Tipping the scales

The difference a couple of stones make

Being injured is no excuse for being lazy.

After  the Predator Triathlon Club night on Saturday night / early Sunday morning, it’s safe to say, doing a morning weigh in after the night before, is probably not one of my brighter ideas. But I did and suffice to say, being tired and having a sore head are the least of my problems.

Time to get off my ass, work around any current limitations and step away from the biscuit tin. This year it has taken me 6 months to drop 4kg and only 4 weeks to put them right back where they were.

Time for them to go again, for good. 

Back to structured eating, sleeping and training from today. 

First, maybe just one more Chocolate Kimberley….

Just cos it says Elite

Therapy !?

I think I’ve done myself a mischief! I’ve done a right job on myself.

After a full season training without so much as a niggle I really went for it when I hit the Aillwee trails.In fairness being injury free was a much down to regular visits to Greg Maclean as it was being careful and not over doing anything in training. Greg is a Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Therapist (NMRT for short) and what he does is magic!

With a bit of a chat to discuss any problems he will identify any potential issues with a few well placed thumbs (which I’m convinced he sharpens with a parer cos he hits the sensitive spots bang on) he will outline the course of action he’s going to follow. It can be anything from a straight forward sports massage, to deep tissue massage, dry needling or his latest card trick, which I discovered today, electro-stimulus of needles.

Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s not new to the game, its just a new ‘card trick’ for me.

When he says “I’m gonna suggest something, and you won’t like it” I know it involves needles.

I thought fine, go ahead, you’ve done it before. Then he starts rooting at a cart with wires hanging off it and I swear there was a hint of a maniacal smile playing on his face as he said, “I’m going to pass a pulse through the needles”.

Hooked up to Dr Frankenstein’s machine

Not going into a blow by blow account of what he did to me today. Essentially he inserted fine needles into a couple of trigger points around the injured area and passed an oscillating current through the needle to stimulate blood flow in the injured tissue.

The reasons, he outlined, are because the area around the knee cap (patella) is mostly supportive tendons and ligaments linking the upper and lower leg and providing attachment points for the leg muscles. Tendon & ligament are unlike muscle tissues in that they have a limited circulatory system service which means they don’t heal as quickly or easily as other soft tissue.

So the way I’m hooked up the two mini-jumpleads with the yellow cabling are passing a current into the area below my knee cap. Its like there’s two little Leprechauns with mini lump hammers tapping away at the area really furiously, not pleasant but not uncomfortable.

The blue leads are into the attachment area of the tendons supporting the side of the knee cap and where the quad muscles are wrapping around onto the lower leg. Same sensation as above and all of a sudden my knee feels like its the face of a Leprechaun quarry.

The grey cables are for the craic. They are stimulating the quad muscles. Basically because I’m not using the left quad the body is atrophying the muscle and it is decidedly noticeable, at this stage 5cm circumference difference left to right quad. By passing a current into this leg he is activating the muscles and hopefully giving them a workout while I sit on my ass.

How does this work? Just look at the video below to see the muscle at work.

After 30 minutes of this I felt like I’d done a proper workout on just my left leg.

Greg also recommended that I start taking Serrapeptase to help prevent the development of scar tissue within the knee and to help reduce the bursitis bubble.

If you need any information on Greg or on any of the treatments he offers in his rooms in Kilcolgan, just check out his website http://www.neuromuscularrehabilitationtherapy.com/ for more information.

Back in at the Deep End

 Just to give you an update.

I’m off to see my NMT guy tomorrow to give the body a check over. Its looks like I’ve managed to develop a nice bit of pre-patellar bursitis as a result of my battering off the bike and attempting to run on it, so another bit of rest (at least from running and cycling) for a while.

I just want his opinion on it as I’ve been a bit concerned about the muscle deterioration in the left quad muscles.

So to stop the tummy getting any bigger (I’m putting back about a kg a week at the moment simply by being inactive) I need to be exercising and make use of a smaller fork.

I’ve jumped back into the pool. I haven’t been swimming since the 70.3 in September it’s going to be a while. Also having tried a little flutter kick I found the knee don’t like it! So all my swimming is being done with pull buoy and dragging my legs around behind me.

