The pain game


I’ve had various brushes with sports therapists over the years – the consequence of bursting the fluid on a knee cap, general knee pain (tight IT band to blame), plantar fasciitis (five weeks before a marathon), scar tissue on the soleus and badly bruising a knee cap (the other one) in a fall on snowy ground.

So it was a novelty to visit a therapist while injury-free. Late-February seemed a suitable juncture. My weekly mileage has been wandering between 45 and 65 for the last two months and I was (I am) beginning to feel the strain. Just to compound the ‘strain’, I ran 15 miles on the morning of the appointment, despite feeling faint within the first 100 metres of the session. The faintness abated after about six miles – which is good that it went away, but not good in that it took 40 minutes. I only kept going because I didn’t feel as bad as the previous night when I had been hallucinating on the run home from a track session. I Googled faintness and running later, and, according to Runner’s World, I can blame it on ‘general weariness’. Surely faintness while running is a tad more serious than that?

Anyway, back to the massage. Everything was tight: calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors and, worst of all, the gluteus maximus. An elbow rammed very hard and repeatedly into the buttocks is never a good thing. I was susceptible to injury in this state, the masseur warned. Stretch, stretch, stretch – that’s what I needed to do. It was the IT band that really made me yelp (rather embarassingly) in pain, though. I was reminded of the extreme legs-on-fire agony when I had undergone treatment for a tight IT band years earlier: there can be no greater incentive to stretch.

Next up: the Roding Valley half-marathon tomorrow.

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