The Old Scar

It happened during the winter, seven or eight years ago, I don't remember exactly, when I was on holiday with my parents on the mountains. Every year we rent a house in Madesimo, north of Italy, and we go there for skiing, which I truly love. The days, there, follow a precise routine... First, my mother comes to wake me up. She has this lovely habit of entering quickly into my room, going straight to open the window, letting the freezing air (we're talking about -5°C or less) send a shock through my body. At that point, I usually run into the kitchen, next to the fire stove, where breakfast is waiting. There, I also meet my father, which starts immediately putting pressure because "we are late, and the ski-lifts are already getting crowded" (even in those days when there is absolutely no one around). After breakfast, I quickly dress, and start doing some warm-up exercises. Well, I WOULD do the exercises, if it wasn't for my daddy hitting me again with the "we are late" thing, and arguing that warming up is useless. Indeed, this works well for him, apparently. But not for me!

So it happened that, in order to avoid the non-existent queues at the ski-lifts, one morning I skipped the warm-up. We went straight out, and started skiing down the slopes (the house is adjacent to a piste). It took less than a minute. That feeling of... tearing. And the right hamstring was gone.

After many years, the scar that resulted from pulling the hamstring is still there. It seems that I didn't do the proper physiotherapy to recover and thus, once it healed, it was slightly shorter than before (actually, I went to physio only one month later, bad decision). So even now, when I run, the right hamstring tends to be a little overloaded, with all the consequences that you can imagine. To counter this, I have to be very disciplined, and include some good stretching after each run.

Now comes the bad news. During the stop before Christmas (see previous post) I didn't do much stretching (actually, no stretching at all), and when I started my marathon plan, that nasty little scar began to do its job: slowly wearing my right leg muscles, run after run... until when, a few days ago, I felt that something was hurting. I did the sensible thing, and stopped running, walking back home. I hate that moment, when that name takes form in your mind: "MOVE clinic". And there I went. The response is that the upper hamstring tendons are slightly inflamed. I have to reduce running to a minimum for a couple of weeks, and I have a beautiful strengthening plan to follow. Ah, in addition I had the chance today to have lot of needles put into the leg and the glute, the dreaded acupuncture. I realised though that it's not that painful, you feel just some "tingling"... 

What about the marathon? It depends on how I respond to the treatment: I hope to be able to soon increase the running volume again, but the good guys at MOVE will have the final word. Wish me luck!

Take-home messages:

- Do a proper warm-up: ALWAYS.

- After an injury, ask for professional help, and do the proper treatment, or you can pay for YEARS.

- Do not always listen to your father (well, just sometimes)

- Acupuncture is not painful (I really thought it was)