Monday, April 9, 2012

Physical Therapy Ch. 5

It's almost Boston Marathon time, and the happy preparation tales have been out there for several weeks. Which makes the post I did last year even more relevant now than it was then. I wish I could say my character had improved some in a year, but I guess it hasn't.

Sometimes the task ahead of you isn't the task you want to work on. But you have to work on it anyway. And that brings me to......

Two steps forward.....one step back.......

It's now been five weeks since I began physical therapy.

Today, after a two-week hiatus, I had a visit with Sue. It was good timing because yesterday morning (Easter Sunday) I woke up with the worst pain I'd had since beginning the process of trying to make my back better. I don't know what I did to provoke it. I hadn't even been on the recumbent bike in two days due to the holiday craziness at my house (in-laws visiting, volunteering at the church potluck, two five-year-olds with three Easter egg hunts to attend) and the gym having odd hours.

Sue worked her magic with needles, adjustments and some massage-like manipulation, and I feel much better. She also said it wasn't a huge step backwards or anything dire--my sacro-iliac joint had gotten a bit out of alignment again. I don't have to step back my exercises or my time on the bike.

But it's deflating because I had been feeling much better in the days leading up to Sunday, enough that I could honestly have said the pain was the least I could remember having for a long time, enough that simple motions that have hurt for a really long time (like putting my elbows on my knees when sitting down, pushing in the clutch in the car with my left foot and twisting to watch behind me when backing out the car) were starting to...not hurt...at all. The PT exercises were starting to feel easier. The muscles in my lower abs are starting to feel more like muscles contracting and less like the twitch of a dying mouse (this at least hasn't changed!).

I told Sue all of that. She said I still need to take it easy this week, not add anything new, and let the latest issue unwind itself. The only new instructions are to do some mild stretches when I first wake up (knees to the chest, cat/cow) and, because I'm a stomach sleeper, put a pillow under my belly when I sleep to keep my back from arching. Had I come to her without Sunday's flare-up, she said she might have let me add some consecutive days on the bike and some new PT exercises--but now that won't be happening this week. I also asked her about the Bolder Boulder 10K (on Memorial Day) and, alas, it's not going to happen for me this year either.

She did say that we will probably be talking--soon, she said!--about transitioning me back to running. She mentioned the Alter-G and pool running, both of which would be an amazing treat to me. Pool running is the cheaper option since I belong to the rec center, but I might be willing to pay for (or even use one of my precious insurance-covered PT appointments for) a session or two on the Alter-G. It's just so much more like real running than slogging it back and forth in a pool (where music isn't an option).

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and stories on my last post. I plan to reply to them all in the next couple of days (along with catching up with your blogs). Happy late Easter, everyone! I ate some sweets and I hope you all did, too.

24 comments:

  1. Hugs my friend! I am excited you get to start running again soon. How awesome that you have access to the Alter G. Hang in there. You will be back at it before you know it. :) Hugs!!

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  2. Wow - has it been 5 weeks already???  In reality, time does certainly fly by even though some days it feels like it's crawling pathetically at a snails pace (especially when you are twitchy to do the thing you love so much and keeps you sane = run, train, and race!).  Be encouraged - you are going to come back more physically prepared to train well!

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  3. Yay!! Progress is good! I would love a chance to run on an alter G. Hope that options works out for you. I am so happy you are  getting the PT. You will kill Bolder Boulder next year.

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  4. It is frustrating, I know.. but very glad there is mention of getting back into running and I do hope it is more than the pool.  

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  5. I always wish I had magical words to help ease the disappointment.  I know first hand how incredibly down one can get in these times.  Oh how I know!!!  I think one time someone made a comment on my blog once that one day this will all be a distant memory.  I think I held on to those words every day.  Every Day!  One day this will all be a big memory and you'll be smashing that BB PR, girl!  Big hugs to you!!

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  6. Just stay positive. I know its frustrating, but soon the stars will align and so will your sacro-iliac.

