Friday, January 4, 2013

A.R.T. Round #1

My first track work out for this new year was not that great. 
It was not all that, 
"Injury Free in 2013! 
Yeay, me, go!"
But, I expected that and I'm with it because I know what my goals are, I know they will not be achieved overnight. And, I am confident that I will achieve my goals!
Sunday morning, I went to the gym and ran 12miles on the treadmill. I stretched each mile to prevent my left hammy and gluteal pain reaching unbearable levels. It's so frustrating and, if I complain out loud, I can almost hear the sarcastic comments ..."So, why do you run? Okay ...because research shows, muscles get hurt because they are weak - so I ask, "If I stop running or exercising, are my muscle going to become stronger? No, They'll get weaker! So why would I stop running and exercising, which would make me lose muscle mass and strength?'
Instead, I took the 12 really easy, 
stretched each mile, 
and afterward, 
used my foam roller.
Lastly, I sat on my new best friend:
I love you, my new friend!
This friend is sooooo HOT!
Monday, I was supposed to run a recovery 5, but I took a spin class for about 1hour, instead. I love using spin to cross train, my quads always feel so much stronger after a challenging spin class. I took off on Tuesday and then came .... Wednesday ....
These two could have whooped me!
I was so slow at the track. I met Coach for a miserable workout. All six of my strides were about 10seconds slower than normal. I had to run 1,000meters at 7:20' pace, jog 200meters, and do some pick-ups. The pick-ups were 200meters at stride pace, jog 200meters and repeat four times. Then I had to repeat another 1,000meter run at 7:20' pace. By the time I was done, my pace slowed to 7:33' and I was in pain. I ran a little over 1mile cool down, stretched, showered and went to the chiropractor for some cold laser therapy, which really does help, but I've been researching another form of therapy: A.R.T.: Active Release Technique.
Thursday, I was supposed to run 5miles, but pushed it off to this morning because I figured if I were in a ton of pain, at least maybe I'd get some relief with the A.R.T. So, treadmill 5 at 5AM it was!
Oh, look at me, I'm smiling and running on a treadmill
...said no one ever!
Someone please tell me why this chick is smiling?
Living close to Manhattan has it's benefits, one being that there are a good deal of professional athletes living around here, too. With that, so are their physical therapists. I found a group of rehabilitation specialists who work on The New York Jets and The New York Red Bulls. They provide alternative care therapies, such as A.R.T. to help heal soft tissue injuries. Today, I met with Dr Mike. He assessed my leg muscle and gluteal strength by performing some sort of isometric resistance exercises with me. After doing these assessments, it was glaringly obvious that the problem is that my gluteal muscles (left but cheek) are really weak- it's not my hamstring! He even identified a knot by my left L5 vertebrae, which he said in conjunction with the hammy pain, is specifically indicative of gluteal muscle strength issues. 
Anyway, this A.R.T was painful!
Dr Mike manipulated my left leg, while putting pressure on my gluteal muscles. I was taking deep breaths and gasping for air. I told him that he was really killing me. He took his hand, put it on my arm, gently pressed, and told me, "This is how much pressure I am putting on your gluteal muscles." "That's all?" I yelled. I was in shock and went on, seeing if I could detect any ounce of untruth to his words, "Really? You're not digging your thumb into my but muscles, and getting a kick out of making me squirm?" Yeah, well, Dr Mike was like, "!"

When it was all over, Dr Mike gave me some exercises to do, twice a day. I am also supposed to foam roll twice a day! Dr Mike performed the same assessment on my legs and gluteal muscles before I left, and the change was immediate! I'm not kidding. The change was immediate! My gluteus muscles were obviously stronger! I am psyched. 
No ...
I'm looking forward to my short 4miles tomorrow, and another 12 on Sunday. I see Dr Mike, again, on Monday. 
Hopefully, this will help me reach my goal in 2013:
Injury Free in 2013!

Train Smart Today!

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