Tag Archives: injury

#RAW: Injury

Hello everyone!

It has been 3 weeks (or more) since my last update. I have been bogged down with uni work and basically “living life” here in Sydney (and loving every bit of it!). I will share some nutrition/health/fitness stuff soon ( YES, I WILL!)! But for today, I am here to pen down my emotions.


You know how you are your worse advisor/counsellor when it comes to certain things? It is ALWAYS easier to give suggestions/advice/warnings to OTHER people, but when it comes down to giving it to yourself, you fail miserably. And this is why psychologists need to see psychologist, physios need physios and coaches need other coaches to coach them.Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Running in Sydney has been AWESOME! The weather is great, the roads/paths are decent and it is generally safe to run anywhere (during daylight). Plus, the fact that I am in a new city, I have that URGE and NEED to explore every inch of it.

You can probably see where this is going.

I am the MASTER of doing too much too soon. I tend to get overly excited with results and how I feel to the point where I forget to give my body a break.IMG_6740

I have been logging more miles, doing more speed work, more strength training, roughing out long runs and I must say, I am at my FITTEST. I have never ran so much (at this current pace) with such ease……

Just when everything is going perfectly well……

BAMMMMMMMMMM!

Life just wants to throw a curve ball at you.

Injury strikes!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I have been plagued with the much dreaded plantar fasciitis. I am into my 6th week of injury. With or without running, I have NOT been pain-free since. For the first 4 weeks, I continued to run through pain (I was trying to be a SUPERHERO). But this pain has been constant and intense. I only started to cut back on the mileage and intensity in the past 2 weeks. I find it difficult to even walk properly.FullSizeRender_2

Note to self


The Cause:

I have come to the conclusion that my injury is not purely from running. It is a combination of too much too soon, footwear, tight muscles and WALKING.

Yep, WALKING. I realised that I don’t know how to walk properly. Walking is VERY technical. Don’t underestimate this simple daily activity. The effect is magnified when walking is your main form of transportation.FullSizeRenderkfjaskjfTime to pause and reflect

I lack ankle mobility. I’m a lazy walker and I tend to drag my feet (instead of lifting them off the ground).

I have never walked this much in my life. At the end of the day, I would have already walked 8-10km. My legs and feet are sore even before I begin my run!

So, the high frequency of walking coupled with the way I walk = DISASTER


Last week, I ran till I had tears streaming down my face. Sounds a bit dramatic but that was what happened. I was physically in pain and I guess the emotions from whatever that I was dealing with came along and decided to hit me in the face. I was stressed and the thing I enjoyed most (running) to help me deal with stress was causing me SO MUCH PAIN. I was just frustrated with everything.FullSizeRender

And I am CONSTANTLY reminded of the pain because it is always there. Sometimes, it just decides to inflict you with stabs/throbs of pain.


So this is where I’m at.IMG_1777

In Pain

Unmotivated

Sad

Frustrated

Stressed


I may be over-dramatising it. 😛

Don’t worry. I am OKAY! I am dealing with it, slowly. Praying, a lot of self-talk and supportive friends from here and back home have really helped! So much love.FullSizeRender_1

I feel the need to be strong and positive/happy all the time.

But not today.

How is EVERYONE ELSE?

Physio Treatment – What Happens in a Session

Once upon a time, I had minor knee problems. I went to see a Sports Doctor who ordered a CT scan, prescribed some pills and sent me home with some exercises and rm1000++ poorer.

That was the end of my “Physio” experience and the pain eventually went away. But not because of what he prescribed. I stopped running shortly after (during my uni days).


Around August last year, another problem cropped up. I was training for SCKLM and I developed a nagging pain that ran down my right hamstring and pulled on my knee whenever I ran.IMG_2029

*Photo credits: Vincent

Consistent foam rolling and stretching helped a bit but it was always lingering. I went for a few sessions of acupuncture but felt little to no relief. *I am not saying that acupuncture is NOT good. It just didn’t work out for ME.*

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Soon after, Apple Physiotherapy Center dropped a friendly email offering some help. It was SO TIMELY. I was willing to try anything that would bring relief. I hadn’t explored physiotherapy, so it was perfect.