New toy for the pool too. I’ve picked up a Garmin Swim to help track my progress in the pool and to also focus my training sessions. It’s a nice bit of kit and I will try and do justice to it in a couple of weeks when I’ve gotten used to it with a review. It’s been a while since I’ve used a Garmin so it’ll be interesting to see how I get on.

The blog also is getting a new appearance, keeping up with the times, hope you like the new look.

Quick update on the past month.

The last time I posted here I was flying high on a solid performance in the morning session of The Caveman down in Aillwee Caves.

The afternoon timetrial was a 4k run back out the reverse of the morning’s route for 2km and then back up the final 2k of climbs. Tough, tough route. Not the easiest thing in the world given the morning session is a tough hill run but, hey, we were all in the same boat.

Bursting outta Aillwee Caves

I tired a bit towards the end of the run and finished up dropping one place to end up 10th overall across the two events for the day. Not bad for an auld lad!

All eager at the start.

Day 2 featured a 24k mountain bike circuit which was two laps in reverse of yesterday morning’s run route (still with me?) to be followed in the afternoon by a 12k timetrial being one lap in reverse of this bike route.

Either way there was a lot of climbing involved.

Starting at the bottom of the hill, climbing up to the Cave entrance and then dropping down through the woods before scooting across the field and up through the mud and a looonnng drag up the back of the hills before dropping off the edge of a cliff.

The views were spectacular and looking at some of Chris Deakin’s photos from the day you get to appreciate some of the views that I missed on the day:

He has tons more over on the Caveman Facebook page well worth checking out.

One of my ‘favourite’ shots of the day was this one which he took shortly after my race was over:

I’d done all the hard work, controlled the tricky descents and passed Chris on a bend and came off the bike. Nothing fancy, nothing stupid, just came off on a corner.

Hockeyed my left leg out of it. Realised during the clean up in the ambulance, elbow, forearm, hip, thigh, shin and most of all my knee took all of the impact. Inspecting the bike, it took a passting too, with the front derraileur attempting to relocate to the back of the bike. No damage to my Kask helmet though! 🙂

Race over, limped back on a bruised bike with a slowly seizing knee. Brave face to wife & kids who couldn’t understand what had happened me as I’d passed them earlier in the top 6 or 8 of the field going out on the lap. They thought I had gone though when they weren’t looking and reckoned I was just finishing the race, well I was, just not how they expected.

Race over, home, rest, icepacks, elevation and compression or something like that.

Roll forward two weeks of Zero exercise, Zero running and two weeks of progressively less hobbling and I’m standing on the start line of Dublin Marathon with the 3:30 pacers. I only came clean to my coach Fran the day before (he was wondering why my blog had gone quiet) so I was quite sheepish about an ambitious starting spot.

Anyway, I was going out the way I’d planned, if it goes pear shaped I was happy to stop and I’d always race another day.

Well it did.

Go pear shaped, that is.

I was sore from the start. I ran to plan though, even had time to pee in the park, the world’s biggest public urinal once a year, and stayed with the pace plan.

Around the 10 mile mark the pain was solid, I could run, but I knew it was now going to be a case of just getting there. Around me Chris, George & Adrian were all aiming for the same sub 3:30 goal and we traded places a couple of times, shared the water bottle etc. No chatting, just running in the moments.

At halfway I was out. Hit the halfway mat bang on the mark for the target but I was going no further. I rounded the Kestrel corner, had to stop to pick up a water bottle and next step with weight on my left knee I was done. A wall stopped me from falling over in agony.

Nee, naw to the finish line (I won’t joke about asking to be wheeled across the line in light of the idiots who did cheat) into the mediacl tent and a couple of painkillers later, a foil blanket, couple of twists and pokes of my leg and the Doc advised that I’d inflamed cartilage in my leg. Rest, ice, compression and elevation or something like that.

He did like my “I hope not!!” answer when he asked me “if it was a recurring injury?”

Almost 2 weeks later of progressively less hobbling and I’m considering my next move. The knee is getting one more week of rest and then its time to build everything back up slowly again.

Watch this space, cos there’s going to be changes around here!!