Tendon Seasoning

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January 9, 2016 by scratchtype1

Almost 11 miles on a mix of trails, paths and a bit of road today. It was some good running following a good run last evening. That might be some because of how the 4 days prior to yesterday I had only run about 11 miles total. Cold weather and some troubles with a passing illness caused that, although I’ll take a minor illness over the first worry that I had about maybe having a bad vial of Lantus insulin. The day that I started the new vial of insulin was the day that the illness began pushing my blood sugars way high, I end up spending a nearly 30 hour period trying to get the blood sugar back down under 200 mg/dl. Just another one of those things you might have to deal with when you have type 1 diabetes.

It was about a month ago when I began working with the idea that perhaps the primary reason I’m something of a slow runner is because the fascia of my body is terrible, not very fluid-like and springy as it might need to be. So I’ve been doing various types of mobility drills and I’ve begun to study t’ai chi.

I think I’m beginning to see some differences, both in what I can do while running and sensations of my body. It’s a bit hard to gauge the running right now because I’m doing a lot more of it on trails, although one of the reasons I began doing trails is because I think it might help with rebuilding the fascia into something better and that it provides a bit more mental stimulation than the steadiness of roads. Remember, strength is both physical and mental, it is a learned skill.

Anyhow, this morning I covered the miles on trails and a bit of roads at an average 9:30 pace. And I was definitely getting a sense of springiness I’ve not really known before in the legs. But I’ve also been noticing that in my everyday feeling of the body, a sense of bounciness to my limbs and joints, to my movements. So I think the rather steady work with mobility drills is paying off, along with the preliminary practice of basic t’ai chi drills and positions.

It seems important to do at least some daily effort with this. Remember that the body has a long memory. It often wants to go back to where things once were. Yesterday before work I had done some shoulder dislocates with a length of thin pvc pipe I have. Then I spent much of the day working at a computer, then ran after work, then got home. As dinner cooked, I did some mobility work, including shoulder dislocates. The first time yesterday evening I tried those I couldn’t get past the tough section even though my hands were wider on the pipe than in the morning. My shoulders had tightened up during the day. Later in the evening they were moving more smoothly again.

It’s probably very important to treat the fascia as a whole-body system. Tightness in the shoulders can tighten the hips, tightness in the hips can tighten the shoulders. Heck, maybe even the bit of tightness to the tendons and joints of my right thumb 8.5 weeks after it was broken might make for a bit more tightness overall. That’s one of the genius fundamentals of t’ai chi — it wants to work the whole system of the body, in a fluid but springy action and reaction.

So opening up the shoulders might help my hips. I’m not sure if I can ever restore the shoulders to full youthful vigor and mobility, because I did go through frozen shoulder in each of them. But they’re definitely better than 4 weeks ago. And it was kind of scary how fast I was able to run on trails this morning for a pretty good distance.

And of course maybe the hips becoming more mobile helps the shoulders. That’s why you want to work everything if you want to rebuild the fascia, if you’re like me, someone who has built pretty decent aerobic capacity and is fairly strong, but run kind of slow. Every bit of fascia in the body is important to the overall wholeness and health of its interconnected strung throughout the body.

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