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Over lunch, Vincent and Jess (partners of the company) shared and explained (the misconceptions/confusions etc) everything about physiotherapy.

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They have been a HUGE SUPPORT for the past 5 months or so. I’ve been going there once either every week or every 2 weeks and I’ve never felt better!

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What happens in a session?

1. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

The session starts off with Jess placing pads of electrodes on the affected area that is connected to a device that would send impulses to the muscle.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

EMS is generally used for:

-Rehab

-Increase blood circulation

-Relaxation of tense muscles

-Stimulates the muscles to prevent disuse

-As a strength training toolProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

She also places a hot pack over it which feels AMAZING!

2. Soft Tissue Manipulation (Massage)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter about 10-15 minutes of EMS, a massage is given. This is the best part.

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3. Dry Needling

I know this sounds a bit scary BUT THIS is what’s going to help you!

Dry needling involves the use of acupuncture needles on the affected area. They are the thinnest needles and are able to penetrate deep into muscle tissue to target shortened and injured muscles that remain tense. Shortened muscles tend to irritate and press on the nerve.

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This form of diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain is known as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). As chronic pain is usually neurological (and not structural), it takes a skilled practitioner to recognise the physical signs and symptoms of neuropathic pain.

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As opposed to traditional acupuncture which goes according to predefined meridian lines, dry needling is used on tender muscle bands, at the center of tightness or near the spine where there is an irritated nerve root. No pain is felt if the needle penetrates a normal muscle. You WILL feel it if you have a supersensitive and shortened muscle.

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I can tell you that whenever Jess puts the needle on my butt, the muscles go crazy! They be rumblin’.

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What does dry needling do?

-Stimulates stretch receptors in the muscle which produces a relax reflex (causes the muscles to lengthen)

-causes minor injury to increase blood circulation to the area which stimulates the healing process

-help the nerve to function normally by creating an electrical potential in the muscleProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Sometimes after the session, Jess tapes me up!


Although my pain was along the back of my hamstring and pulling on my knee, the root of the problem was my lower back! Specifically the right side. There’s a chunk of muscle that becomes ROCK HARD whenever I lack rest, run too hard or race. And that’s when it pulls on my nerve that runs down the back of my legs.

The treatments have helped to release that tight muscle. THANK YOU JESS! SO BLESSED to have met them and have them as part of my running journey. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy last session before I left. Already missing them! 😉


I have to work on strengthening my lower back and my core (basically the WHOLE of me). I also need to work on using/activating the right muscles when I’m running. If you have a weak core/legs or if you are not using the right muscles, other non-dominating muscles will help to compensate which will lead to injury and pain.FullSizeRender 3

All these can be done and improved with strength training, running drills, stretching and foam rolling. Cross train and recover well! They are essential to running! And of course, having a good physiotherapist helps too. 😉

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Info on Apple Physiotherapy Centre

Look for: Jess LimFullSizeRender 2

Address:

PJ Palms Sport
No.1 Lorong Sultan, Sect 52, 46200 PJ.
GPS: PJ Palms Sport (Same row with PJ A&W)

Contact: 016 – 3210 662

Website: www.applephysiorehab.com

Email: applephysiorehab@hotmail.com

RecoFit: Ice Cool Compression

When I first started running (a little seriously) last year, my calves suffered the most. I am a forefoot striker (very) and back then, my strides were very wide.

It had gotten to the point where I had to take 1 week off from running for it to recover. That was when I sought after every possible recovery/injury prevention method known to man. My friends suggested that I try compression garment.

IMG_9421 The compression garment that I was using certainly helped in supporting my calves and enhancing the recovery. I wore them during my runs, races and even to sleep. But after a while, I stopped because I had some skin irritation.

It was also around the same time when I started piling on the mileage in preparation for the marathon distance. With the increase in mileage, I increased my cadence and decreased my stride length. Since then, my calves have been A-Okay!

Until……

This year! 2015! They were still doing great for the first half of 2015.

