stale

Got completely pissed on on my run yesterday. Nostalgia for my beloved PNW running and gratitude for my normally dry climate were warring within me. Pockets of hail leaning me in favor of the dry, sections of soft, misty, small-dropleted showers reminding me favorably of running the hills of my hometown.

For the last month+ I’ve been taking a pretty solid break from running. A thorough and committed physical therapy regimen has, for the most part, taken its place. I am, however, getting slightly discouraged. Prior to this break I completed my 5th marathon with zero pain throughout the entire race. I went fast (for me) and felt super strong the whole time! Leading up to the race I had a slight injury at the achilles tendon. And I believe my form is at the root of the issue. But the feeling was a mere creaking sensation. Now, after a month+ of running 0 miles for 3 weeks and then last week starting to run 1-1.5 miles 2-3 times/week and this week only up to 2 miles 3 times/week, I am beginning to experience intermittent pain, where no pain was before! I am angry because I’ve taken off this much time running and losing fitness, angry because I have dedicated literally hours every freaking day to their protocols and angry because I have had to pay for it not working too! I have given them 110%, which “they” always say “the reason people don’t get better in PT is because they don’t do the stuff”. I am here to tell you I am doing the stuff! When I go in (3 days/week I might add) they are amazed how many stretches and strength pieces I have on my chart. I am never there for less than 2 hours. On top of that, I do all the stretches and strengthening on my off days too sometimes twice/day, including short runs on those day.

To their credit, last time I went in I insisted they check my hips because, though I have relatively no pain there, when I do certain stretches I feel limited range of motion on one side and a pinching, painful feeling in both. After checking, it was confirmed that 1 leg is a little shorter than the other. My piriformis (the belly of the muscle on the affected leg side and insertion point of the other) is extremely tight. Next the therapist performed some manipulations and she said they were looking better, but obviously not perfect and that would take time. Sigh. This is a real issue though. The achilles, I believe, is a symptom of the imbalance. We have been working hard on correcting my form and this issue seems to be impeded by my screwed up hips. So I’m extremely frustrated, but I think it might still be beneficial to continuing with the PT, maybe with some adjustments.

Stale, comes from a lack of inspiration I have had to write. This blog has been a huge part of my life lately and it seems not running has made it harder for me to write as well! I would find so much inspiration in a daily run. Ideas just seem to flow, but now I feel stuck. Though I really have given myself over to the hopeful wisdom of this physical therapist there has been a lingering doubt that seems to be growing as I hope I illustrated above. Writing about something I don’t entirely believe in makes me feel like I’m not being true with you all and myself. And transparency is of utmost importance to me.

So this is where I am.

Hopeful that it will return, but discouraged about when that will be because I don’t know when I can really get back out there and start building my miles back up. It’s funny how when you can’t have something it’s all you can think about.

QsOTD: Has anyone else ever been in a similar situation: unable to do what you love, whatever that is? Has anyone ever had a similar situation with this type of imbalance or injury like mine? Any encouragement for continued PT or something else entirely?

8 thoughts on “stale

  1. I am hesitant to say I have been there. Remember when I first married Pam how bad my back got? I couldn’t hardly bend over. I learned some things from a good PT and by listening to inspiration which have made the situation much better since then – though I still have some stiffness and soreness at 55, I now feel basically whole. Keep seeking and listening. Some people carry their daily stress in their hips and back. I read a good book about it called Healing Your Own Back by Dr. John Sarno. Another good one was Healing Back Pain by an Australian PT, don’t remember his name. I am sorry you are suffering, and I wish you the best. I admire your transparency. Love Dad.

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    1. I have heard of that second back pain book! I will have to look into it. Luckily I don’t have any back pain, but I know it can become a low-back pain issue. Once in a while I’ll overdo it at work or something and have a little pain, but I can always stretch it out. The pain anyways. But there’s still something off in the hips I can’t see to fix on my own… I don’t remember you having back pain back then! Glad it’s gotten better! Love you ☺️

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      1. As you know, the back and hips are connected through the sacro-iliac (sp?) Mine has been very tight, and as a result my hips are not very flexible either. I think the stretching and strengthening exercises are similar, at least in the sensation that you are stretching and strengthening deep in your core. My online book at Amazon, Howie’s Guide to Stoplight Yoga came as a result of my work with the PT and my hips. I’ve always wanted to expand on it, and have you author/co-author it with me, because you have/are obtaining the schooling background for this stuff. I have a bunch of other exercises I’d like to add, basic stretches and exercises one can do while laying on a surface – I thought of Bedtime Yoga! – proud of you!

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      2. Yeah that might be fun! The thing I’m realizing is how many different opinions there are out there for this kind of stuff.. I had one PT tell me one thing, another teach me something else, and this one want to do something entirely different. Not to mention it’s all a little different from what I learned in school! It kind of messes with my confidence in my own actions, but it also tells me that every body is different. And it may all be about a trial and error approach to find what works for best for each person. Who knows!

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  2. Further considering the following: “It kind of messes with my confidence in my own actions, but it also tells me that every body is different. And it may all be about a trial and error approach to find what works for best for each person. Who knows!” Yes, everybody may be different, and so I acknowledge there may be some trial and error approach involved in diagnosis (my “House” sense is kicking in😀), but I also believe the difference between a great PT and a good PT is that a great PT knows the science and body well enough to diagnose and successfully treat the patient’s “broken” system – in other words, the great PT is more like a very skilled doctor and has that ability to treat – at some point it isn’t about guesswork anymore in my opinion. This has also been my experience with a PT specializing in my own lower back issues years ago. Hope you have a great day!

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