Trial run; An Actual Run

I ran. I went running. I got up on a Tuesday morning so I could run.
I went to PT on Monday and we did some exercises. That woman loves to just beat my quads and hamstings and glutes to death like it’s her favorite thing. It’s a little bit my favorite thing, too. Because it’s hard. And it’s physical. And it’s not me sitting on a couch waiting for the pain to stop. The harder I work, the less pain I have. And isn’t that point? So I push for one more until my muscles shake with effort and sweat is pouring into my eyes.
Last week we added some plyometrics. It was that first ridiculously nice day in Boston after the time change. All the runners were out, taking advantage of 55 degrees and full sun at 5 pm. Seeing all those runners I couldn’t help but ask “so when can I run”. And she said the magic words “very soon”. You can bet I stuck to my PT exercises all week.
Monday we did some warm ups and there was zero pain. She put me on the treadmill to walk. And I thought “this is so good. Walking is before running. I’ll walk today and then I’ll get to run on Wednesday!” And then she had me bump my speed up to a run!! It was for only about 2 minutes. Just long enough to evaluate my form and point out a few things in my stride. Then we worked a little more, doing this sliding lunge thing that is hard and uses so many muscles but is so good. And then she asked if I thought I’d have time to run that week. I said yes so fast, you’d have thought she offered me a million dollars.
After flying to Detroit Monday night for a quick 12 hour family thing, I was in the hotel bed at 2:30. And got up at 5 so I could run. It felt crazy, but what was 45 minutes more on a 2 hour nap. And I was going to get to run!
I ran 1 minute and walked 4. The running was great, the walking boring. But it was just me, a fancy treadmill in a sad airport hotel, and the pitch black that is 5 am in Detroit. Doesn’t matter. It was a run.

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This is Your IT Band on PT

There hasn’t been any sweat in my life in 5 weeks. This cat understands me, on a deep deep level.

He just. He gets it. Just like me, there’s no running. There’s no participating in all the physical activities that make him feel great. There’s no chasing mice. Ok. Maybe that last one isn’t like me. But his sad little nod and bandaged leg is on point.

Another week of RICE on my left knee after that last post, it was feeling better. I was pumped. I thought for sure a couple more days I’d be golden. And then I kneeled on it. And the heat of a thousand suns exploded inside it and for 24 hours I couldn’t move it. Which made packing and hauling a week’s worth of stuff down from Jennie’s 3rd floor apartment after dogsitting super, super fun. That finally pushed me over the edge; call the doctor. To be fair, I wanted to do it sooner. But I kept being away from my phone when it hurt and forgetful when it wasn’t hurting. This time, it hurt all day, real bad. And I remembered. I went to see my primary care, she poked around, and sent me to PT.

I asked around and settled on Joint Ventures in Boston after a few strong recommendations. And those recs were spot on. My PT is awesome. That’s not to say that I don’t have terrible, mean, awful words in my head when I’m in the torture therapy room. But she’s great at answering my questions. And explaining why my IT Band is such an asshole and can’t kept its ish in line. And working out that, though the excruciating pain is on the inside of my knee, my overall gait is whack and its both my MCL and my IT Band at fault. Couple of jackasses I’ve got there in my left leg.

PT it gets such a bad rep and I don’t really understand why. I mean, I do. Because it hurts like a mother. But I think it feels fantastic to have a person tell you to move part of your body a certain way, say, a leg lift, and then point out where you’re supposed to feel the movement, what you’re doing wrong when you’re feeling it in the wrong place, and how to fix your mistakes. When the right muscle groups fire and move my body in the way I want it to, I feel so strong and badass. Bodies are awesome. Until they punk out and stop working the right way. And that’s why I’m at PT. Plus! My physical therapist thinks I’ll be able to run in PT in two weeks. And then transition back to running on my own. And that is just the best news ever. I miss running so much (see cat above). And the Tetons are faaaaaaast approaching.

Except, well. There’s that pain thing. Despite my initial pain being on the inside of my knee, along my MCL, the PT assessed that my IT Band was way, way worse. And after my initial visit and some deep tissue message (owie) on Thursday I returned on Monday for the first of my “regularly scheduled” visits. And she said “I want to get right back into that deep tissue message”. And I remembered how much it hurt last time, but how much better my knee was feeling. So I stripped off my leggings, laid on the table, and tried to find my happy place. And then this time it was a million trillion times worse. And I can’t even hate the PT, because I could already feel so much of the icky stuff broken up at the end of the session, I know it will feel better when the initial soreness is gone, and my PT was just the kindest while she was attempting to knife murder my IT Band. Still. Possibly the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. And I have another appointment today and I’m terrified. Because it looks like someone slid for the game winning run right into my left knee – cleats first.

This is your my IT Band

This is your my IT Band on PT

(Let’s please ignore the blinding paleness of my legs in early March)

I’m really, really straight up scared. While I was getting dressed, I could already feel my stomach clenching. If she goes back for it today. I might actually cry. Except I think it hurts so much my body isn’t capable of crying. It’s too busy remembering to breathe. And not punch anyone. Do your IT band exercises kids!! The alternative is way worse!

Send ice cream (Damn it Liz, you’re trying to eat healthier).

 

Screw it. Send ice cream too. I can balance the pint on my knee while I eat, yes?