Monday, September 8, 2008

SNAP!!! What in the World was That?

I have been laying low, running as I feel and getting a sense of resistance stretching and trying out different stretches with it. I was feeling good and having some nice runs and felt like the track workout last Wednesday would be great. I felt good and did some stretching before the workout-maybe I stretched too hard. I didn't get into a rhythm while doing 5 X 1000m and didn't keep up with the people I wanted to keep up with. I was a bit disappointed and my hips were a bit off and sore again. I saw a friend the next day and he said my stride has been looking better the past couple of track workouts. That made me feel a bit better.

I biked then ran the next two days but felt out of balance again. I stretched. Was I stretching too much? too little? the wrong muscles? the right muscles? I did my longest run in a few weeks two days ago. I went 11 miles but still was imbalanced. Then yesterday the hips were sore, but I ran anyhow and did my fastest 8 mile loop of the year (in the low 55 minutes range).

Today my hips were still off so I tried to focus stretching on the quads and the psoas muscle. I did the quadriceps resistance stretch where your push your back leg against the wall as you lunge forward on your front leg. Then I moved up a level in the "Genius of Flexibility" book. At this level you hold your back foot in a lunge position. You resist against your hand as you pull the foot towards you and you lunge forward. You also (I think-if I read it right) tighten up the front quad and hip of the backwards leg. I did this and it created a powerful stretch with a LOT of force. Maybe too much force! This is somewhat the way it looks.

As I resisted into the stretch I felt my quadriceps pull and tighten. AND THEN. SNAP! What was that? In what seemed like a thousandth of a second. I had the distinct feeling that something broke in my leg. I even think I heard a snap. My daughter who was in the room later said she heard nothing. Instantaneously I had a picture in my head and the strange and powerful feeling in my back leg's quad. Something quickly moved and shook that muscles in my quadricep from the front of the hip halfway down the quad. An immediate picture formed in my mind as I had this strange jolting feeling. I "saw" the muscle at the top of my quad detatch like it was a thick rubber band that had been stretched too far and broke and then it curled and snapped back and forth inside my leg. My quad seem to shake with that feeling like a slinky had been snapped in there. Now I know this isn't what really happened but I am amazed at how my mind tried to make sense of this sudden snap before I could even look down.

I was shocked and jolted and I think I was off the floor and in midair to a standing pose quicker than I had ever moved before. What was that? I have never felt a muscle inside my body move and jolt me like that in my life. I still was clueless and startled my daughter who was sitting on the couch as I burst up into the air and probably blurted out something in shock. I wasn't even sure what happened. I yelled out to her, questioning, "What was that?" I felt my leg. It was there. I put pressure on it. No problem! I looked around. I saw her field hockey stick on the ground. Had it fallen from somewhere and whacked me? In truth it felt like someone had belted me with the stick. No, the stick had not moved. I walked around, but I was still unnerved by whatever had happened to my leg. I couldn't figure it out. I had a hard time explaining the sudden and large jolt within my leg. My wife said I was disoriented for many minutes after.

Nothing, however, seemed to be wrong in the leg. I decided to go on with my planned run. I didn't know if this was smart, but I took off. The muscles around that hip joint felt looser and not as cramped but they felt a bit warm. That leg even felt better than the right one as I ran. I did my workout still unsure of what had happened. There was no pain and there was no movement that I couldn't do as I ran.

After I was done and I sat done. I felt a light tingling pain in the front quad near the outside insertion point. It got more tender as the evening wore on. Who knows how it might feel tomorrow.

I am still not sure what happened. I have never pulled a muscle like that. Maybe just a few muscle fibers pulled and it just feels huge when that happens? Maye something happened to a nerve? Did some muscles or scar tissue suddenly become unstuck? Did a muscle that was tight or stuck suddenly move position? I have no clue. That was the strangest thing! Hopefully that is the end of it. I don't think I will be revisiting that stretch anytime soon.

I am in contact with a resistance stretcher in Massachusetts and am trying to find a place and time when an expert can stretch me out and teach more about what muscles need stretching and how to do it properly (before I pull my leg apart!).


Anne said...

Hi - I just read your blog...I know you ordered our DVD ( and it should be getting there ANYTIME now (they started shipping out on Friday - FINALLY!). Anyways, definitely get in touch with a trainer (I know some great ones up there if you need help - email me at:

but most likely what's going on is your HAMSTRING is either too weak or too tight and CANNOT shorten enough to get into the position - the BALANCING MUSCLE GROUP - stretch #6 in the book.

In our DVD there is a SPECIFIC CHAPTER on this exercise (the quad at the wall) and the balancing muscle group (medial hamstring) and how to work on that.

Chapter 3.

Please email if you have any questions.

Jim Hansen said...

Thanks Anne,
I am a little sore today in the top outside part of my quad.
I am vey much looking forward to viewing the DVD. I do have a trainer I hope to see very soon.