TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Physical Therapy

I went to my first physical therapy session yesterday.  First ever.  It felt odd.  Like I didn't belong there; I was "out of my league."  I'm 45-years-old for goodness sake.  I've got three boys, a husband, a house to clean, laundry and meals to make.  I've got a teaching job and dreams of becoming a published novelist.  Yet, there I was, laying on a table while Kevin (my therapist) poked and proded every muscle to pinpoint just which ones were injured.  He found them all right -- three of them, in my left hip, just under my IT band.

Ouch.

After pinpointing that, he stretched my legs (more so than I ever do), and "rubbed" out my muscles (I don't know what it's called, but it's like a deep, hard massaging).  I did some exercises, had some electrodes attached to the hip with a comfortable pillow-like sack of ice over the injury.  It all lasted an hour and a half exactly.

Like I said.  This was my first time.  I don't even know the words to adequately describe the session.  I know that I felt better afterwards -- looser, but even more so, hopeful.  I felt hopeful that my running aspirations for the year might be met. 

It seems kinda ridiculous that I have running aspirations.  I mean, this is my hobby.  No, it's something more than my hobby.  "Hobby" just seems like the closest word to describe it right now.  What are my running aspirations for the year?  I'm not going to do the 20 races like 2009.  Instead, I just want Calico (check), Silverado footrace (check) and 3 marathons.  In addition to the 3 marathons, I'm aiming for my first 50k. 

Both my doctor and Kevin seemed optimistic about me running the marathon mid-April.  "But now is the time for healing," Kevin warned.  I am under direction to do nothing that causes pain in my hip -- even flat runs.  On the way out, I asked "What if I have only a little pain, can I run?"

"Only a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, then you can," he said.  "But DON'T RUN 12 MILES.  Run 3."

I laughed outloud.

"Long distance runners," he chuckled.  "You're all the same!"

Long distance runner?  That is remarkably odd to me.  I'm no long distance runner.  I'm a dreamer, a drifter of sorts, an escape artist who happens along the way, to chalk up the miles.  That's who I am.

I do have every intention of following doctor's and therapist's orders though.  And so when I woke this morning, and I actually felt pain in my left hip, I chucked my running plans (I went to the gym in the evening, and even chucked the abductor and adductor weights AS ORDERED).  And though I worked-out an hour and a half, I did nothing that caused pain in my hip.

Miles logged today:  0
Therapy orders followed:  100%

ps.  some funny things today:
1)  My 8-year-old boy went for a run today because he was feeling agitated.  He said it makes him feel better to run.
2)  My 10-year-old boy said to me, "Mom, those other runners, they're running FREAKS."  He was giving me a pep talk about following doctor's orders. : )       

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you are taking care of your injury and even more so that you are hopeful again. Keep us posted!

    Question: Did he mean not to run if it hurts while you are running, or not to run if you have any pain at all any time? I'm asking because my left hip has been sore for months but it doesn't hurt while I am running - only afterwards. Would he tell me not to run?

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  2. Thanks Tom!

    He meant, that I should not run if it hurts to run. I'm not allowed to do anything that hurts my hip while I'm doing it.

    Something else he said that seemed funny: that I should never run to warm up for running (which is what I do!). I should do something else, in his words "walk around the parking lot til you're sweaty," or "ride a bike, anything but running." I'd never heard that.

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