After the dengue attack which left me mileage-less for 2 whole weeks, my body had to “relearn” a thing or two. All my “old” pains and injuries started cropping up again, especially those that I suffered from when I first started running!

RecoFit to the rescue!

And then, RecoFit compression sleeves came along.IMG_9423 RecoFit is designed by Susan Walton of Move Sport. As an active person, she was battling injuries too (shin splints).

She decided to create her very own product by cutting and sewing this sleeve using carbon based performance textile from Italy (Resistex). This product offers gradient compression and post exercise recovery treatment with ice packs!

Susan basically stuck with the R.I.C.E healing concept.

R-Rest

I-Ice

C-Compress

E-Elevate

As she suffered from shin splints, the design of this product was geared towards that. For runners suffering from calf strains, you can just turn the sleeve so that the ice pack sits behind your calf muscle. You will know what I am talking about after you watch the video!

My Thoughts:

Very innovative. Compression garment WITH ICE PACKS?! WIN! I love putting them on after hard training or after a race and it feels SO GOOD!

It fits like a glove. It doesn’t suffocate your muscles and most importantly the seams are soft and they are light on your skin. I have slept with them without skin irritation.

If you happen to suffer from calf or shin splints, you can check them out.

The best part is that there’s a DISCOUNT for my readers!

The Details:

Flash my blogpost from your mobile device at the counter before purchase

*Valid for one month from the date of this blogpost*

Address:

ION Concept Store,

Lot G-10, Ground Floor, Jaya Shopping Centre,

Jalan Semangat, Seksyen 14,

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Tel no.: 03-7931 4662

Where: Look for the Recofit rack inside the store!

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/ionconceptstoreJSC/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Official Website: https://recofit.co/

Post-race Report: Bomba Run (Larian Bersama Bomba) 2014

Pre-race Week:

I think I killed (REALLY KILLED) my right calf muscle after the last race (Muzium Run). I couldn’t muscle through the last few KMs (the route was only a total of 4.4KM) during the KL Car Free Day Fun run which took place 3 days after the Muzium Run. The pain was sharp and intense which was worrying because it didn’t feel like the normal post-run muscle soreness.

The Bomba Run was less than 7 days away and if I wanted to stave off any further injury, I knew that I had to stay away from running for the next few days leading up to race day for maximum recovery. I was feeling pretty low throughout the week because as the days went by my calf didn’t feel any better. Walking in certain angles would trigger a sharp pain down the side of my leg and I was afraid that it would turn into something more permanent.

I continued to cross train and kept my heart rate up by doing many laps in the pool. One hour of swimming was not enough to satisfy my run-crave but that was all that I could do. I also worked on my core but nothing that required the use of my calf muscle.

It was a good week of self-discovery/learning. I had to learn how to deal with my emotions and inner thoughts. With my free time, I read up quite a bit on recovery, all the do’s and don’ts etc. I tried nearly everything under the sun from KT tape, to ultrasound, to radio frequency, to massages and deep heat treatments, there was probably nothing left to try. I also received a lot of encouragement and advice from the people around me which made all the difference!

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Ultrasound. Did it by myself in the clinic. Fun stuff.

Race Day:

I slept really well the night before, probably because I wasn’t expecting too much from the run and myself. I woke up feeling excited though. Excited to run but also hoping that my calf wouldn’t give way.

Kevin was on time (without my morning-call!) and we were there by 6am. The first thing on our list was to look for the public toilet and to locate Chee Wai. Chee Wai offered to let me use his brand new compression calf guard for the race (THANKS A BUNCH!). I hadn’t tried running in compression guards before this so I decided to only wear the right calf guard. At least, if at any point in time during the race it felt uncomfortable, it would only be in one leg instead of two (Forward thinking! Haaaa!).

This race was a little different for me because I had a pacer! Zi Shen was kind enough to offer to pace me throughout the race. Actually, he probably only agreed (finally) on accounts of his bib not being in his name and probably already calculated that he would still be eligible for the limited 150 finisher’s medal.

We met up with all the other runners, took a few photos and continued to look for the public toilet – that was our pre-race warm up.

