Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Overcoming Injury

Before I even started "running" I worked as a valet attendant at a busy casino. We would jog from our valet booth to the parking lot and from the parking lot to our valet booth. During my time as a valet I developed my first running related injuries: a horrible bout of Achilles Tendinits as well as ITBS. The tendinitis resolved itself, while the ITBS lingered and is something I still deal with on occasion.  One day my co worker Dan said "We should run the Capitol City Half Marathon." So we signed up and I started training. Nine months later I ran the Capitol City Half. I hobbled (not for the last time) into the finish in 01:38. It was the most pain I have ever felt.
Since then I've had recurring issues, mainly in my right leg. Rarely debilitating, but always bothersome. I've always taken time off, felt better, started training, got hurt. Over and over again. I went to a Doctor with some Piriformis and Plantar Fasciitis issues after my first year of running and he basically said "You shouldn't run so much." So I haven't been back to a Doctor for running related issues since. I figured injury was just part of the sport. Everyone must be hurt all the time. Turns out that's not the case. No doubt it's a tough sport in which you're bound to have the occasional set back, but constant interruptions in training and normal life due to running related pain and injury isn't normal. Then again neither is running 50 miles through the mountains. Who am I to judge what's normal?
Recently I've had some pain in my medial tibia which has kept me from most of my serious training. I also had a pretty big flare up in my ITB during Orcas Island 50K. So after reading a bunch of Joe Uhan's articles and talking to my friend Becka, I made an appointment with Aaron Anders at ADAPT Physical Thereapy in Medford. Following a series of brief questions he started pulling and pushing on my legs and telling me to try and resist. That's when I started to realize I had little strength in my right side. He had me do a plank and asked if I had ever done a plank before. I said I had and that I don't do too much core work. He said I was going to get real familiar with my core.
Turns out that the right side of my body is rather weak. My right hip and lower back more specifically. And according to Aaron, that lack of strength and mobility has led to the slew of problems in my right leg. Now it's time to address and correct those issues and get back to, or should I say experience for the first time, pain free running. I'm feeling very excited about what the future holds after this is all resolved!
All of that being said, I'm going to pull out of the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. I was really excited to run this race. I got up at 7:45 the day registration opened and spent 20 minutes trying to register while the website was crashing until I finally got in right before it sold out. Victory! I thought. But I don't feel like I can train hard enough or peak properly to meet my own expectations while I'm focusing on this rehab. After my disastrous blow ups at last years SOB 50 and this years Orcas Isand 50K I think I've learned my lesson about going into a race under trained: just don't do it.
So for now I'm going to focus on the task at hand, which is getting healthy. That way I can really crush the scene and run like an animal come summer. Thanks for reading and thank you for all of your continued support!

Electrodes

The pug may or may not approve


Feel free to follow me on twitter @koreykonga

2 comments:

  1. Hey, Korey! Good luck and have a speedy recovery!
    Even though I don't run as fast or as far as you do, I know how you feel about running related injuries... Since I'd started trail running (about a year ago) I've been dealing with synovitis, ITBS and - for the last 4 months - a pain in the *ss shin splint on both legs.
    Sometimes it just makes me wanna quit running... but how could I?? Trail running is so awesome, the trail running community is so great and fun...
    Anyway, get well soon and get back to the trails!

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    1. Thanks for the kind wishes, Gabriel!
      Hope your pain subsides soon too.

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