Overuse ... and navel gazing
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Did you know you can get an overuse injury within 2 short weeks?
That's what ALL the exercise blogs and fitness experts warn you about: doing too much too soon!
So, there I was, with my brand-new bike, determined to make good use of it.
5 miles to work, 5 miles back.
Within two *days*, my elbows were hurting, rather badly. I could feel the tendonitis planning an attack. (No, I've not actually ever had tendonitis, but I'm pretty sure the descriptions fit.)
So I learned how to fix my posture (*bend* those elbows while you ride), and that solved that issue, especially after a weekend where I completely rested.
But the following week, I noticed that my knees were feeling that sort of shearing pain every time I pedalled up or down ... and even when just getting out of my chair at work.
I, of course, ignored it, thinking, "It will go away".
Well, it didn't.
When it got to hurting badly even in bed, I decided to do the usual: RICE.
Yep. REST was the big one, of course.
So that was the end of the big push to bike every single day.
The pain was bad enough that I wound up with a couple of unscheduled work-from-home days.
I took a couple of weeks off from biking (and even walking, just to get all rested), and my knees feel fine again now.
Now I'm doing some light weight training to get my VMO muscle (look it up!) properly aligned and strengthened.
And I'm riding the bike no more than 3 times a week, with a day rest in between, until my body says it's ready to go to a 4 day week, and eventually, maybe a 5-day bike week.
I'm also paying attention to my knees. And I've learned something new: for *me*, the biking stance that works is to make sure my knees point *away* from the bike while riding: it's an ungainly stance, but makes the strokes MUCH easier. My natural tendency seems to be to angle my knees inward, which, *of course* means a lot more stress on the joint.
So, from the voice of experience: if you are doing something new, EASE in to it. If you're doing something you used to do "all the time", but it's been a few years, DEFINITELY ease in to it ... this is not the same body as it was back then! :)
And yes, pay CLOSE attention to what your body is trying to tell you. If something hurts, pay attention to your form, figure out what's causing the hurt, and *change* that!
In the meantime, I've become the proud owner of not one, but TWO new Wave hula hoops, so my new fun time has been hula-hooping while I watch NetFlix.
(I don't own a TV, don't miss it, but I *do* have a Netflix account, and the only way I can justify spending time in front of it is if I can multi-task!)
The hooping is easy, and *very* minimal stress on my knees, so it's been a great way to build up a mild sweat and still not hurt anything. AND, bending my knees as I rock means I'm giving my VMO some mild exercise (basically a less-than-half-squat pose ... great for that muscle!).
So that's the update.
Now I'm looking into alternating some walking days with the biking days ... and all in all, I plan to have a fun and active autumn and hopefully will manage to get in lots of ice skating this winter.
Life is *fun* ... every time I actually make the effort to do the things I love!