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Within the enclosed area…waiting…

We waited for a good 15 minutes in the barricaded area for the VIP to finally arrive to flag us off. We were off at 7.38am. My pacer had already told me beforehand that we would be running at a certain constant pace but as soon as the gun went off, I totally forgot whatever he had said and darted out with the crowd. I liked the feeling of being ahead although I knew that I couldn’t keep that pace for long. He even said: “Seriously? This pace?!” and chuckled in disbelief.

He pointed out a few of my competitors and signalled me to keep up. I slowed down quite a bit at KM 5-6 probably because I was battling with my inner negative thoughts (can’t even remember what they were). I was so slow that my pacer wondered if he had to stop to wait for me.

I took a sip at the first water station which was also the half point mark where we had to grab the ribbon. Zi Shen signalled me 3 times to remind me to take the ribbon, as if it was my first time running in a race. Seriously? I think my pacer needs to have more confidence in me. After KM 7, I sped up and managed to run almost side by side with my pacer.

I couldn’t be any happier when my pacer made a hand gesture that we had 2KM left. At the same time, he glanced back but didn’t say a word. I was tempted to know what that meant but decided not to ask. At the last KM, he glanced back again. This time, he said: “100m”.

At that point, I was already tempted to start walking. My feet were burning. He told me to keep the pace but it already felt like death. At the final bend, with 200m left, he looked back and told me that I was “safe”. I didn’t care what he said at that time, all I wanted to do was to reach that finish line.

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Ahhhhhhhhh! THAT feeling you get when you cross the line, that feeling is always gold. I came in 5th and my pacer got a card with the number 62 (obviously still within 150!).

Cooled off for a bit and drank up whatever they had to offer. I waited at the finish line with a cup of Milo for Kevin. I think he achieved his Personal Best! All that running with Helix (his dog) paid off.

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2 thumbs-up for my pacer!

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The Puma gang. What a great turn out!

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PUMA KICKS!

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Special thanks to Victor and Elaine for supporting the event and for taking all the photos!

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And of course, there’s always time for a SELFIE!

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Pacer’s GPS. Not too shabby for an injured runner. I was just glad that there wasn’t any significant pain throughout the run. Either the compression calf guard worked or the adrenaline completely masked the pain.

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Top 10.

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The VIP.

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Somewhere during this time, Chooi Fern (The insanely fast girl on my right) asked if Kevin was an Indian. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t contain myself.

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Post-race thoughts:

-Trust your pacer and follow their lead. Instead of listening to my pacer, I made the mistake of setting my own pace and my pacer had to adjust accordingly.

Ok, I only have one thought/lesson.

Post-race Noms:

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Salmon! Healthy fats and protein.

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It was Mothers’ Day so it was an excuse for me to order cake. This brown butter cake with vanilla frosting and salted caramel was baked by Su-Yi’s (Uni mate) mom.

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Of course, I had a slice, or two, or three maybe. Oh, the buttery goodness! So GOOD!

At the end of the day, all Praise and Glory and Honour goes back to Him.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Say Goodbye to Injury

The worst thing that can happen to any runner is not being able to run or perform optimally due to an injury. It is already difficult enough for runners to schedule in rest/off days on a regular basis. Being out of the game for 1-3months (depending on the severity of the injury) can be pretty depressing. You wouldn’t want to go near a runner who has been deprived of their daily dose of adrenaline and endorphins.

We have already established in the previous post (To Rest or Not to Rest?) that we all need our rest days, but there are many other things that one can take note of to prevent short/long-term injury and having to sit out of the game.

1. Work the CORE

Runners tend to focus most of their time on running and neglect one essential part of their training that would complete the whole picture – core work and strength training.

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PLANK it out.

The core is the center of the body which holds everything in place and it includes all the muscles which help you to maintain posture. These muscles are found on the abdomen, back and around your hips. A strong core would mean that you are more likely to hold proper running form for a longer period of time. This is especially useful when it comes to distance running. Also, by strengthening these muscles, weight stress from the upper body on the legs can be evenly distributed and reduced. This will then reduce the risk of injury, allowing you to run longer and harder.

