Friday, January 6, 2012

GETTING IT DONE! - Taking Care of the Body During Training Season

This morning I did not get a workout in like I usually do six days a week. I came home from basketball and a doctor appt. to my 8 month old daughter sick with the flu bug throwing up like a crazy woman. The poor thing just kept getting sick and had nothing left in her tank. Needless to say it was a crazy night. Amanda was stuck at home alone until 6:30 taking care of Ava and trying to accommodate the needs of a needy 5 year old daughter and a tired and attitude loaded 7 year old boy.

After trying to get through reading, spelling, and homework with my son who wanted nothing to do with school and only build Lego's and also trying to find some time with Addyson while relieving Amanda of puke duties, our family was exhausted. We headed to bed early knowing Ava would not have a good night of sleep. It was a long night.

I woke up tired, sore, and not ready for a workout. I feel okay with this because I know I can still get my workout in. I am planning on riding tonight when everyone goes to bed. A nice 2 hour ride will bring good closure to this crazy week back to school. I have a long run tomorrow and swim class on Sunday. I was suppose to swim this morning, but figured the swim class Sunday will count as that workout. At this stage I don't think I am ready for four days of swimming. I will be on track to finishing this week strong and on par despite changing up my routine.

I feel like I made the right choice this morning and it will help me take care of my body by giving it the needed rest.

The title of this post is about taking care of the body. I have felt like I have done a nice job with this aspect, but as I am into about 6 weeks of training I decided to take my health/wellness one step further. I scheduled a visit to Kaminski Pain and Performance Care to have them just check me out. I have had a few aches and sore spots, but after reading about Active Release Therapy online and in some magazines I thought I would give a try.

I met with Dr. Walden last night and he was awesome. Extremely friendly and made me feel like he was really interested in me, my training, and making my body better for race day. I cannot say I always feel that way when working with doctors. He was fantastic.

Just on a side note. I have never been to a chiro. I rarely ever go to the doctor. I don't do any type of therapy, medicine, etc. This was a completely new experience for me.

Dr. Walden ran me through some tests and was able to identify some key areas to work on. I was amazed at how he could tell certain things based on some simple body movements.

I mentioned to him that I have three issues
-right shoulder is not a fluid as my left after a lifting injury a few years back
-back of right knee has been feeling weird while riding on bike, but not on the run
-overall tightness in the body

He was very good at explaining what he was doing and why. It all makes so much sense and really made me realize how important it is to have your body working together as opposed to fighting itself. I realized that I have some imbalances in my body that cause my body to fight itself. My body is not fluid.

The Active Release Therapy is amazing. He worked my shoulder, identified a nerve issue and after about 10 minutes I was able to rotate my shoulder almost as good as my left. I cannot remember my shoulder moving so well. He continued on my right hip after realizing my pelvis was not aligned. He also applied some chiro techniques to the middle of my back which later after meeting with Dr. Kaminski I realized is my biggest weakness. It was a great session.

In case you don't know what Active Release Therapy is here is a rundown from the Kaminski website:

Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.):
Active Release Techniques is a soft tissue management system which is so different that it has been granted a medical patent. A.R.T. providers use the hands on therapy for a wide variety of conditions involving soft tissue such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia (the fibrous tissues that hold muscles together) and trapped nerves. Active Release treatments have been very effective with many post surgical cases as well as repetitive strain, workplace and sports injury cases.

The goal of A.R.T. is to relieve pain and dysfunction. The basic premise is that scar tissue builds up at the injury site, trapping nerves or preventing tendons, ligaments and muscles from working properly. It’s as if your muscles are velcroed together when they should be moving smoothly across one another. The practitioner finds the scar tissue and breaks up the adhesions by putting manual tension on it while moving the muscle through a full range of motion, to “release” the problem area
.

After working with Dr. Walden, I met with Dr. Kaminski to work on flexibility. Dr. Walden still has some work to do on me with my legs, knees, and hips, but he got me moving in the right direction. I met Dr. Kaminski next and she worked with my flexibility.

I started out with some body squats and seemed to be fine there. I then had to do this step over thing and what I thought was right(meaning I felt better with my left leg) was actually incorrect as she stated I stepped out with my left while my right leg was nice and aligned. She had try to do the cat/camel excerise where you raise your middle back and then lower. I was not able to do this. My middle back has zero flexibility. This was the the point where I pretty much failed every test and she knew that in order to work my hip and glutes I have to fix my back first. She had me try one more test which I failed miserably. I had to hold this bar along my spine and keep it in contact with my tailbone, middle back, and head. I was to bend over. I failed right away. I lost contact with my lower back as my middle back is so tight I could not keep things straight.

She was super patient with me. She took time to get know some things about me and really helped me dial in what I need to do to become a better athlete and overall more fit and balanced person. Needless to say my first visit at Kaminski sold me. I was quite pleased and will be returning for sure.

I have some cool down routines to do every single day until I improve my flexibility situation. For about 10-15 minutes after each workout I am to:
-Foam Roller back stretch - 3 positions
-Foam Roller and try to slide arms on ground and continue to raise to my head(I cannot come close at all right now)
-Cat/Camel excercise
-Sprinkler which I have to try and gain about 30 degrees more rotation
-Sciatic Nerve Floss

I know this is a long post. I have written this up more for me to track my progress. They told once I get things aligned and balanced I will be more efficient in my training. I believe them. I feel better. I look forward to seeing this journey unfold and how it helps me come race day.

I head back Tuesday to continue to have my legs and hips worked on by Dr. Walden to try and get me balanced as soon as possible. I will continue to update my journey with this as well.

Taking care of your body with proper rest, nutrition, and body alignment are just as important as the training sessions. Take the time to stretch and work your body. I need to listen to my own advice and plan on doing so today.
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