d escaped without incident. Around a mile later, however, my left knee started hurting and it got progressively worse throughout the rest of the run. By the time I was able to make my way back, I was in a significant amount of pain, and as I suspected would be the case, it tightened up even more on my ride home, to the point where I was having trouble walking that evening as well as the next day. Not good!
I immediately began treating with ice and anti-inflammatories and also attempted to schedule a chiro visit at Balance Chiropractic the next day. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get in to see anyone on such short notice, but I was able to get an appointment three days later on Monday. By the time my appointment rolled around, I was feeling much better and was basically pain free. I got treatment anyway and was glad I did. In the process of getting some adjustments, Active Release Technique (ART), and deep tissue massage, I found out I had several trouble spots that needed work, including one in my upper calf that likely contributed to the knee issue.
Going back prior to my near fall that Thursday night, my legs weren’t feeling very good anyway. In fact, my upper calf had been tight for a couple of days as had my hamstring, with both those issues being on the left leg, the same one where I injured my knee. I still think the near fall was what caused the knee problem, but I now believe that it was coming on anyway and all I did was push it over the top.
So, the good news is I appear to have dodged a bullet, a scary one too as knee problems can be very difficult to overcome. I wound up with just three days completely off, which I’m looking at as a blessing in disguise at this point in time. I was still recovering from overtraining anyway, and the extra rest probably didn’t hurt anything. Additionally, having something start hurting showed me I need to do a better job with the little things, specifically stretching and core work in addition to getting periodic treatment. Those things are important for everyone, but even more so as you get older. I wasn’t happy about the interruption to my training schedule, especially when the previous couple weeks hadn’t gone that well to begin with, but thankfully this was a gentle reminder before something worse happened. Now I can not only get back to work on the 2014 track season, but I can do it the right way!