Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I have a little leg....

When I lost my weight. I noticed something weird about one of my legs. The right leg looked muscular, while my left leg looked skinny. And people were noticing too. I thought it was weird, but I told myself it would work itself out.
Last year, mid summer, I started to get a really bad pain in my left calf and knee. It was a weird pain. I couldn't really pinpoint the actual spot of he pain. I couldn't touch it and say "ouch, it hurts there". The pain was coming from inside my leg. It hurt while walking, while standing, even while sitting sometimes. X-rays and CT scan came back with nothing definitive. It was then determined by a couple of doctors that my left leg couldn't handle my running and was told to stop. This thought killed me! I had signed up for a Warrior Dash with some friends that was two months away too. Now that was out of the question.

In speaking with a friend that was going to school to be Physical Therapist, she recommended I go see one to see if they can help. So I had my doctor refer me to one. The lady that I went to see was a godsend! She looked at my leg and the first word out of her moth was "I see what the problem is, you have a little leg...." She was a joker I tell ya but she was good. She worked with me for over 3 months and had me try different sneakers and different exercises to help strengthen my leg. During this time I was still running. Not the 20-25 miles a week I was normally doing. I was doing more like 5 miles a week. A mile or so each run. She said that I always had a weaker leg, and it was normal for a lot of people, but since I never ran before, it was never a problem.

Once we figured out a good combination of strengthening exercises, sneakers and knee support my leg started feeling better. When Warrior Dash came around, the plan was to go with my friends but not run. Our scheduled wave was at 11am and after seeing the first couple of waves go through, I couldn't take it any more! I decided that I was going to run it! Threw on my Spartan costume, running sneakers, my knee brace and lined up for my wave!
My leg hurt and probably wasn't a good idea to do it. But I'm glad I did. My friends thought I was crazy but knew they couldn't talk me out of it. I even finished the race 20mins before them! I never told my physical therapist that I ran it. She would have been pissed.
This is where this photo came from:

Fast forward to today. I still have a "little leg", but I'm working on it, doing exercises and stretches and it's gotten a lot better. I still wear a knee support especially for long runs and races. And it's not as noticeable as it was before. Most people notice only if I point it out. I wish I had a good picture of what it looked like last year. You can kinda tell from the picture above. Here is what it looks like now:

Like I said, only noticeable if pointed out now. But my calf muscle went from being 2" thinner around to about just under an inch thinner. Same goes for my thigh muscles. So with the exercises I have pumped it up but according to the PT, it will probably never be the same size as the other. Which I'm OK with. As long as it doesn't stop my from running I'm good. I still get that weird pain every now and then and thats when I know when to take it easy. I'll give myself a couple days rest.

I posted about this because I was asked about leg recently by a few people. I hope this answers some questions they had.


Anonymous said...

I had a similar issue after knee surgery. Good to hear you have everything under control.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

That's wild! But I did a quit internet search and its not as uncommon as it sounds. Man, you killed that Warrior Dash, and that photo is freakin' epic! Thanks for telling this story, really interesting.