Thursday, September 15, 2011

What To Do When You Are Down With An Injury?

Ever since I came back from the Canadian Death Race in early Aug, which I DNF, I didn't feel 100%.  I knew I was injured.  Just that I didn't know what kind of injury I had.  Actually, to be frank, I took care of myself very well and I hardly had any injury since I joined the force.  As far as I could recall, my one and only serious injury was when I fell awkwardly and twisted my left ankle while on my way back from a night mission.  My ankle grew to a size of an apple and I was excused from all physical activities for about 3 weeks.  Apart from that, I mainly suffered from small, niggling injuries that were part and parcel of training and racing.  Nothing serious at all.  After resting for a good 10 days, I went for a 10km run with the F1 Runners on National Day but the pain flared up after about 4km.  I managed to complete the 10km route due to the numerous pit-stops for photo-taking.

NDP City Run with F1 Runners

I decided I had enough and went to see a doctor 2 days later, who referred me to the Sports Clinic at CGH.  I was extremely lucky to get an appointment date the following Monday.  That morning, I decided to go for a run to be certain of where exactly was the pain and at what distance it occurred.  The run was a disaster as I could only last 15mins, running at 7.5km/hr speed.  The good thing was I knew exactly where the pain was so I was able to describe to the doctor specifically the problem area at the back of my knee.  He did a check on both my lower limps and commented that my range of motion was normal.  He pressed against the area where I could feel the dull pain before doing an ultrasound scan at the back of both my knees for comparison.  Then, I was sent for an X-ray on my right knee.  His diagnosis was that I had strained my ITB and Popliteus muscles - the Popliteus muscle is a thin, flat, triangular muscle in back of the knee, the action of which assists in bending the knee and in rotating the leg toward the body.  After making my physio appointment, I left but my knee couldn't bend at all and I was in a lot of pain.  A patient saw me limping and encouraged me to look for a certain professor who treats patients at the TCM clinic next to the Sports Clinic inside CGH.  Since I had nothing to loose, I went and the professor did acupuncture at the sore area - she poked 2 spots to release the "bad" blood (something like blood clot or blue-black).  After the procedure, the pain was gone totally and I could even walked normally to Simei MRT.  Before I left, she advised me to take some time off running, since I injured myself after completing 110km 2 weeks ago.

 My Acupuncture Sessions

I went for another acupuncture session 3 days later.  To overcome my boredom, I did some jogging and photo-taking during the TNF Progressive 1 Run that weekend.  It was fun taking photos and not running.  :)  I also managed to transfer my Lean Horse 100 race to 2012 after informing the RD of my injury.  Following weekend, which was end Aug, I went to Adidas King Of The Road to take more running photos!  It was shiok looking at all the expressions on the runners' faces.  But as soon as I uploaded the photos, I got kind of depressed again for not being able to run although I was enjoying giving myself a deserved break.  I decided to do some upper body strength training although I wasn't that motivated.  I chanced upon a trail maintenance session organised by TNF and had fun learning how to make the trail a better running surface.  The following weekend during AHM, I also managed to wake up early but the early start meant that the photos taken weren't that great.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed meeting up with my friends after the race for makan.  I did a final session of acupuncture as my professor would be returning to Beijing.  While I no longer felt any soreness or pain while walking up and down the stairs, the pain came after running about 2km during the TNF Progressive Run 2 the next day.  I reckoned I should rest more!

 Taking Photos & Volunteering For Trail Work

Well, being injured is really no fun.  It is especially tough when your friends are running and you are not.  Having to miss races that you already signed up is making things worse although I'm lucky that I managed to postpone mine to next year. So when will I start training again?  I'm not sure.  Will hear what the physio and doctor have to say this coming week.  I must be patient instead of rushing back.  Otherwise, more unnecessary down time!  :)  In conclusion, consider the following if you are ever injured and unable to run / exercise:

1. Rest, rest and more rest!  But active rest.  Do other exercises that can aid your recovery.  E.g. swim, weight training, stretching exercise, etc.  Whatever that can occupy your mind in a positive manner, is surely great.  :)

2. Support other runners!  What better time to cheer for your friends!  Be it taking photos along the race course or finishing line, setting up a ad-hoc aid station with food and drinks, or simply cheering them on during the race.  :)

3. Take on meaningful task like volunteering for trail maintenance work.  But if we are not committed to running, training and racing everyday / every week, we should play our part now instead of waiting till injury struck us.  :p


kcsl said...

I know how u feel. I fractured my little toe in Nov 2010 and didnt run till early March. It was torturous (& I was growing a tummy).

BUT you have to stop the running le. No choice, or the time to full recover keeps getting extended.

BTW, the acupuncture sessions looks pretty bloody >.<

Ripley said...

thanks! i'm enjoying my short-term rest... however, i dun like it cos i seemed to eat as much... on this rate, i will put on a lot of weight!