I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaack!

It’s darn near miraculous. Honest to goodness. I’m still pinching myself, because in the blink of an eye…and knock on wood…I’m back!

Sound crazy? I’ll piece it together for you.

Friday was my PT appointment. If I can tell you what a God awful morning it was. Things on the home front were not good. I hadn’t run for 9 days, yet still was miserable as hell. My leg would not stop complaining. I was not looking forward to what might be said at that appointment, yet at the same time, I needed some kind of reassurance.

I have to admit that there were several times this week I considered withdrawing from Boston. I’d have to commit to paying for the hotel rooms in just two weeks, so a decision would have to be made. Not only that, but the Team Ortho Get Lucky Half Marathon that I committed to is coming up at the same time, and would need some reconsideration. Everything inside me had literally come to a screeching halt. I was unhappy, miserable, and so far down…almost as low as the Minnesota temperature has been. Below Zero. (Insert gratuitous Minnesota temperature shot from this morning.)

This morning's temperature

This morning’s temperature

My PT was not happy that I had not been running. “You need to run, Theresa.” And here is why.

She said I have to help make room in that hip socket. The more I run and gouge out some space in there, the less the pressure will be on that labrum wall. And with that, the less discomfort I will have. “But, how can I run if it hurts?” I asked.

Visualization. Sounds crazy. But I need to visualize that joint carving out some space in that socket as I run. Running is the best way to achieve it, too. Not walking, and definitely not biking. But running.

“The fact that you can do a 16-mile training run and feel better at the end than at the start tells me that you will not only be able to run this marathon, but get darn close to your hopeful time. I have no doubt in my mind that you will whip this run,” she told me. “The worst thing you can do now is nothing. And don’t sit. At least, if it is not necessary. And no more exercise bike.”

After performing a few adjustments and giving me the biggest pep talk ever, I decided that I needed to go home and give it a try. I took the remainder of the morning to run some errands…staying on my feet as much as possible. When I returned home, I did P90X Chest and Back, and feeling better than ever, headed for the treadmill.

I looked at it. It looked back at me. I swear it snarled. No watch, no Garmin. I’m just going to do this. I’m going to see if I can do this.

Set the damn thing for 3 miles. Start off slow, Theresa…4.5 mph. OK, this is TOO slow. Speed it up just a little. I’ll work my way up to 5.5. Visualize. I’m sitting back on my hips. My feet are landing beneath my body, not in front. That joint is carving out room in the socket. Whoa. I’m standing taller. My chest is in the air. What is this? Has my form been off this entire time? Have I completely missed the the boat these last 8 months? What has happened?

Suddenly, I’m taking deep breaths. My vision is straight ahead instead of down. My glutes are engaged, my core is contracted and there is…no…leg…pain. Dear God in Heaven…seriously?

My sister, (the other PT in my life) sends me this e-mail while I’m running. “Check this out,” she says. “What perfect timing!” It’s an article from the Ben Greenfield Podcast talking about SI joint dysfunction issues and how to cure them. One exercise immediately attracts my attention and after my run, I try it.

SI Joint Dysfunction Exercises

SI Joint Dysfunction Exercises

It’s the one in the doorway. 8 Second press, 5 second rest, repeat 3 x, each leg. When I’m done, I’m physically cured. Nothing…nada…no leg pain. It’s too good to be true, right?

I e-mail the exercises to my PT. I don’t get a response. But I do them anyway and add them to my repertoire. I do get a little tinge of pain Friday night, but I’m sitting on the soft sofa. Not a good thing for me. So I get up and get in the doorway again. Dang, it cures it.

Saturday morning, I’m almost giddy. I cannot WAIT to try to run again. I need to see if it is a fluke or if I’ve really stumbled on something huge here. I set the treadmill for 3 miles and I feel a little radical. I start a bit faster and work my way up to 6.5 mph. I visualize the whole way. Sit back on those hips, fire those glutes. Look straight ahead. Imagine carving out that hip socket. Yes! I’m running! I’m running and I have NO pain! I run 15 minutes, then hop off the treadmill and get back in the doorway. When I get back on to finish the run, I feel better yet. It is like the miracle cure.

