Friday, July 3, 2009

Knee Update and the 4th of July

Geez...yesterday's post stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest in my e-mail inbox! Along with the many public comments you can see at the end of that post, I received many private e-mails from friends who understood what I was saying and wanted to chime in with some advice or to let me know they're going through the exact same thing themselves. By the way, while I don't post many "negative" things here at RTRSBM, I also want to be transparent and "real" and not give the perception that things are always smooth-sailin'...because they're not. Maybe a mistake I make will be used to help a reader NOT make the same mistake themselves. To that end, here's an update:

One person who e-mailed mentioned about massaging and stretching the area. The IT band area is nearly impossible to stretch but it is possible to massage all of the muscles heading into the knee area. I believe the irritation/discomfort is from scar tissue from so much pounding along with my 100-miler. That scar tissue in the general area needs to be broken free. So, I pulled out my "Stick" which I picked up over 10 years ago when I started running. It has handles on each end, has plastic spindles that 'float' freely and spin on a center plastic rod that is highly flexible. It allows the user to compress and stretch the muscle. I worked the area a bit last night, again this morning seconds before hitting the trails, and immediately following the trail run. I can tell an immediate difference after using it. I am going to continue to work on the area multiple times per day and continue to increase my water intake to help clear the area to facilitate healing. To that end, I believe that light running which warms up the area and increases blood flow to the area is also helpful. While I am most definitely backing off on long distance runs for the time-being, I am going to keep some short stuff going and getting to the trails whenever possible since that provides a very soft and comfortable ride.

Last night before bed, I didn't have any replies to my posted Friday morning trail run but by morning, a few RSVP'd and when I got to the Pine Lane trail head, 6 others were waiting to go. We headed out easy and my knee felt good. It was about a 60F, 85% humidity, rainy, muddy, foggy trail run. We headed to the Boston Store and continued on to Blue Hen Falls for about 5.5 miles then turned around and traced our steps back. For the last few miles, the others felt like picking up the pace so I let them all go and kept to my plan of easy, care-free running and I finished feeling pretty good. I certainly "felt" more of the irritation at the end but no pain was involved and after using The Stick, it felt really good. I'm also going to pop ibuprofen to reduce any inflammation in the area. Basically, I'm just going to coddle the area and pay very close attention to how it truly is and let that guide when and how far I run.

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy 4th of July tomorrow! I hope you enjoy the holiday and also remember those servicemen and women who will celebrate this holiday away from their families whether it be aboard a ship or in the sand over in Afghanistan or Iraq. For those of you who don't know, we (the U.S.) launched a major offensive in southern Afghanistan against the Taliban just yesterday. One Marine has already given his or her life in the operation. Please remember what your countrymen are doing a half world away while we all enjoy our freedom. Below is a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that just may produce some goose bumps on your neck. It is sung by the Gaither Vocal Band and is a fantastic version of our national anthem. Enjoy!

Happy Trails, everyone!

1 comment:

kron said...

Nick,

Glad to hear you got it under control. Happy (belated) 4th and THANK YOU for your service. I never feel that humbled amongst anyone (athlete, actor,...etc) but a vet humbles me the most for they have given more than any.