Saturday, August 13, 2011

Medical Tent Visits

When I ran the Atlanta Half-Marathon back in 1994, I did so with too little prior training.  I've always considered myself a runner so, what harm could a little race do?  I ran with Ben, my wife's girlfriend's boyfriend.  Since I hadn't registered for the race and my wife's girlfriend had registered but was she was unable to run, I ran as Nancy.  I wore her numbered race bib.  Ben and I ran together for the first 7 or 8 miles before I was overcome with the urge to quicken my pace.  If I recall correctly I finished the race in 1:55:54.  My only other previous half-marathon race was 10 years earlier at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas in 1984.  I finished 5th overall in that race with a time of 1:29:32.  It was a very small race.

After the 1994 Atlanta half-marathon was over I was stiff.  Of course, I did all the wrong things to treat my stiffness.  I should have taken some sort of anti-inflammatory medication and iced down my knees.  Instead, I took a warm bath to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner and I took no medication.  Later that day my knees basically seized up.  I could hardly bend them.  For the next 15 years, until 2009 I always had some degree of knee pain.  Stretching was my only relief.  I religiously stretched my knees, calves, and quad-muscles before and sometimes after each run.

In 2009 I started running again with more conviction.  As I ran more I stretched less.  Since I'm doing triathlons I added cycling and swimming to my training in 2010.

So, now I find myself in the summer of 2011 with almost no knee pain.  I do have some soreness but that's probably due to muscle overuse.  I've gotten to where I stretch very little now.  However, if you've seen my pictures from the 2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 and the 2011 Gulf Coast Triathlon you'll see that after both races I went straight to the medical tent to ice my knees.  I leave the ice packs on my knees for about 45 minutes and they're as good as new.  You can bet that I'll be in the medical tent after Ironman Florida too.

2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 Medical Tent
2011 Gulf Coast Triathlon Medical Tent
Take care of your knees!

Thanks for reading.

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