It may be time consuming but it is a great investment that would ultimately improve your running.cCORE

There are other benefits of working your core.

2. Stretch!

……but only after you’re done with running. Stretching after your run allows you to recover quickly. It relieves muscle tension, improves range of motion and flexibility, ultimately making your body more efficient for running.

Choose to focus on stretching after your workout but if you insist on stretching before, make sure you warm up your muscles by brisk walking or jogging for at least 10 minutes. I prefer to do dynamic stretching (instead of static stretching) which is controlled movement to target a few muscles.

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I never knew that stretching cold muscles just before running could do more harm than good. Back in high school, we were always taught to stretch before you start doing any form of sport/activity. I always wondered why whenever I stretched before my run that my muscles would feel extra stiff, almost unmovable. I noticed I felt better on days when I forget to stretch. Eventually I stopped stretching altogether.

Only a few years later did I come across an article on how static stretching (instead of dynamic stretching) could lead to injury. I was thrilled when I found out because I experienced it on my own without being blinded by biasness if I had known this fact beforehand.

This brings me to my next point……

3. Listen

……to your body. Pay attention to it. If something is up, attend to it. The common tell-tale signs are fatigue, soreness, aches and pains among other feelings that are not “normal” to you. Nobody knows your body better than you do.

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A trip to the doctors and a CT scan at a premium was what it took to finally convince me of my aching knee. I had to ice my inflamed knee after every run and do light physiotherapy.

You can consider creating your own unique training log. Detailing your goals, route, distance, time, how you feel etc. This will help you to better visualise your workouts and also to pin point the root cause of your aches/pains/soreness. I started my own training log this year and it has helped me so much especially when it comes to scheduling rest days.

4. Mix it up

……by cross-training. Please, don’t be monotonous. Mix up your workouts by doing other sports just as you would eat from a wide range of foods to obtain all your nutrients.

I like to rock climb, swim, hike and cycle. There are so many other forms of sports out there waiting for you to explore. Don’t just stick to running.

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Climbing with CANDY nails.

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Chalking up.

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THAT feeling when you reach the top……

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Never gets old.

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When we get bored indoors, we head out!

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Bukit Tabur with church friends.

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Do or die. Nothing in between.

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And when we’re bored of being on land……

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KAYAKING!

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Evening swim.

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On wheels. Probably the worst bike ever.

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Not just for show, we DID go cycling.

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After a great workout……

5. The shoe has got to fit

With a plethora of shoes out in the market, it is difficult to narrow down which is the best for you. It is almost impossible to even try them all. My only advice is – Do not hop blindly into the bandwagon of fashionable and trendy footwear.

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Buy shoes that suit the way you run and one that fits the anatomy of your foot. It is recommended that you change your shoes after logging in about 1000+KM. My shoes would usually last me for about a year before it begins to bald (which is usually after 1000+KM).nike

Get an expert or a friend to check on your running form. The wrong form with the right shoe could cause just as much trouble down the road.

1625626_10152288343616388_386028311_nPuma Faas 300 V2.

Last but definitely not least,

6. Never TOO much, never TOO soon

Don’t be the superhero when it comes to running. Going too fast and doing too much in a short period of time is usually the ultimate cause of injury. You may feel okay but your body needs time to rest and adapt. You can follow the 10 percent rule which is slowly increasing your mileage by 10 percent each week.

Gone were the days when I hammered the streets even when I wasn’t feeling too good. These days I don’t follow any rule. I run more on days when I feel pumped and run less when I’m tired. Again, listen to your body. I’ve learned (the hard way) to balance running with strength training. It is not just about getting your workout done and over with, it is about putting in QUALITY workouts that count.

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I am still in the process of learning and discovering new things. I have yet to master all of the above.

In the past year, I have made several changes by tuning in to my own body and paying a lot more attention to it. I have noticed that I grew stronger, slightly fitter and am now able to attain far reaching goals that once seemed impossible.

How do you ward off injury?

Rest well and then, RUN!