Wednesday, 12 November 2008
I had some vaguely thought-provoking experiences with my elbow recently. In general it's been feeling okay and progressing slowly but steadily. It's definitely held up to regular usage and a gradual increase in standards.
Last Tuesday: routes indoors at MCC, massaged elbow well beforehand, warmed up reasonably well but got flash pumped. Thus found the routes quite hard so floundered a bit. But my elbow felt at the end of the session like it usually does halfway through such a session, despite having to do some left arm pulls. Elbow felt okay the next day, better than usual after a wall session. Celebrated by having two good rest days.
Last Friday: bouldering indoors at The Works, ran down thus well warmed up, didn't warm up much climbing, got on some orange problems and probably had the hardest (but not the longest) indoor bouldering session since spring. Elbow felt a mild and "usual" level of tenderness afterwards, but the next morning felt the best it has after a wall session since spring.
Last Saturday: bouldering at Almscliff, massaged elbow well beforehand, didn't warm at all well, did a couple of warm-up problems but not enough to warm into things. Did a few easy problems but was pulling pretty casually at the end of the session. Elbow as tender as normal afterwards and similarly the next morning.
Here's a couple of Almscliff pics (by Will):
Easy little rib thing that I'd never managed to work out before Sat.
Easy other side of Flying Arete, a nice warm up/down.
Last Sunday: bouldering indoors at The Works, didn't warm up, another relatively hard session on purples & pinks, elbow felt a tiny bit sore during it and more sore than normal afterwards and at night. Definitely worse than recent sessions (although not worse than a couple of months ago).
So basically I screwed up a bit in the last session. Not badly - I didn't need to take painkillers, it wasn't sore at rest, and only a bit more tender to touch, and felt okay by the next afternoon. But after some promising sessions beforehand, it was a small step back. Basically due to the main cause of re-injury: Not being diligent.
What I did wrong:
1. 3rd climbing session in a row - I should have recognised the increase strain on my elbow due to overuse.
2. Not warming up on the 2nd and particularly 3rd session. What a knobber!! I should have warmed up well like in previous sessions, absolutely crucial.
3. Not massaging my elbow beforehand - this definitely helps with warming up and readying it for action.
4. Pushing myself a bit too hard. I was getting carried away on Sunday, almost climbing with the, errr, gay abandon I usually would indoors, which is still too much at the moment. This would have been okay if I'd been properly rested and warmed up - but I should have been more careful.
So a lesson re-learnt and a timely reminder before I get too carried away. I sentence myself to the easy green circuit, the very easy salmon circuit, and more swimming!