MOONSHOT WEEK 4

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Week 4 I started experiencing some discomfort in my left leg. I was coming off running Beach to Beacon up in Maine where I started dealing with the pain. Initially, I wasn't sure if it was something more than muscle tightness and overuse. I was lucky enough to get an acupuncture appointment Monday afternoon. Thanks to the clutch recommendation by Kelly Roberts of She Can & She Did, I got to see Colleen Canyon (a.k.a miracle worker) right away. My session with Colleen helped drastically, but some pain still remained after a couple days passed.

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By this point, I had exhausted all at home tests to poke and prod to see if I could figure it out. I finally gave up and headed to Finish Line Physical Therapy for a second opinion. Thanks to Nike and it's partnership with Finish Line, moonshot athletes have the best at their disposal. I went for a maintenance check and a general massage to address the pain I was feeling in my left leg and came out with answers. It seems I'm dealing with a bit of a nerve issue, slightly sciatic, definitely pressing on my piriformis muscle. It's sending pain down the back of my leg and into the depths of my calf and ankle. It's not constant, gets angry when fired up without a proper warm up and generally is just really frustrating. When the nerve is inflamed, my leg feels weak. After I start running, it tends to fade, but minutes after stopping and cooling down, my leg tightens up again. I then commence a circuit of foam rolling, trigger point ball, hip and core strengthening exercises and Epsom salt baths. 

Because I am hyper paranoid about further injuring myself, I decided to be super conservative with my activity during week 4. It was next to impossible to chill out, but I'm happy I did. It's loads more tolerable and I got the go-ahead from PT to run and continue doing what I'm doing to alleviate the discomfort. That said week 4 went a little like this:

 

I'm definitely looking forward to kicking this pain and getting back to normal mileage. But the key takeaway from the last couple weeks is to learn how to run with my ribs tucked and hips under me. My left side swings and doesn't allow my body to load properly, causing weak form on my left side, hence the issues I'm facing. When I properly stack my ribs and keep my elbows low and tight, I feel some relief. Hopefully, over the next several runs these corrections will become second nature and I'll move forward with mileage and my normal routine.