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?

How has exercise evolved, challenged and gifted your life?

I recently was reminded of how exercise has evolved, challenged and gifted my life…

For me, it all started in the fall of 2004…I decided to take control of my life and stop letting my life take control of me.  As a result I decided to try some new adventures…one of which was RUNNING!!  It wasn’t easy to start running.  As a matter of fact, it was very challenging at times, but I decided I was going to run a 5K in October of 2004…  My patience, persistence, perseverance and passion superceded the occasional exhaustion, sore muscles, or lack of motivation to get out the door.  After having recently gone through a divorce, running became my therapy.  I found new friends and discovered a gift that just keeps giving!!

Running is a gift

I finished that 5K and caught a virus…the RUNNING VIRUS!!!  I decided that my 5K run could be improved upon…by going farther and faster.  Next came a different kind of challenge…a local 7 mile off road race in November of 2004.  Shortly after the start of 2005, I decided I would sign up to train for a local 20K race (Dam to Dam) with the City of Ames Parks and Rec Program…Team 12.4.  This experience presented its own challenges and completely changed my life!!  I met some AMAZING friends, pushed my body to new limits and eventually found the love of my life!!

After completing the Dam to Dam 20K race in June of 2005, my running virus got more infectious!!  I decided to further challenge myself by signing up for a marathon and joined the training group through the City of Ames Parks and Rec for the marathon training program.  In October of 2005 many of the runners in our training group celebrated by running the Chicago Marathon.  After our celebration, we decided we didn’t want to see our running group break up, so we all played a role in the birth of TEAM VARDO…the BEST running group ever!!

The BEST running group EVER!!
The BEST running group EVER!!

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The following spring (spring of 2006), I was training for Grandma’s Marathon with the Team Vardo runners when a handsome gent started running with Team 12.4 to train for Dam to Dam.  After completing Dam to Dam in 2006, he decided to start running with Team Vardo…boy was I lucky!!  Not only would I get to meet him and run with him, but I was lucky enough to fall in love with and eventually marry this handsome gent!!

My running virus evolved into a full-fledged, exercise virus as I started to incorporate strength training into my workout regimen.  My exercise virus continued to get more and more infectious…it took me to new distances and pushed me to get faster.  To see evidence of this, check out my Race Log.

Through the course of time my exercise virus continued to become even MORE infectious as I went from just running and strength training to becoming a triathlete.  In September of 2011 my husband and I finished Ironman Wisconsin…Together.  That was the biggest exercise challenge yet!!

My husband and I right after finishing Ironman Wisconsin 2011.  What a long day :)
My husband and I right after finishing Ironman Wisconsin 2011. What a long day 🙂

What more does exercise have in store for me?????  Only time will tell!!

How has exercise evolved, challenged and gifted your life???