Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I Made it Through the Rain
Oh my girlfriends I am dwelling in bliss. Catch the buzz quickly before I once again descend into the usually bitchiness that is me (hey a girl’s gotta be what a girl’s gotta be). But for now at least I am in an exceptionally good mood.
Here’s the details, my cybersisters- as some of you may know I had torn my hamstring some time ago. This was not a serious injury but it did require a year’s worth of rehab including physiotherapy and those lovely bandages wrapped around the leg.
Yes, I bought bandages in every colour. I considered my tensor bandages my new accessory that of course should highlight the given outfit- as important as a handbag or good footwear. Of course like and like every good patient with an eye for health and fashion I made sure that yes, my bandage on my hamstring matched my outfit.
In addition to the bandages, came the physiotherapy and strength training. Rest assured my girlfriends- I was a terrible patient. My physiotherapist, Jeremy should be sainted for putting up with me.
In fact one might argue that the reason my injury took so long to heal was that I was remiss at the daily exercises required for prompter healing. Furthermore, part of the healing process involved resting the injured area and of course nothing says rest like scaling Kilimanjaro or cycling across country.
I would not rest and therefore, my tear took longer to heal. Jeremy of course was very patient with me (big love to Jer if he’s reading this).
Finally in a weekly training session with my beloved and equally patient trainer (Mr. Veino – there are no words) we would focus on hamstring strengthening lessons. Slowly but surely my wounds would heal.
And so my cybersisters it is with great pride this week that I crossed the finish line safely and successfully at this year’s Vancouver Sun Run. Said run is the annual 10km city race which occurs every year in Vancouver and boasts one of the largest turn outs in North America.
Make no mistake, this was not my first race. Hell, for the last 6 years I’ve been running (both in heels and track shoes) like a crazy lady. Countless 10km races, half marathons, triathlons and even one marathon and I had begun to take running for granted.
However, a year or so ago my injury threatened to make running a thing of the past. As my girlfriends know- I took up swimming and cycling with a vengeance- perhaps to compensate for my lack of ability to race with the best of them.
So imagine my delight when I was able to lace up my sneakers once again and hit the pavement. Ahhh, to feel the asphalt beneath my feet, the wind in my hair and the pains in my ass…. It was a joy I had missed.
According to a review article on running injuries published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 1996 certain muscle groups are at highest risk for strain and injury than others.
Findings from the laboratory indicate that certain muscles are susceptible to strain injury (muscles that cross multiple joints or have complex architecture). These muscles have a strain threshold for both passive and active injury. Strain injury is not the result of muscle contraction alone, rather, strains are the result of excessive stretch or stretch while the muscle is being activated.
When the muscle tears, the damage is localized very near where the muscle meets the tendon.
In the review, the most commonly injured muscles associated with running include the hamstring, the rectus femoris, gastrocnemius, and adductor longus muscles. These are essentially at the back of the leg above and below the knee
Studies show that an injured hamstring is at significant injury for repeat tearing.
Newer research has show the beneficial effects of warm-up, temperature, and stretching on the mechanical properties of muscle. This has been seen in both injured and non-injured alike. These benefits potentially reduce the risks of strain injury to the muscle.
The key factors protecting muscles include strength, endurance, and flexibility. Studies show that the stronger and more flexible a muscle group- the less susceptible it is to injury.
This becomes even more important when a muscle group has been injured and is at greater risk for repeat injuries.
There you have it my girlfriends. Deepak Chopra once said- “success is not how you rise- it is how you rise after you fall”. This fallen angel is feeling pretty good about the road ahead.
As for my girlfriends out there struggling with a setback of one kind or another? My advice is simple- be tenacious. Like any good girlfriend at a Barney’s outlet- keep searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Don’t give up or settle for status quo.
We don’t do that with our choice in shoes (the hunt for the perfect pump continues) or with our choices in friends, hairstylists or ice cream flavours. As women we are forever searching for perfection. Why shouldn’t we strive for it when it come to our own health?
As the evidence suggests- when injured take the time to heal properly and then get back to work at making it all make sense. Seek the proper treatment plan from people who know best (no, Dr. Oz- I am NOT talking to you) and behave accordingly.
Who knows, my girlfriends, what future celebrations lay in store. I’ve been good to my hamstring these past few months and today, she was very good to me. Rest assured I rewarded the both of us with a fabulous pair of mint green 5 inch pumps that really do complete me. What better way to mark the occasion, No?