Courage and ART…Running Update

The last 6 weeks, I’ve been fighting a bit of an injury.  While I haven’t been sidelined from all activity, I have been sidelined from running for the last 4 weeks.  I typically go to physical therapy when injured, but I decided to try something different this time around and the results…well…I’ll let them speak for themselves.


Dr. Chris Feil is a Chiropractor who does active release therapy (ART) here in Ames.  He has worked with a variety of athletes in many different athletic fields.  He runs with Team Vardo (our local running group) and was confident that he could get me back in my running shoes pounding the pavement in no time.  I let him know that I had never been to a chiropractor before, but I was willing to give him a try and let him work some magic.

What is ART?  According to Active Release Techniques, “ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.”

After seeing Dr. Chris four times in less than 2 weeks, he told me to try running for 20-30 minutes this weekend and see how everything feels.  I have to admit, I was VERY nervous and this is where the courage came in.


Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you.  I was definitely frightened to go out and test the legs.  “What ifs” infiltrated my mind…What if it would hurt to run?  What if I do more damage to my knee?  What if I don’t feel any pain while running, but find out later I’ve regressed?  What if, what if, what if???

I decided to run on the trails in the park by our house since it is relatively flat and I wouldn’t be far from home.  Courage…


I started off really easy and could feel that I was compensating for what I thought I might feel instead of what I was feeling.  I really focused on not letting my body make compensations, forcing myself to relax and just run.  It turned out better than I could have expected!!  I have some work to do to get my speed  and distance back, but I will take the slower pace if it means I can run pain free 🙂


Dr. Chris has definitely worked some magic and I am forever grateful that he has gotten me back in my running shoes pounding the pavement.  If you are currently riding that injury train or toying with a ride on it, I would definitely recommend visiting Dr. Chris.  He’ll get you off that train and moving again in no time 😉

When have you had to be courageous?  What do you do to help come back strong after injuries?  Have you tried ART?  If so, how did it work for you?

17 thoughts on “Courage and ART…Running Update

  1. This is AWESOME news!!! I am so excited for you and your 3 mile run!!! What does that mean for next weekends race?
    Courageous?! I went on an 18 mile hard/hilly run by myself with no music this morning!! I guess that was courageous!! 🙂
    I try and take it easy when coming back from an injury. It is hard because you just want to be at the same speed and have the endurance you were before!
    Good luck with your comeback!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks Leslie!! At this point, I’m not sure what will happen for this coming weekend. I am still taking it one day at a time. I am definitely going to start the race. I plan to do the swim, the bike and start the run. We’ll see how I’m feeling to determine how far I run. I do not want to regress with IMWI only 14 weeks away 🙂

      Nice job on the run!! That will definitely build physical and mental toughness for race day 😉

  2. Awesome news Kecia! Glad you’re coming back and feeling good. I like the massages but my D.O. is the one who really worked magic on me… After a minor car accident and a few cycling injuries due to cleat and saddle height issues (hip related) he cracked my body back into shape. Congrats.

    1. Thanks Jim!! My left knee is still not normal, but it is definitely better…I can at least run without pain right now 🙂

  3. Glad to read you are running again! Must feel so awesome after 4 weeks. Of course you’ll get your distance and speed back, it will take less time that you probably think too. As long as you keep running pain free, that’s the most important thing.

  4. Glad that you’re seeing progress! And isn’t ART amazing?! I was sidelined in February of this year for a quad issue and last year I had a bout with plantar fasciitis. That was when I discovered ART, and I fully credit it (and Dr. Choy, a Pasadena guru in the endurance sport community) to getting back to running.
    Hope that you continue to improve and to take care of yourself!

  5. Yay- so glad to hear you ran!!! Will you continue going to ART for a while longer?
    I’m seeing a chiropractor right now, and it’s my first time, too! I always see a physiotherapist, so I thought I’d try something new. We will see!

    1. Thanks Abby! I hope you have amazing results as well 🙂

      I will continue to see Dr. Chris for a while, since I’m not totally healed yet.

  6. I am a HUGE advocate for ART! I have been getting it for years from my Chiropractor and it works wonders. I found that going to physical therapy was not making my injuries better… I needed more manual work done and ART was the ticket! I mostly get ART in my left hip, an area that gets super tight on me thanks to knee surgery 3 years ago. I hope you continue to find heal with ART.

    I had to be courageous when I decided to run the Boston Marathon after taking 5 weeks off from running this winter. I basically had 5 weeks to train after my ‘break’ from running. It was really scary to get back into it, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to run. I found that a combination of the ART and actually, Acupuncture worked wonders. I was and still am fighting an injury with my foot… it’s an every day battle… if you haven’t tried acupuncture, I recommend that too, in combination with the ART.

    1. Thanks Kristin!! I ran 5.8 pain free miles this morning in my 50 minute time window that I was told to run. I was super pleased with that 🙂 I’ve never had Acupuncture, so thanks for the heads up on it!! My Chiropractor also does a form of Acupuncture and said we may give that a try in some of my SUPER tight areas (left hamstring and right quad) after my race this weekend. We’ll see…

  7. A little belated comment, but really glad to hear you’re running again! One step at a time 🙂 While I haven’t done ART (yet… though I have had Graston done many, many times), Nick has many times and swears by it. I’ve been meaning to make an appointment at his chiro to have some done on my right arch, as it’s been acting up a bit the last week (Newtons are near the end of their life).

    1. Thanks Erin!! I did have a set back this last week (I shouldn’t have increased my running so quickly…ugh), hence the no racing tomorrow, but I too swear by ART. I am so grateful for Dr. Chris getting me back on track 🙂 IMWI is what I have to focus on…

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