This morning, I lay on my right side on the exam table at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, my right leg bent on the bottom and my left leg straight on top. Cathy, my physical therapist, asked me to raise the left leg just a bit, then told me to do whatever I could to prevent her from pushing it back down toward the table. She pushed. I resisted. And for the first time since I started this physical therapy odyssey she was unable to push past my resistance.
She then ran me through some other tests. I had to jump up and down on a trampoline, monitoring the pain in my sacrum. So far so good. Then she had me jump onto the trampoline from the floor, landing on one leg and stabilizing myself. I did just fine with those, feeling no pain in my sacro-iliac joint and only a little pain in the left hip.
Then I had to do the same thing on the floor, which means a harder impact. Still no pain! I wobbled a bit when landing on the left leg, but I caught my balance fairly quickly.
Finally, she put me on a leg press sled and had me push with my top leg while swinging the bottom leg in a running motion. This actually felt good. I could feel my glutes working, but without any accompanying hip pain. Too bad there's no leg press machine like this at any of the rec centers I frequent.
After I passed these tests, Cathy took me back in to the exam room for some needling (my piriformis, QL and glute medius on the left were really tight).
And when she finished with that, I got my good news:
I'm now allowed to do two sessions per week on the Alter-G--starting whenever I want!
Of course the sessions are limited. I will warm up for five minutes, run for twenty minutes at an easy pace and at 50% body weight, then cool down for five minutes. If I have any joint issues (as opposed to mere protesting muscle pain), I must stop. So most of my cardio will still be on the recumbent bike and walking on an inclined treadmill. But my first appointment for a real run is Monday morning.
I'm nervous. After all, it was just two weeks ago that Cathy said I was probably in for no running until July. And I know these things have their ups and downs. If my SI joint hurts, I'll need to stop.
But for now I'm letting myself be happy.
California Here I Come!
In other good news, I registered for my winter marathon. It will be the California International Marathon on Dec. 2. I will be rooming with Tricia--this will be her first marathon!--and possibly Kathy (if she decides she's OK with doing a winter marathon). Hopefully we'll all be healthy, relaxed enough for some fun meet-ups with other bloggers--and ready to run fast.
I haven't decided how to work this with the Detroit International Marathon on Oct. 21. I may take a step back and run the half-marathon. But I'm not going to make that change until I see how my back is doing going into June.