Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ready to Run (Almost)

I want to mention something I've been meaning to write about since September - I'm not sure why it's taken me this long!

Starting in September, I started seeing an amazing physical therapist, referred to me by my incredible mentor.  I've been sidelined all year long post-marathon - first the scary hamstring pain before the marathon back in January, then the foot injury after the marathon, and then just as my foot was healed and I went to start running again...the hamstring pain came back.  I'd run, feel pain, then rest for a week or two (or four).  Then start again, the pain would come again.  Then gradually it became a part of my every day life, spread to my hip and glute, and would get worse after teaching classes.  I sought out a sports medicine doctor who ordered an MRI which showed me nothing at all (except a much emptier bank account).

So although I dearly wish it hadn't taken me from January til September to finally get to a physical therapist about this, I'm there now!  It took me a nine months to get to this point so I know I can't expect results right away, but the amount of help Fabricio, my PT, has given me in these three months since I've been seeing him is astronomical.  We even went on a few runs together, and I went on a few on my own.  We've held off the running because a) he wants me to be barefoot to help my foot strike and to improve my stride and it's freezing cold and b) after over-doing it on some of our strengthening exercises some of the pain was coming back.

I'm back to feeling great again, though, and I'm sure Santa will give me the means to get a Fabricio-approved running shoe and I'm so excited to keep going on my journey back to running in January.

I've gotten really despondent about this throughout the year.  Running, even more than yoga, is my primary stress reliever and mood booster when it comes to physical activity.  (I obviously love yoga, but I have a hard time keeping myself from analyzing the teacher and sequence!)  I was even experiencing pain after taking yoga classes so those were out too.  I also didn't want to wallow because so many people I knew this year were going through much worse physical trials than me.  I've been more sedentary and I know it's had an effect on my overall mood and health this year, which has been really hard.

What I've been learning through my PT work, though, has been so instrumental and changing the way I sit, stand, teach, practice, run, and do random functional activities throughout the day.  For my birthday, Fabricio gave me a book called Ready to Run by Dr. Kelly Starrett which has clearly been influencing the work we've been doing to get me back to running.  It's fascinating and so much of what it says has me saying, "Duh! Why have I not always been doing this?"  It talks so much about how much of injury prevention is in our own hands.  We have to get to know our own body mechanics, mobility, range of motion, limitations we can work on, sit less, use good posture, and perform daily maintenance on our bodies.

I can't recommend this book enough and I'm not even finished with it yet.  It's packed with exercises, mobility tests, foam roll/pressure point ball exercises for self massage and fascia release, and great information.  Whether you'd define yourself as an athlete, a yogi, or neither, this book is a must read!  Treat yourself to Ready to Run and you'll be so inspired to take better care of yourself in 2015.

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