Saturday, November 23, 2013

I just knew what it was

I had never actually torn a muscle before, but I had seen the injury a few times. I saw WWE wrestler Triple H tear his quad (video below) in 2007 and read about his recovery work. That muscle curled up into a bulge fast enough to see it on slo-mo replay, so I had some notion of the symptoms. I have imagined that a woman pregnant with her first child doesn't really know what a contraction feels like until the phrase "Honey, I'm having contractions" leaves her mouth. There are things you just recognize when you see them. I knew what this was when I saw it.

Two weeks ago, I ran a few steps after Kilo and felt a sharp charley horse, coupled with a strong fibrillation of the muscle beneath my skin like an electric shock. It felt like a jack-in-the-box toy had gone off in my pants leg. My very first thought, my immediate, first impulse in English words was "I just tore my calf". I just... knew what it was.

There are grades of muscle tear defined in medicine. I most likely have a grade 1 tear, what we call a strain. As I could walk and the treatment is 2wks rest, it wasn't worth getting an MRI. My own course of treatment has shown good progress. I've tested calf raises at the gym without failure. I even ran a little last night, though my feet got tired much sooner than usual.

So I've been training to gain weight. I have a book and a schedule, and I'm sticking to it. For perhaps the first time in years, I'm not just training until my next KB deadline; I'm training through an entire program. The book's goals culminate in a set of 50 squats with 1BW on the bar. You may have guessed by now this is Mass Made Simple, by Dan John. This clip was today, session #5 in the book, last set.

I may not be running for my conditioning, but counting full-depth squats to or 30, then again and again, has an unmistakable impact on endurance. I've only put on 4lbs, and some of the later dietary tweaks were part of my staples before I started. I'm likely to start adding wk4 tweaks tomorrow and looking for a Chinese buffet on my days off.

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