Thursday, April 14, 2011

No pain, no gain - Not!

Today was my regular physical therapy appointment with Kristy at Paulseth & Associates in Century City. I am always pumped up after these session – Yes, I will do my PT exercises at home. Yes, I will strength train regularly. Yes, yes, yes! But once I get home, all my “yesses” turn into big fat lazy “nos”. One reason? The lure of a nice comfy couch and realty TV after a long day at work.

Kristy is treating my calf pain and a more recent knee pain connected to my IT band. After today’s session, I rolled up and down a hard black foam roller under the guidance of an aide. “How does the black one feel?” she inquires, as there is also a softer white foam roller. Kristy had massaged my left IT band and it was left sore, so the rolling hurt. “No pain, no gain!” I tell the aide. “Um, that’s not really what we stand for.” True – pain is a big no-no for someone who sees injured people all day.

“No pain, no gain” needs to be qualified for runners. Physical pain is never a good thing. Soreness is OK, but not pain. That’s the sign that the body is overworked, underprepared, and on the threshold of going from “not that bad” to “bad”. Mental pain is OK, but hopefully with consistent training, that gets better.

I know I am the culprit for my problems. I have been lax on strength training, stretching and cross-training, thus resulting in more pain and less gain. The IT band, a common issue for runners, came up during the marathon, disguised as knee discomfort. My calf issue stems (amongst other things) from a tight Achilles tendon and stiff ankle. The ankle and foot exercises Kristy has taught me are very helpful, as are regular ultrasound and icing. I have already seen the benefits. I had no discomfort in my right calf at the 10K on Sunday, but still have the IT pain. Recovery doesn’t happen over night.

Now I just have to remember to do my stretches and exercises during the week.

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