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  7. Bummer about the setback, but what a gift to be working with Sue and her magic hands! I hope you continue to feel better this week, and get some form of running in soon.  The Alter G would be amazing, as would pool running--just going through the motion again would probably do wonders on the mental/emotional end of things.  Yep, definitely enjoyed some sweets! :)

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  8. hang in there my friend..you will get through this I know you will
    I cannot wait to see you Saturday! we are still on right? you tell me what time is good and I will be there

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  9. Slomohusky/Generation XApril 9, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    the stress of family visiting - and yeah - church potlucks can be a workout on the volunteer side of things. don't that a few times along with a pancake breakfast or two to know they can be a workout.

    keep kickin'!

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  10. Gonna be a little selfish here and say how terribly I am going to miss you in Boulder. There is always next year, my friend, but I will be so lonely without you there. It's kind of "our thing" - you know?
    OK, got that out of my system. 
    Progress is being made - it is absolutely expected that you will have the setback days but the big picture is that your ARE getting better. 

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  11. scarlett elliewoodApril 10, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    You will come back so much stronger! My back gave out Easter Eve. Stress and running can hurt so now I'm heading to the PT! GRRR

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  12. ahh the frustration of recovery, so sorry you are having a rough one right now...but maybe it's like speed work painful for a while and then suddenly you start to see quick improvement :) here's to hoping!

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  13. oh man - sorry about the set back.  But it sounds like you are still doing fairly well.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that the transition to running happens soon!   Just keep the faith you are doing what's right for your body and your running - it will be worth it when you come back stronger and faster!

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  14. Keep it up...as I said before playing it safe/smart and keeping some semblance of positiveness goes a long way. 

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  15. Ugh. Sorry to hear Boulder/Boulder won't be happening for you this year. Pool running and Alter G are good though. hang in there girl, you're getting there.

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  16. Sorry about the step back. :-( At least it sounds like it shouldn't be too long before you'll be able to take another step forward. I too am looking forward to following all the Boston coverage even though I am also a LONG way from being able to run there myself. Someday.... 

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  17. Oh man. I hear ya, girl. This was me last summer. I am fortunate enough to have access to an Alter-G at the Marine Corps base gym. I was on that puppy 5 days per week + pool running Sat/Sunday... for about 8 weeks until my leg issues resolved itself. Tried once around the 4 week point to hop on the regular treadmill. NOPE. Back to the Alter G for another 3 weeks.

    You're getting there! This will all be a distant memory before you know it.

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  18. Sending healing vibes your way and wishes for you to come back stronger and faster!

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  19. Arkansas Runner MomApril 10, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    5 weeks?! Hang in there! I know time seems to go by in SLOW MOTION when you cannot run.  I was in your spot last year (right around the time I was supposed to run Boston) and it was HARD.  Not only was I missing the race I had dreamed about for years but I could do NOTHING.  After a few weeks I could start cross training.  Cross training helps but I know it is not the same as running.  Still, it does help.  It will make the transition back to running better.  I remember many days on the elliptical imagining myself running and telling myself that it would all pay off someday.  You are going to come back stronger and faster.  :-)

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  20. How frustrating to have the back pain sneak back in.  Hopefully as you continue to make progress that's the last you see/feel of it! I know you must be so excited to think of doing some running again.  I'm happy for you! Keep being patient with yourself and knowing that you're making things so much better for yourself in the future! :)

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  21. Transitioning back to running: that sounds very promising!  As does the fact that you're mostly pain-free.  I'm sure your setback will be a temporary thing...

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  23. Hugs.  I'm sorry you had a setback and can only imagine how incredibly frustrating that must feel.  I'll continue to keep your healing quickly in my thoughts.

    I admit that I salivate a bit over the idea of the Alter G. :)  

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  24. It's nice to know you have maintained your progress. More than five weeks and counting of physical therapy... Nice! You must be getting stronger every day. However, I have to agree with Sue; you still have to take things easy. I know you're doing your best, and I'm very happy for you. People around you are probably thrilled that you will be running again. Continue on doing what you like and remain positive. Best of luck!
    Candy
    Rowe

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