Monday, March 05, 2007

The Running Wounded

“Sooner or later every runner is injured. Very few injuries last longer than 3-4 weeks; with proper care and when treated early, most injuries will be gone in a few days, with no loss of conditioning.” I read the article sent to me by Moira with enthusiasm.

Hmmm… I am connected with that article and I like it because I am also injured from running. I am grateful to her for being able to identify the most relevant article in time of difficulty (or can’t do much) in my running conditions.

From the article, it is most comforting to hear that few injuries last more than 3-4 weeks. I hope my injury is not in the excluded category.

“Let’s face It. Running is an addiction. Once you get that daily fix of aerobic exercise, improved circulation, and capillary stimulation, you feel too good to ever stop. But when an injury crops up and you become one of the “walking wounded,” you are faced with a problem: How do you rest long enough to let it heal?” Wow! The writer of that article says it absolutely correct.

Life without running is like missing a lot of things in my life – such is the addiction. Every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., I wake up and feel that I have not accomplished something in life while lying on my bed. That is the time that I usually complete the 20km training run. Nevertheless, one would not be able to accomplish anything if one is still relaxing on bed.

The pain in my right heel started four months ago during a speed running race in The EDGE Kuala Lumpur Executive Rat Race 2006. The reward for being the Champion Team came with a price. The pain starts when I rise in the morning. When I walk around, the pain subsides, only to return the next morning. I actually ignore the pain in the hope that somehow it will mysteriously vanish when I continue running. However, the pain seems to be getting worst; I have no choice but to seek medical treatment.

I went to an Orthopedist in SJMC by the name of Dr. Chan KY. A few Pacesetters runners asked me to consult Dr. William Chan, the resident doctor who is always featured in Pacesetters Footloose magazine. So I said, “Since both of them sharing same surname, I will ask whether they are brothers. Hopefully, they will share their expertise.”

I am required to do ultra-sound massage and exercises three times a week. At the physiotherapy section of Subang Jaya Medical Centre, I am the luckiest. All those patients that lie on the massaging bed are mostly have undergone surgery. I am the only one patient walking around “unscratched”. One patient asked me while we both busy in stretching exercise, “Can’t seem to see where is the part that you have operated on?”

Alternative Exercises

The article recommends a few exercises or workouts to aid in speeding up recovery. First is “Running in the swimming pool” that simulates running better than any other activity and can keep you in fine condition. Next is the “Cross-country skiing or Rowing Machines”. Since these two methods seem a bit elaborate and far-fetched to me, I shall give them a miss.

Next is “Cycling on Exercycle (or stationary bike)” which is easily achievable since I am going to gym now trying to tone up my long neglected muscles. Another exercise is “Roll your foot over a golf ball, baseball or softball” I find this exercise is the most convenient. When I am busy typing this report, my right foot is actually busy rolling the golf ball from front to back, in round and round action. Oops… the golf ball slipped away.

Knowing that I also play badminton, one runner suggested that I should switch to playing mixed-double instead. This is to slow down the intensity. Alternatively, go the badminton court later in the session after all the players have tired down.

This is also a good time to seriously implementing the Girl Runners Accompaniment Service by accompanying new girl runners to run from Bukit Aman to Sri Hartamas – the usual running route – in the dark and on early Sunday mornings. Girl runners are preferred as to provide them with safety and at the same time, I do not have to run very fast.

“There is always a price to pay for having a good time in running.” This is what I read in one of the books on running marathon. I am paying the price now for having good times. Give me a few months – I will be back.


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