Sunday, January 08, 2006

New Year's Injury

Let me preface this whole entry with this - over the last 6 months I have not maintained the level of fitness I want. I not only feel unhealthy, I feel guilty, but that’s another entry.

Last weekend our training group walked 3 miles. It was not difficult for me, but I did feel a little pulling in my left leg at the knee and hip. I’ve never been injured here, but I knew it did not feel right. Sunday when I walked to the post office, an easy walk of just about 15 min, that leg hurt again and my knees swelled. Still, Monday I insisted on starting the New Year by walking a very intense 4 miles. Not only did I walk the distance, I added speed intervals. I know, I should not add speed intervals to a long slow distance, but I was feeling a little bit cocky. (There’s a reason they call it “long slow distance”.) My leg has bothered me ever since. Sitting is uncomfortable, walking hurts for a while until I’m warmed up. My knees have been somewhat swollen all week. I cut back on walking.

During this Saturday’s walk I still had pain down my leg and took it slow. But it was worse. Afterward a massage therapist was available. I talked to him about my pain and he was surprised at how tender and inflamed my Iliotibial band was. He explained where the tendon is, what was causing the pain, and suggested I take it easy.

I know this is not the worst injury possible, but it is annoying and painful. I also feel stupid. I knew something was wrong and pushed myself too hard. Who was I trying to impress? Me? Now I will have to be careful for a while until this thing goes away. And from what I’ve read about it, it can come back often. (Yea.) So, I’m sitting here in January with an ice pack on my swollen parts. Yuck.

Anyway, my point is this. If you know something is wrong, even if you think it is minor, take care of yourself. Pay attention to your body and modify your training to prevent a more serious injury. If you are smart, you can walk and never be injured.

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