Injury Strikes!

When I phoned the physio to book an appointment, they told me that my last visit was in 2009. This at least means that my injury ends a pretty decent run of bodily health. I could add ‘for someone my age’ but I won’t. I’m nearly 43.

On my monday project awesome session I was throwing myself into some sprints with my usual 100% effort. On one turn, something snagged in my right knee as I turned. I thought nothing of it and carried on (of course). It was only later that day after standing up after a meeting that my leg actually collapsed beneath me and I could hardly walk at all. In denial, knowing that ‘running it off’ usually works I soldiered on like an idiot.

I carried on, completely in denial (not a river in Egypt apparently), for the rest of the week just hoping things would suddenly improve. This is despite walking with a heavy limp and being in decently large amounts of pain.

Eventually reality broke in and I made an appointment with the physio and tried to actually rest things a bit. The prognosis was not good.

Apparently I have a meniscus tear (knee cartilage) that heals slowly as it doesn’t get much blood supply. Sounds like months rather than weeks and sometimes requires surgery. Running and other impact activities are out (no bmf) which also means no Tough Guy. A lot of the plans I have revolve around running so this is quite a bad blow. I feel that regular exercise has been keeping me in good mental as well as physical shape, so not doing stuff is troubling.

How to turn a negative into a positive?
Now that running is out of the question (and I presume hill walking too?) I’m determined not to let my fitness go. In fact this is an opportunity to explore hitherto less trodden paths.

First up is the famously non-impact activity of swimming. I like swimming and would love to get good at it, the only issue being that the one stroke I use a lot, breast stroke, is the one i’m supposed to avoid. I had all but given up ever mastering the front crawl or even sustaining it for more than 50m but that was when breast stroke was an option. Now i’m more-or-less forced to do it! I guess i’ll also throw in some back-stroke, but I’ve not done that for years and years.

Second up is cycling. Apparently this is ok as long as I don’t do too much standing on the pedals, which might not encourage off-road too much. At the very least I’ve been thinking of commuting to work a bit more which is a 24km round trip plus a few hills. I used to do this in the past but never more than a few times a week. I like the idea of doing some longer cycle trips, praps with a bit of bivvying thrown in too?

My only worry is that by not doing running/impact type things, i’ll be cutting myself off from the Project Awesome/BMF folk that it is great to see and talk to. This shouldn’t be forever though and i feel that my recovery is a challenge in itself. Here goes.

Triathlon – Injury

Since at least January 2008 I’ve intermittently had chest pains.

My ECG
My ECG

The pain is exactly in the centre of my chest and occurs when I move in certain positions e.g. arms across my chest. It’s even worse when I’m in bed trying to sleep. In every other respect I’ve felt completely fit and healthy and have felt fairly confident that it’s not a heart condition.

I’ve been to see my GP on a couple of occasions but by the time I’ve got an appointment the symptoms have mostly gone and I’ve found it difficult to describe. The last appointment, however, my chest was still really sore and the Doctor was able to at least see that I wasn’t faking it. The early diagnosis is that it is some kind of musculo-skeletal strain as I’ve just had an ECG and my heart is fine (plus a resting heart rate of 55).

Using the dubious power of the internet my wife found a site almost completely describing my condition citing the problem as a sports injury, usually swimming. If this is true, this is a bit of a blow as it makes me worried that i’ll simply be told to stop excersising or at least swimming.

I’ll be returning to the GP as soon as possible with my ‘healthy’ ECG result and see what he says.