Jumping Through Hoops…Running Update

Funny how jumping on the trampoline triggered this injury and now I’m jumping through hoops to overcome this setback and get back to pounding the pavement.

Acting like a 6 year old is sometimes more costly than one might think...
Acting like a 6 year old is sometimes more costly than one might think…

My running has not been where I want it to be at this point in my Ironman training, but I am working with what I am able to do, so I can eventually get back to running longer distances and speed work.  While I am not back to 100% yet, I am able to run a little bit…more on that in a few minutes.

What have I been doing to overcome this set back?

I see Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic once or twice a week to receive active release therapy (ART).  He has also done acupuncture on my leg a couple of times to help release the muscle tension around my knee.  We are hoping that this will help my knee heal quicker.

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Getting stuck like a voodoo doll…I think it might be helping though.  After having acupuncture twice in one week, I was able to run with minimal pain that weekend.

I am doing some exercises to help strengthen the stabilizing muscles around my knee.

Leg extensions with 4 pounds attached to my ankle and an air filled ball under my knee.
Leg extensions with a 4 pound ankle weight and an air filled ball under my knee.
The infamous monster walks with an elastic band around my shins.
The infamous monster walks with an elastic band around my shins.

I also get a deep tissue massage every other week…

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Where am I at with my running?

Last week I ran for 20 minutes on Sunday (June 15), 30 minutes on Tuesday (June 17) and 33 minutes on Thursday (June 19).  When I went back to see Dr. Chris on Friday (June 20), he reexamined my running gait and noticed that I am still occasionally crossing my left leg over the midline of my body while running.  When my left leg crosses over the midline, that is when my knee feels some minor pains.

So…what do you do when you have to retrain your gait to prevent your leg from crossing over the midline while running?  Line running of course!  Where do I go to line run?  You guessed it…

My new running "home" for a while will be at the ISU track where I can line run.
My new running “home” for a while will be at the ISU track where I can line run.

Yes, I run lap after lap straddling the white line around the track.  I make sure to switch directions every 4 laps to keep me mentally focused and challenge my muscles a bit differently…

Anyone want to line run with me?
Anyone want to line run with me?  Saturday I ran 40 minutes around the track.

Yes…I feel like a hamster running on a wheel and my Garmin accurately represents this…

Tuesday I was able to run for 50 minutes around the track.
Tuesday I was able to run for 50 minutes around the track.

It is surprisingly difficult to run while straddling the white line.  This running technique does not allow for much gazing at the surrounding scenery…my only focus is on the white line between my feet.  I think I’m starting to have dreams of a white line that never ends 😉

If you want to join me for a run, you know where to find me for the next couple of weeks…

What hoops have you had to jump through to overcome an injury or setback in your training?

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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.

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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

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…

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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 🙂

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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?