hamstring

A.R.T.

Blog

So, for the last 8+ months, my hamstring has been hurting and aching and giving me problems. The intensity of injury decreased when I started stretching regularly, but it's still there. After hearing from the triathlete who trains with us on Mondays at Velocity Sports, and from Ryan, both who pretty much said, "Nothing I tried helped until I had A.R.T. done on my" whatever injury she/he had, I finally looked again for an A.R.T. practitioner, and signed up for an appointment.

Previously, when I looked, the nearest practitioner was in Santa Clara. This time when I looked, however, I found one who worked right around the corner from me, all of maybe 400 yards from my house. Well, duh, how could I not go now?

"Expect to hurt," was the warning I received by everyone I know who has had A.R.T. done. Expect to be in pain, expect to be bruised (an easy thing for, given that I bruise just looking at a table I could walk into, no need to actually walk into it), expect to be sore afterward. Great, I knew what to expect, I was goin' in.

What I wasn't expecting, however, was the immediate, "Let's get to it" nature of the appointment. Having been to chiropractors for 20 years (ugh, did I just say that?), and a runner for those same 20 years, I know that a warm body is a lot easier to stretch. So, when I walked into the exam room, and he said up on the table, and immediately started stretching my not-warmed-up, not-stretched, quite-stiff-from-sitting-all-day leg, and by stretching I mean pushing my foot over my shoulder because it does go that far, I freaked.

I mean, come on, sure, I'm flexible. I usually warm up to that flexibility, though.

The whole appointment didn't last more than 20 minutes. Other than a lot of skin pulling, there was no pain with the process. Other than having to pee really badly, there was no discomfort. I was able to move around better, and the constant pain with my hamstring insertion point was gone (I would later discover, "for the moment"), but I didn't have any of the bruising I had expected, or lingering pain.

Maybe there's something else going on, maybe a practitioner's proximity isn't the best way to choose a healthcare provider, but that "expect it to hurt" advice?

Bunk.

Or all my friends are pain wimps. That could be.

Hamming the string

Blog

After avoiding the subject for about two months, I finally went to the physical therapist for help with my hamstring. I've been playing on it since Kaimana, but not at top speed, and not without pain and a lot of worry. I knew vaguely what I needed to do for rehab for a normal muscle pull, sure. But the pop I felt/heard when I pulled it the last time, coupled with the seemingly long recovery time, gave me pause.

Apparently for good reason.

Instead of pulling or straining the hamstring muscle, I also pulled it off the bone. Similar to a shin splint, where the muscle's connective tissue to the bone becomes inflamed or begins to separate from the bone, the pop I heard was, according to the diagnosis I received, the disconnection of my hamstring from my pelvis at the insertion point.

This is bad.

Depending on the severity, the injury can take two months to six or more months to heal. The worst possible movement for this type of injury just happens to be explosive moves, say, sprinting and quick acceleration.

Greaaaaaaaat.

I'm supposed to stretch my hamstring ten times a day for the next six weeks as a good start. And work on abductors and adductors, as well as some gentle hamstring strengthening, during that time, too. Fortunately, I've been doing most of what I'm supposed to do for the hamstring to heal (minus that sprinting thing, and, oh, say, playing ultimate), I just need to do more of it (minus that sprinting thing, and, oh, say, playing ultimate).

Starting out a season with an injury has to be as bad as ending a season early because of an injury. Well, maybe. Since this is the first time I've had this happen, we'll see if that's valid. That, and if the 80 grams of protein I've been trying to eat a day will do more than just go to my middle.

1000 today

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When I injured my hamstring ten days ago, my frustrations with my health rose dramatically. I want this season, the 2007 club season, to be my swan song, and for that to happen, I have to be in fantastic shape to make the team. Mischief has little sympathy for under-performers, offering practice spots for those whose athleticism has declined with age. I don't know that I'd particularly mind having a second National Championship playing Women's Masters (where the minimum age is 30), but I'd much rather have it in Mixed with Mischief.

The biggest issue in tryouts this season will be fitness. Since running has thus far been out of the question (my being unable to straighten my left leg when sitting down, my leg at 90°), I've been struggling to find other activities. I'd really like to go swimming with Megan, but we haven't quite connected on that endeavour yet. I'm still hoping, especially since Megan will most likely be able to help me become more water efficient: I can get from one side of the pool to the other, but my dogs who hate water have more water grace than I do.

Unless, of course, we're pool jump racing. Then I kick butt.

Horsing around several days ago, I pulled out the jump rope and started jumping. I managed very few jumps, maybe twenty straight, which is lame, but I managed them without harming my hamstring any further. Very excited, I jumped around sixty or so straight.

Kris watched me, then said, he'd challenge me. He then jumped hundred jumps (without breaking a sweat, actually). My turn to jump. He decided that the most he could increase the target number is by 50%, regardless of how many he jumped, but that I could over jump him as much as I could manage.

The next day, my second set of jump increases made the count all of 102. Kris easily increased it to 151 that day. It seems each time I overjumped Kris, he just outjumped me like he'd been doing it all his life. Mostly because he has: his best is 11000 jumps in a row, when he was 18. That number took him about an hour to jump.

So, 151 from Kris, 165 from me, 235 from him over the next few days.

Today, I decided I was going to jump 1000 jumps, not necessarily all at once, with secondary goals of not re-injuring my hamstring and also jumping over 235 jumps.

My 1013 jumps were in sets of 6, 53, 245, 12, 15, 74, 47, 74, 47, 18, 6, 10, 112, 9, 56, 70, 18, 77, 16, and 110 jumps.

My third set of 245 beat Kris' 235, resetting the jump count to 245, where Kris could jump a maximum of 1.5 * 245, or 367. After finishing up strong with my 110 jumps, Kris stood up and declared I inspired him with my 1000 jumps for the day.

So, he jumped 994 in a row.

I have a long way to go.