I do my exercises after the run then I mop my floor and clean my kitchen. I just want to stay mobile and on my feet. I cannot believe how mobile I am. I really feel great and consider another afternoon trot on the treadmill. But the day gets away from me. And that is OK. The only fly in the ointment? A long car ride. I had to take to pick up my girls and drop off their friend. Darn it…discomfort creeps back into that leg. But as soon as I get home, I get in that doorway. Phoooooom. It’s gone.

Polar Dash Age Group Award

Then this comes in the mail. It’s my award for placing first in my age group at the Polar Dash. It says “Champion”. I’m a champion! Why, yes…yes I am. And why would I ever doubt that?

This morning, Hal says to run 100 minutes or 13 miles. Hmmmm. Do I dare? My treadmill maxes out at 90 minutes or 10 miles. I do a little warm up walk for 5 minutes. Then I set it for 90 minutes starting at 5.5 mph. Let’s see what I can do.

Visualize. I can’t believe how well that is working. It changes my gait…it lifts my chest, it raises my chin. It releases the discomfort in the leg. I keep running. Very comfortably increasing the pace ever so slowly so I’m up to about 6.5 at the half hour. I step off and get in the doorway…just in case. Back on the treadmill and I feel better than when I started. Visualize…I slowly up my pace to 7.0 the next half hour. I’ve run 6.5 miles this hour. Not the speediest for me, but so amazingly comfortable. I can’t believe I’ve just run 6.5 miles. I get off and get in the doorway again, just for good luck. Then, I keep going. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to finish out the 90 minutes. I work my way up to marathon pace at 75 minutes and I’m doing exceedingly well. I can feel the color rushing back into my face. For the first time in MONTHS, I’m feeling the same confidence that my PT has in me. I CAN run this thing! I WILL be able to run this half marathon in two weeks. I’ve figured out the SECRET!

But, then the phone rings. My husband is off site and needs something. I need to stop. But you know what? That is OK. I take it as a sign to stop while I’m ahead. After all, I’m just off a recovery week. And 8 miles in 75 minutes with NO discomfort is like finding the pot of gold. I’ve found the pot of gold!

Do I sound giddy? I am. I’m so freakin’ giddy. I’m back…gosh dang it…I’m back! (Insert gratuitous back shot here.)

My Back

My Back

Funny that I chose this week to photograph my back and show it off on Facebook. It just adds to the miraculousness of the entire weekend.

And I’d like to thank each and every one of you who messaged me, or e-mailed me, or texted me, showing more faith in me than I had in myself. It means more than you will ever know. And know that if you are ever in the same situation, I’ll have your back.

KeepCalm

 

What is the most miraculous thing that ever happened to you?

And don’t forget that I’m giving away another tube of Run Goo by Foot Kinetics! Get in on it here!

7 Responses to I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaack!

  1. Nick says:

    Freakin’ fantastic! I know a lot of how you feel…I nearly wrecked myself doing thte chevron Houston Marathon after being flat on my back for over two weeks, and it took a month off to have the courage to try running again! But now I’m doing Hansons’ method training, running with no pain and faster than ever after just three weeks – can you say “Hosanna!”? (I know YOU can!)

  2. Brian says:

    So happy you’re back! And your back, holy cow!

  3. What a relief for you, congrats!

  4. Great news! Keep the positive visuals up!!! 🙂

  5. flexines says:

    I had totally missed that you were going through this! Glad to hear you’re on the mend and found something that works! For awhile all my heavy school books and bad posture were wreaking havoc on my back and when I discovered back and glute stretches it was magical. I can completely relate to your feeling of triumph in finding a pain solution.

    Here’s to many more miles (and champion plaques!).

  6. That is awesome, so happy for you!!

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