When I was training for tris last summer, I attended a transition workshop run by a local chiropractor, triathlon coach, and firefighter who goes by the moniker "Doctor Tri". He’s a really nice guy, pleasant, knowledgeable, and a champion of strength training as a key part of one’s program.
I hung out for a while after the workshop and chatted with him about this. It made sense to me then. I’d recently introduced squats into my regular routine, and had noticed a marked decrease in Tendinitis pain in my left leg. Reluctantly I will admit that this seemed more or less like Magic to me. The Good Doctor explained it thusly : "you’re getting all of those muscles to finally fire correctly, so the combined support they’re providing has allowed your inflamed tendon to heal". Or something to that effect. I believed it then, and still believe it now, although with a more measured attitude.
This morning after completing my twice-weekly swim workout, I went up to the gym to engage in a bit of said strength training. I don’t do much, just some stretching, some squats, lunges, and today for the first time, some deadlifts.
Since I was deadlifting for the first time, I did the first set with the bar only. I was also uncertain of the correct technique. We’ll come back to that important point in a second. I got through the first set just fine, and decided to add some weight. I had been feeling pretty good before that – my squatting was going very well, and I’d done some nice speedwork in the pool too!
As I stood there getting in my 45 seconds of rest between sets, I realized that my lower back was hurting. A lot. Undaunted (foolishly) I began the second set, and got in exactly three reps before gently setting the weight down and going upstairs to stretch (and cry). Ouch ouch, and ouch.
By the time I finished stretching, I was in real pain. I called our family chiropractor, Dr Scott Hammons (the only link I could find for him is an interview he did about shoe inserts 🙂 ). They managed to fit me in later this morning, and I limped into his office and explained what I’d done, right down to attributing the strength training ideas to Dr. Tri.
It had been a while since I’d been to see Scott, so we had a bit of ground to cover in terms of various aches. At no time did I specifically blame Dr. Tri for my injury.
Ten minutes later, after two Doctors had buried there elbows in my lumbar and buttocks (nearly causing me to cry), who limps in for an appointment, but Doctor Tri!
Now – had he also misused a barbell while deadlifting, I’d have had a laugh at his expense, and this blog entry would have gained some moral gravity. But he’d injured himself doing brave firefighting stuff. Also – I can blame no one but myself for proceeding with an exercise without really knowing the right mechanics.
Therefore – the kharma is mine and mine alone.
I’m hoping to be back running tomorrow or Wednesday. Definitely feeling a pang of regret too, as the sun is shining, and Ben and Landy are out running now.