Injury treatment, and why I'm an idiot

The first part of my three pronged strategy to get around the London Marathon in 2010 began in earnest yesterday, with an hour long session at the physio.

I arrived too early, so chilled in the park beforehand as hospitals are inherently boring places to wait.

Unless you can persuade someone to let you into where they do operations.

I couldn't persuade anyone, and my fallback idea to entertain myself wasn't possible as I forgot my sombrero and poncho.

Shame, as I'd be watching a lot of Speedy Gonzales to get the Mexican accent just right...

Eventually I wandered in and found the physiotherapy department, and the mean age of those waiting instantly dropped by about 20 years.

As I looked for a free seat I could feel all the older people there looking at me, silently judging. I was sure I heard one woman whisper to her husband something like “what's he doing here?”

Yeah, most of them had probably just had hip replacements or something, so they probably felt like they needed it more. But it was like they were using me as a way of getting revenge for how they feel when they get on a bus full of young 'uns and are too intimidated to sit next to anyone who looks like they couldn't remember the Kaiser

I eventually heard my name called and I may have overexaggerated the limp 'a touch' to try to justify myself to them as I walked through to the treatment area.

I met my physio Michelle, who was a tiny little thing in her mid 20's - max.

Bonus – she wouldn't have the strength to hurt me too much!

Erm, no.

After a few questions, about how I did it - and the inevitable look of scorn when I told her my athletic history* - she started examining me.

And by examine, I generally mean bend and prod.

And not in good way.

For a little 'un, she sure was strong! My only victory came when she knelt in front of me when I was sat on the edge of the bed and asked me to raise my good leg as she put her weight on it - nearly sent her flying!

I probably shouldn't have laughed, as she got her revenge when I tried it with the bad one though.

Christ that hurt.

After all these shenanigans, she confirmed ITB syndrome and threw in some ligament damage too. The latter freaked me out I hadn't even thought of that, and it sounded worse.

Thankfully, she confirmed it was all fixable, over time, and suggested pretty much what I'd already decided - don't just stop running for the eight months of the year you're not doing the marathon as it's possible the most demanding thing you can put yourr body through.

Also, strech a hell of a lot - not just before and after runs, but throughout the day.

She gave me some stretches to work on getting the strength back, which seem to mainly involve crossing my legs...

She also gave me some ultrasound treatment, which was weird as I didn't think I was pregnant.

Apparently this helps repair the damaged tissue, but they don't really know why. You've gotta love modern healthcare!

She did almost crawl on the floor at one point to see how I stand, and it turns out that I roll outward on both feet a lot. I knew I was a supinator (hence muchos cushioning in the trainers) but apparently the right one is much worse than the left - explaining why the additional stresses on the right knee.

So, I've got to go back next Thursday afternoon when their gym bit is open as she wants to check out how strong it's getting, and to check out my running style.

I like to think of it as avante garde, but I don't think that's what she meant!

In the meantime, it's stretchville for Phil - prepare for odd looks from people at work and bus stops!


* Don't do any exercise for ten years, train for a few months, run marathon in 2008, hurt self after 17 miles, finish, don't run for eight months, trian for four months for 2009 marathon, get injured. Saying it out loud did make me realise how much of an idiot I am. Not that I didn't know already, but it's nice to be reminded by healthcare professionals once in a while.

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