June 22, 2014
Just one week prior to this past Sunday's Half Ironman race, my right leg pretty much gave up on me while I attempted a 5k race. Literally right after I warmed up for the race, a ligament in my right knee became super tender...out of nowhere! I tried to stretch and rub it out a little, but the pain wouldn't go away. It eased ever so slightly just a few minutes before the race, but I'm sure that was because of the usual pre-race adrenaline. I didn't think anything of it once the race started.
The gun went off and it was go time...except my right leg didn't quite get the message. Within the first few hundred meters, I knew something wasn't quite right, but I kept going. It wasn't until a mile in, I knew I was creating more damage than good. It was a pain, discomfort, and unusual feeling in my quad that I've never felt before. Essentially, my right leg was doing all of the work, my left leg fresh as anything. It was...SCARY. My gait was clearly off, I tried to compensate by trying to put more weight on my left leg, but who was I kidding. I shed a couple tears because I didn't know what was wrong with me, I stopped around the 1.5 mile mark, and limped onto the sidewalk. I ripped off my number and just kept walking, watching all of the runners go by. I thought, "Just five days ago I was running like a beast, throwing down PRs left and right...now I can't flipping run at all." I walked to my car, sat for a moment and cried.
I vented on social media that night, and thought about the worst case scenario thanks to Dr. Google. The next day, I was proactive. I needed to see a new chiropractor and get all the help I could get because I knew that asking Dr. Google wasn't going to do my leg and psyche any good. For the past two months or so, my body has been overcompensating, and it finally hit me. My new chiropractor made a great analogy...when someone gets a cavity, they don't think back to the piece of candy they ate two months ago and say they shouldn't have eaten it. It makes total sense. All this time, I was only brushing the outer surfaces of my teeth. Neglecting to provide care for the inner surfaces and entire package, it finally hit me. I got a cavity and it finally started to hurt.
The morning after my first visit with the new doc, I immediately noticed an improvement in my leg. My massage therapist had been out of town when I needed her the most, so I decided to see a mobility specialist and get some Graston and ART treatment that morning. I saw my new doc again on Friday, and by the time Sunday morning came rolling along, I felt like a new person. I was able to race without any pain or unusual discomfort. With all that I went through all week, emotionally and physically, I was pretty happy with how things went. The moral of the story, don't believe everything you see on the internet. Ok, no....what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another person. Find what's best for you based on your needs and physical demands. If something doesn't feel right, seek help immediately and explore your options...the strong can only go so far without proper and complete TLC.