Thursday, June 18, 2009

Feeling Torn

For the past 2 months or so, I've been running on Saturday mornings with 2 other people from my Karate school. At 7 am we head out for a perfect 4-mile loop, ending up at the coffee shop a block from the school. It's a great way to kick off Saturdays, and good incentive to get some out-of-the-classroom exercise.

The course is perfect, being flat crushed gravel for the first 2 miles, then rolling hills the last 2 miles. You get a nice warm-up while its flat, and just about the time you've caught your second wind you hit the hills.

2 weeks ago we ran the course backwards, hitting the hills first. Not withstanding the fact that I was still recovering from a nasty cold, it was a much tougher run, and all 3 of us needed to catch our breath at the halfway point. For the second half, we pretty much went from fast walking to occasional 50-yard sprints.

I hit one particular sprint pretty hard, and felt some funny muscle thing in my quads, like a group of muscle fiber I don't usually engage that way. Nothing painful, just new muscles being put to use. I was still sore after a week.

Friday while my daughter was sparring I decided to use the time to work on the Summer Goals program, which includes running our form 150 times outside of regular class between now and the end of August. I went through my Bo (staff) form and everything was fine until the last move, which involves a strike while going down on 1 knee.

I made it about 1/3 of the way to the floor when my right thigh lit up like it was on fire. Ouch!
G-Shaft commented from under her sparring helmet, "Knee problems?" I replied that it was my thighs, not my knees. For the remainder of the time, I simply avoided motions that aggravated my thighs.

Since that day, I researched the problem and concluded that I've got a level 1 quadricep strain. Since I have a week full of meetings keeping me away from Karate anyway, I'm resting and stretching, and will pick up a pair of compression wraps. Walking and gentle running don't hurt, I can bend my knees fully, but quad stretches are awfully tight at the moment.

Sudden explosive movement is what caused the problem, and what would aggravate it further; therefore I'll just run (gently) and attend core classes next week. No kickboxing aerobics, no sparring (except as a spectator.)

So to those of you who jog or run and are considering mixing in some sprints, take it easy! I went all-out, and my thighs are paying for that decision.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weaving Wisdom

So I tried the weaving thing, and it looks kind of interesting:

This is my prior 8 belts woven together, and the total weight is probably around 5 pounds.

It actually came out looking pretty cool, and is symbolic of how knowledge and ability gained at each belt level is woven into the next.

I don't know if I'll keep adding to it in the same fashion, but for now it's a respectful reminder of the road I've traveled so far.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Still Standing

Well, I can't say as I made it through sparring class without injury, but I am still on two feet.

The injury was minor, but after a while it got to be some kind of cosmic joke--I stubbed my second toe on the left foot, next to the big toe.

Then that same toe was stepped on while we were warming up free sparring.

Then it was stepped on once more by someone else while I was refereeing a point fighting match.


It's a pretty shade of purple today, and I intend to get it checked out tonight when I can get a ride--I'm also home with some kind of mild flu-like virus, and a bit too lightheaded to drive myself anywhere.

Anyhow, sparring was a very joyful experience for me, even with the bruising (and possible breaking) of a toe. I was on adrenaline the whole afternoon, but fell into a calm, rhythmic place once I warmed up and did some free sparring.

Now I just need to put into action all the mental notes I've taken watching class for the past 6+ months!

Time to grab some late lunch and take a nice, long nap...