With Marathon Training, a few aches and pains are to be expected. I just didn’t expect them to lay the smack down on me after five runs.
Last year I was always about 5 minutes away from being injured. I could list the reasons that I didn’t hold back; dedication, excessive spirit of competition, sheer stupidity… maybe some are more true than others. The crux of the matter was that none of the body treatments I received really dealt with the root of my issues.
Cramping in my foot slowed me down and added several minutes onto the Boulder Spring Half in March.
The sore glute and feeling of an ice pick being jammed into the hip forced me into the mountains during marathon training a year ago. Then it was an achy hamstring, tight calves, sore IT Bands… you name it, I had it. And I kept running.
I took a few months off at the end of 2012 and focused on stretching and strengthening, hoping the inflammation would subside and I’d be ready for the next big cycle.
Two weeks into Marathon Training for Boston and I was about to be sidelined. During a mid-length Sunday run with the gang I had to stop twice to stretch my foot because it was cramping again. My right leg didn’t have the same “lift” as the left and it felt like I needed to pick it up with each step.
Obviously something had to be done, and fast.
A friend recommended Matt Schaub, a massage therapist in Arvada. I made an appointment and cautiously looked forward to the session. Standing just inside the door with my coat and purse on, I told him that more massage therapists than I can count have wailed on me; he better not make me cry. He discussed trigger points and how pain is referred; we agreed to give it a shot and I got on the table.
He found the sore places and gently, diligently, worked to release them. When I started to tense up he backed off and came at the knot from another direction. Several times he released about six layers of fascia and tissue before finally getting to the crux of the matter.
I left the room standing taller and with less stiffness than I’ve had in months.
Yesterday morning the glute and IT Band were completely flared up. I foam rolled and did what self-massage I could but there was no way I would ever get the right angle to release the layers of scar tissue and crap that has settled deep in my body. Matt worked on me again in the afternoon, spending close to 45 minutes on the glute and methodically getting deeper and deeper into the root of the problem until we both felt the entire leg release. It was the most magical burst of nirvana I’ve ever had on a massage table. The pain was gone. The trigger point was gone.
I left the office with zero pain in my legs.
Fast forward 24 hours. I ran 18.4 miles with my running partners this morning. A few times I could feel some tension in the glute but it wasn’t anything like what I’ve experienced lately. I’ll see him again this week and we’ll work on the next layer of my issues.
He said, “You didn’t get this messed up overnight. It’ll take a bit to work it out but if you’re willing to commit to the work, we’ll get you moving again.”
I want to be healthy and able-bodied. Willpower got me through 2012. Intelligence and paying attention to my body will get me through 2013.