Week 13This past week was my first full training week without running (mostly) or CrossBoot. It was definitely challenging to find activities that could replicate the levels of intensity I achieved in those two things. I had one bad and one good experience on the bike, and I did a lot of yoga.
I also did a couple of things that I should have known better than to do. For example, on Saturday afternoon, I attended a lindy-in-the-park event, put on by a group of swing dancers who have recently begun organizing new events. (As a side note, I originally moved to Tampa because of swing dancing, and I used to be heavily involved in it; but as the local dance scene changed, my interest began to wane.) I haven't danced in over a year, and I was excited enough to want to go and see some old friends and try my dance legs out. But dancing on concrete in rubber-soled shoes was just about the last thing I should have done. Swing dancing--lindy hop, specifically--can involve a lot of jumping and spinning and general use of the lower legs. After just two dances, I felt the pain in my leg and decided to stop. It was fun while it lasted.
On Sunday, I met my friend Shannon in Palm Harbor to go stand-up-paddleboarding. I've gone a couple of times with her, and I really enjoy it. However, because of the pain I'd caused the day before, my leg was not feeling great throughout the two hours we were on the water. I don't think that activity aggravated it necessarily, but my leg probably just wanted to rest, and I wasn't letting it. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day for being out on the water, and the activity itself was simultaneously active and soothing.
Diagnosis and TreatmentThis morning I had my appointment with a medical professional about my leg. I met with Larry Collins, who is a Physician's Assistant, Assistant Professor of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and a Certified Personal Trainer. I remembered him from my first major training injury over two years ago, and I knew he also taught a spin class at the Campus Rec Center. So I knew he was knowledgeable and experienced, and I recalled that he was a concerned and compassionate practitioner. These things were all very important to me.
I came prepared with my training schedule that included the days leading up to the injury, during, and after, which he was glad to look at and evaluate with me.
After discussing my training, my injury, and doing some movement tests with me, he determined that the injury is most-likely a strained soleus muscle--which further means, my self-diagnosis was right!! (I love being right--sometimes to a fault.)
What's less is exciting is that this still means weeks of recovery. How many weeks is hard to say. He seemed to think I'd be able to run the marathon, but he said I may not be able to PR like I'd originally planned, but I'd given up hope for that already anyway. His confidence gave me more confidence. In addition to the modified training I'm already doing, he prescribed some physical therapy appointments. I'm going to try my first one tomorrow and see if it's something that might benefit me more than what I'm able to do on my own. He also said to slowly work in CrossBoot and maybe some running, after properly warming up my legs, and if I start to feel the pain come on, then to quit and stretch, ice, rest.
He alleviated my concern about losing the running-fitness I've built up by telling me that most of the hard work has already been done, and as long as I'm maintaining a high level of fitness, my body knows it can do it, essentially. Plus, the fact that I've completed a marathon before makes me psychologically prepared. He emphasized that resting before a big race is much more important than trying to squeeze in more training, and even went on to say that many athletes don't perform their best because they over-train and don't get enough rest before their race.
When I asked him if cycling was an appropriate training exercise for my injury, he said that it was, as long as it wan't causing pain, but that clip-pedals (and clip-in shoes) would be a lot better than the simple cages I currently have on my pedals. He suggested that I try to borrow someone's pedals and shoes, if possible. So I might start asking around . . . ;-D
Here's hoping this next week brings a little less pain and a lot more healing!