Thursday, April 23, 2009

Troubleshooting an Injury

On my run tonight, I noticed some nagging old pains, and some new ones.  It made me think about some troubleshooting techniques I use when diagnosing computer problems.

The first step is to gather as much info as possible about the problem.  The outside of the right ankle had a somewhat sharp pain (which is a somewhat recurring thing over the last couple years), and my right hip and left inside ankle started to hurt as well.

The second step is to think back and try to remember what you have done differently.  You may come up with a long list.  In my case my list consisted of: 

  1. I didn’t drink any beer last night
  2. I tried picking up my knees a bit more (altered stride)
  3. I ran a good ways on a cobblestone street because of a detour.

Next step is to discard the things that are unlikely to be the source of the problem.

While I’d really like the problem to be lack of beer, that is unlikely to be the cause.

Altering my stride by picking up my knees could very well do it.

Cobblestones can definitely cause injuries, but it wasn’t very far, maybe a block or two.

I now have two reasonable suspects.  If I changed both things tomorrow, and the problem went away, I would have no idea what fixed it.  So the best course of action is to only change one thing at a time.  This is important, so I will repeat it:

Only change one thing at a time!

I had this problem off and on for a year, and then it mysteriously went away.  I tried different things, but I didn’t keep a record or journal of what I did.   This is another important thing to remember:

Keep a journal!

It doesn’t have to be on the internet, like this one.  It could be in a spiral notebook.   Just keep track of the distance and or time you ran, and any information on how you felt.  You will not only be able to better diagnose injuries, but you might discover other interesting things you never suspected.  There a lot of things you can keep in the running journal, enough for a separate post.

The Top 6 Reasons for starting this blog

1.  Keeps me running.  If I don't run, I have nothing to write about.  And my waistline expands at a truly alarming rate!
2.  Outlet for griping.  My specialty!
3.  Review some running-related products that I liked, and some that I didn't like.  I really like searching "the internets" for product reviews before I purchase something, so maybe they will help you decide what cool new swag you get.
4.  Watch less TV.  TV is like a zombie, sucking out your brain like the people sucking down cheap domestic beer during happy hour.
5.  Socialize with other like-minded people.
6.  Share some of my favorite trail runs in the Baltimore area.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My first post

Hi, welcome to my blog!
This is my first forray into blogging, so I will be testing things out, seeing what looks good and what doesn't.  It'll take a while to get everything the way I want it.