Sunday, October 30, 2016

Basketball and rehab...

Basketball is a fast sport, involving rapid acceleration, equally rapid deceleration, twists (knees don't twist, so don't drive to the hoop and twist off the same leg -- don't ask), and a myriad of body-jarring activities seldom associated with rehabilitation of anything.

Shooting hoops, on the other hand, is therapeutic.  Setting up your shot, visualizing the situation and opponent, operating as fast or slow as you like, and then, you take the shot.  Sometimes it is nothing but net, and your fantasy is realized.  Most times; however, if you are like me, it clangs and ricochets in an unpredictable manner, bringing back to the real world in milliseconds.  You need to ascertain the direction of the carom quickly, because this is at your house and there is a slope behind your basketball goal.  If the ball is not retrieved as soon as possible, it will likely hit the slope and be launched into the woods.  Nothing like a walk into the woods to get your basketball to destroy any hoops fantasy for the rest of the day.

In other words, a little bit of hustle is involved, some quick moves, and sometimes a slow jog to get the ball when it has caromed away from the woods.  All are good tests for hamstring tendons on the mend, without committing to a possible TMTS (Too Much Too Soon) violation.  BTW, before going to rehab, the same "shooting hoops" would leave me limping for a day or two.

Next week begins a tighter regime.  I will continue my PT workouts every other day, stretch on all days, and "run" on off-PT days.  By "running" I mean 100m intervals.  Doing eight sets was TMTS before, so now I will start with two sets and build from there.  Gradual progress, healing (not hurrying), rebuilding -- it all takes T-I-M-E.  I need to progress without violating TMTS principles.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Back to PT workouts (and attempt running again, later)

Well, the back of knee pain returned, and with it pain in the biceps femoris tendon.  Low level pain, somewhere between a one and a two, but pain just the same.  It felt better the following day, but lingered afterwards. 

I went back to the PT workouts, and it "stimulated" the injured areas, as before I was able to get to "0x0" (no pain before/after workouts).  I need to continue these workouts until I get to "0x0" again, and then, rather than use just normal high-level activity to evaluate, continue until I have put four to six such "0x0" workouts together before I run again.  Running puts about 2.5 times the body weight in strain on the legs, so I need to keep this in mind, increasing the intensity of the PT workouts after I reach the first "0x0" workout.

I will end on this note: The intervals on which I did run felt great.  Sure, I could feel the pain in the back of the knee again, but it just felt great to be moving like that again.  It motivates me to be more dedicated and thorough in getting back to the running state again.

Monday, October 10, 2016

First Run (after PT)

Today I ran.

It was an interval workout, 100m X 100m for 2 km, but I ran.  The pacing played somewhere between 8:30 and 11:15 minutes per mile.  I was careful to maintain form and cadence, making corrections to insure I was centered and not favor one side over the other.  Running with my Vibram ELX, I was paying close attention to foot strike.  My cadence remained between 180 and 185 spm, and my vertical oscillation averaged just under 5.0 cm.  Not bad form since I have been out of running since November 17, 2015.

Now the results of this acid test.  I still have pain, discomfort, behind the right knee, in distal tendons of the hamstring muscle complex (HMC).  It is not a debilitating pain, and it caused no change in my running mechanics or walking mechanics post-run.  I stretched both legs after the workout.  The discomfort is still there, so I shall see tomorrow whether or not it recovers.

I did not go from the chair to the run.  I have been able to escalate my activity levels in recent days, peaking at 18,000 steps three days ago.  I had a couple of lighter activities days before the run.  Pain levels were "0 x 0" -- no pain before or after activities.  With that in mind, I thought an easy interval run would be the next level of activity.  I had no intention of doing sprints on the "run" portions of the workout, and wanted to keep it to a slow jog.  I guess the beautiful morning and exuberance in the opportunity to run put me on a faster than "slow jog" pace.  Nonetheless, I knew the running portions would load the hamstring area and back of the knee more than any PT I had done to date.  I felt the loading during the run; I feel it after the run (three hours later).

I have to sow some grass seed today which involves a bit of walking on slopes.  I will monitor the pain level to ascertain the degree of recovery which I receive during normal activities.  I would love to run tomorrow, but I think the wiser thing is to use tomorrow for a PT-type of workout and evaluate before taking the next run.

Coming back will be slow, I know.  The distal tendons of the HMC will need to strengthen, and that will occur through gradual increases in loading.  I need to re-build my aerobic base, which will take about four months.  The light running, with continuation of stretching and rolling, should get be back to full strength soon.  At least that is the plan.

Thanks for coming along.