Friday, August 1, 2014

Road to Recovery: The Final Weeks

Previous posts on my Road to Recovery from ITBS:
Knee Frustrations
Week 1 Report
Week’s 2-4 Report
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In my final weeks of physical therapy (PT), I began to incorporate short distance running into my routine. This was only while I was at my sessions, though; I wanted to play it safe and not overdo myself outside of PT so I continued to break a sweat by cycling on my off days. On my July 3rd session, after all my stretches and strength exercises, my physical therapist said “Ok, let’s see how you feel on the treadmill”. I am not lying when I say I felt immediate nausea. It was the moment I had waited for ever since I dedicated myself to getting better. I was just to attempt 1/1 intervals (run one minute/walk one minute) for up to one mile as long as there was no pain. I was instructed to stop at the first sign of discomfort.

The treadmill belt started and my legs moved with it; even with all my nervousness, I felt a sense of peace come over me. I was back in my happy place! The only question was if it would last? I continued my intervals making sure I was aware and in tune with my body for any possible twinges. Before I started PT, the tweaks of pain began around a quarter mile of running, so when I passed that distance, I felt relief. Granted I was run/walking and not running straight through, but still, no pain! In fact, that whole mile was successful! I felt victorious already.

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Each mile I ran/walked at my PT sessions after that went very well – so well actually, that by my final session I was able to accomplish a 2/1 interval (run two minutes/walk one minute). The following Monday I had my run gait analysis scheduled (recapping next week so stay tuned) which also went very well.

Since my gait analysis, I have run 3 times; once outdoors with my dad while I was in Dallas, and twice so far this week on the treadmill. I ran/walked 2 miles with my dad last week and did the same on Tuesday this week with no pain. Yesterday I was able to complete 3 miles at 3/1 intervals with no pain! I iced immediately afterwards as an anti-inflammatory precaution though. Better safe than sorry!

While getting myself back into both the mentality and physicality of training, I have also been making sure I am consistent with my stretching, strength training, and foam rolling. Having a loose IT band along with a strong core and glutes will help immensely in the prevention of future injuries. In fact, I don’t even allow myself a cardio session anymore without doing stretching and strength first. My cardio sessions (running & cycling) are my rewards for doing what is necessary to make sure my ITBS never returns again.

To end my Road to Recovery reports, I want to thank each of you. Thank you for staying with my blog even though it veered away from health & fitness often due to my lack of activity from this injury. And thank you for bringing up my spirits with advice and encouragement through the last few months! It has been frustrating to say the least, but with my husband, family, and each of you supporting me, it has made the journey so much easier!

QOTD: If you have had an injury, what did you learn from it?

26 comments

  1. YAYAYAYAYAY! I'm SO glad to hear you're back to running pain-free! I know this must have been so difficult for you, but you're a total rockstar -- you did what you needed to do to allow your body to heal, and now you'll be stronger than ever. In the meantime, you've definitely reminded all of us about the importance of stretching and strengthening our bodies to avoid injury, so, thank YOU! :-D

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    1. Thanks Jennifer!! If I could help at least one person avoid injury through my posts, I'd call that a success! :0) I wouldn't wish this on anyone!

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  2. So good to hear! I've learned I wasn't as strong as I thought and need to figure out how to strength train to keep this away, and I need proper form. That one's not coming easy.

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    1. Proper form is tough, especially when you don't always have someone who is able to watch and correct you immediately. Have you had a run gait analysis? That helped me a lot with how to correct form and why!

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  3. So good to hear! I love the quotes in this post. Hopefully all of your dedication to strength training and stretching will help for a veryyyy long time :)

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  4. So happy for you that you're back in the saddle!... or the running shoes... you played the whole thing very smart & you're getting the rewards. You need to be an idiot like me & keep running on a bad leg & push it to the limits. That's the cool way to do it. ... take from this, never to listen to me on anything :)

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! Being smart about injuries was difficult but I just had to look long term, especially with Dopey in January!

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  5. You've taken such a smart and proactive approach to your injury, and I can even see it as you are getting back into it. I see only success in your future!
    Not a lot of runners actually have the patience and smarts to stop and let things heal correctly. I've learned a lot through my own, even though it wasn't running related, it eventually impacted my regular life where I had to stop running. I've learned so much, I think the biggest thing is, listening to my body, pay attention right at the first sign of any problem, and not all injuries happen while running in fact most wont.
    So happy your getting back into it, as someone who is (different injury) but right about in the same place your at now, I totally know how relieved and happy you are feeling and how so ready you are to get it all past you! Keep it up, your going to be back to racing again soon!

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    1. Thanks Kristy! I am so glad you are on the right track towards running injury free again too!

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  6. Coming back from injury is always hard and a little scary. I keep thinking every little twinge is another injury. I've learned to listen to my body and take time off even if I don't want to

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  7. I am so happy for you. You are so smart to be taking things easy and not pushing! I am still very cautious as to not push myself on a run. I worry that when I start to run longer distances that my injury will come back. ITBS is just awful, isn't it?

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    1. Omg YES, it is terrible! I never want this to happen again!

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  8. Speaking of run/walking, I just read a race report of someone who finished with a decent time by run/walking. I'm glad you're improving and hope you'll be running as much as you want to very soon!

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    1. I noticed that on your race report blog post last week!! There is definitely some great parts of interval running, but if I am being totally honest, I am so excited for the day where I don't have to do intervals anymore lol! It's so hard to get in the zone!

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  9. I'm so glad to hear you are running with no pain. As you know, I have been through quite a few injuries and the best thing is to always listen to your body. It's very scary to get back out there wondering if every little twinge is going to snowball or if its just normal tweaks working themselves out. You have done a really great job recovering smart, so I have no doubt you will be increasing the mileage and back to where you were in no time!

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    1. Thanks for the advice and encouragement Sara! :0)

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  10. Great to hear you're back at it! You've approached this so wisely, and I hope you're back running in top form soon. Having gone through PT last summer I know how frustrating it can be to ease back in. But it will serve you well in the end. I learned to do more body-weight exercises to strengthen my muscles. That was my big take-away from PT. A year later, I'm still doing them. Run on!

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    1. I had no idea you were in PT last summer. That is so encouraging knowing where you are now just a year later. That helps just in itself with my confidence in getting back out there! Thanks Karla!

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  11. Yay! I am so so happy you are back and running! It was really great to read about your experience with PT because now I know if I ever have a serious injury that requires PT and a break from running it won't be the end of the world. You're going to come back extra strong for the Wine & Dine and Dopey!!

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    1. True but I do admit it did feel like the end of the world at the beginning lol! I feel like I have learned so much over the past few months though. I am so excited for Wine & Dine and Dopey!

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  12. I'm so happy for you! I think you are definitely going to be so much stronger after being so strict about your recovery! Great work!

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  13. So glad to hear you're back to running pain free!! Yay!! You've been so diligent about your recovery and I'm so glad to see it has paid off!

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    1. Thanks Jess!! :0) I am very glad too!

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