This week marks my seventh week of physical therapy and it’s now been two months since I’ve really ran – not including my 10-minute jaunts on the anti-gravity treadmill at less than full body weight. I’m going a bit insane as this is my longest running hiatus since about the eighth grade.
I started playing three sports per year as a first grader so I was always running around, but it wasn’t until going out for the JV soccer team my eighth grade year that I really started running just to run. During our morning sessions for preseason double sessions we had to run – gasp! – two miles every day. I thought that was so far back then, but I also loved the feeling of being in great shape and how much easier it made playing sports. I ran my first 5k with my brother (the Swamp Rat Run in Cicero) as a sophomore in high school and my first marathon as a junior in college. I’ve been hooked ever since.
While I would have preferred to be back up and running right away after a couple PT sessions, I am making progress. I do two sessions a week plus one deep tissue massage a week before one of the sessions. I’ve also been spending countless hours doing daily stretches, exercises, foam rolling and icing.
It seems like it is all starting to pay off. My flexibility and range of motion has improved dramatically. I still have a long ways to go on that and will continue to work on the flexibility as I get back to running and training, but am really excited about the gains I’ve made so far. While some areas are still pretty tender, I can now use my foam roller without wanting to scream out in pain! Whoever created those torture devices is both brilliant and sinister. I’m activating muscles I need to run my best that had seemingly shut down. I can stand on a single leg without wobbling all over the place (or without wobbling as much anyways!), and my posture is improving so that I’m not standing and walking in a position that places constant tension on my hip flexors.
The best pay off: I finally reached 100 percent of my weight on the anti-gravity treadmill yesterday. It was only for two minutes and was at a reduced speed, but I’m still very excited about it. At my next session this week I get to run for real and they will conduct a run analysis, so I can make sure my running form won’t land me with another injury as soon as I get going again. Little by little it keeps getting better, and I can’t wait to get back out there on the roads.