A Different Opinion

Note: This is both an update on my week and, if you continue reading, a recap of my first appointment at Wellness in Motion Boston.

After running the Harpoon 5-Miler on Sunday, I thought my legs were going to fall off. When I woke up on Monday, my quads were sore, which almost never happens except after running significant downhills. The race course was almost completely flat except for a bridge, so I’m a little perplexed. I slept in a bit which was nice because I was actually a tad hungover from drinking 5 beers over the course of 5 hours – a LOT more than I’m used to these days. I worked from home in the morning because Ben’s only appointment that day was at 10:40 and he wants me to make sure I’m coming in weekly until after my half. I can’t do much of anything after dry needling – my calf is far too sore and tight – so I try to go early in the day and early in the week.

We talked a little about my race and how I wasn’t in much pain but that the issue with my feet burning/going numb was almost enough to ruin the race for me. He was happy to see me in my new supportive running shoes, and not just because he also wears the Brooks Adrenaline. We got down to business, which was dry needling to the back of my left calf, as well as some Graston there, which had me feeling like I wanted to puke. The needle hit a nerve, which made my foot feel like it was electrocuted. As soon as he moved the needle, the pain was gone. I’m so amazed by the human body and how it’s all connected.

He really massaged the heck out of my calf after torturing it, so I barely had to limp to my car and then into the office. I kept my foot elevated and resting on a heating pad for most of the day, which took the edge off the pain but unfortunately meant that every time I got up to get water or go to the bathroom or attend a meeting, it was super tight from being at rest. I was determined to get in a workout after work though, and since my trainer is on vacation this week, she left us with a plan.

Day 1

  • Bodyweight Bulgarian split squats, 8 reps x 4 sets
  • Fire hydrants, 8 reps per leg x 4 sets (I accidentally did like 6 sets of these, maybe 7)
  • Pushups to failure (which for me is 4), 4 sets
  • Front raises with 15lb dumbbells, 15 reps x 4 sets
  • Wall-assisted deadbugs, 10 reps per leg x 3 sets
  • Bodysaws with feet on face towels, 12 reps x 3 sets

So hard! My quads were even more sore after that.

On Tuesday, I knew I wasn’t going to do anything before work because I was having lunch with the CEO and wanted to make sure I looked nice. If I work out in the morning, I go to work with wet, wavy, wild hair. Instead, I spent that time before work straightening my hair. So after work, I was feeling good (despite my very sore quads) and was excited by how good my feet still felt in my new shoes so I decided to go for a run, even though my plan was to do my mid-week “runs” on the elliptical and save pounding pavement for my weekend long runs.

I felt SO good. I mean, I am still struggling with pace/stamina because my running has been so inconsistent or non-existent, but all things considered – this was a really good run for me lately. I stretched a lot afterward, both outside as soon as I finished running and then back inside as well, but unfortunately still woke up on Wednesday with insanely sore quads. What the heck?!

20170320_173906
Using the Normatec Recovery boots at WIMB last year

After work on Wednesday, I went to my first ever appointment at Wellness in Motion Boston. I went here last year to use their Normatec boots, but they just opened a Brookline location very close to my apartment, and I wanted a 2nd opinion (but really like, 5th opinion) about my pain. A lot of my running friends have gone there and had good success, and the doctor is an elite runner himself, so I decided to give it a try.

And I’m so glad I did! Dr. T’s office – surprise, surprise – did not fax over my record. So frustrating, but consistent with my experiences with the administrative assistant there. Fortunately Ian had time to review my new patient paperwork and then we spent some time reviewing my training, injury, treatments, and current pain level. Without telling him what Ben has been saying for the past few weeks, he said, “I think it’s your calf muscle – the soleus.” Bingo! This is exactly why Ben has been dry needling that area since mid-April.

He told me to lie face down on the “massage” table and warned me it was going to be pretty intense. I’ve dealt with Graston and dry needling for years so I was prepared. I also, despite what I sometimes think, really do have a pretty high pain tolerance – especially when I know it’ll feel better in the long run. No pain, no gain.

Active Release Therapy (ART) is truly something else. I wasn’t breathing and was sweating buckets. He kept asking me random questions about work and races and vacations, and I was able to talk back, but I wasn’t breathing. I quickly developed a knot in my stomach and worried I was either going to puke or fart or die. “Intense” was definitely the correct adjective. While trying not to die, I mentioned my feet burning and going numb. He said it could be that my feet are sweating because it’s hot out, and because my socks are so thin, there’s a lot of room inside my shoe for my feet to slide around when they get sweaty. That could be causing friction, and friction causes the burning/numbness. He said I may want to try some more cushioned socks to take up more room inside my shoes.

I think my treatment lasted about 25 minutes – first on the soleus then on the hamstring. As soon as he stopped, the intense pain subsided but I was really sore. He suggested ice and rest and taking it easy Thursday morning. After a quick stop at Marathon Sports to pick up some Glide and two different pairs of breathable but thick and even thicker socks, I went home to ice and rest. Except I had to walk Chip, make dinner (my appetite was pretty blah so I baked a salmon fillet and had a few tortilla chips), attempt to print the invitation for my best friend’s baby shower, check work emails, wash dishes, etc etc. By the time I actually sat down to ice my leg, it was well after 7pm – nearly 3 hours since my appointment. Oops.

I definitely felt it this morning when I attempted to run 4 miles before work. Those 4 turned into 2.5. It’s kinda funny because yesterday I was thinking it’s that time of year again – time to add salt tablets into my pre-run routine and carry them on longer runs. But for some reason, eating my maple waffle and a GU with caffeine felt like enough. So I went out and knew the first mile or so would be rough, but I was still struggling a LOT by mile 2 and was close to home because of the route I took, so I decided 2.5 was good enough. I also had walked by my car before running, and saw that I had a completely flat tire, so I knew I was going to have to call AAA and wait for them to come before I could head into work. I just wanted to get my day going, especially because when my head hits the pillow tonight, it’ll be in the Adirondacks! I have 4-5 hours of driving ahead of me, depending on traffic, so 2.5 miles was good enough.

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