Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rest Day Thoughts - Rehabbing on the Run

This is a post about rehabbing on the run.

I'm not a physical therapy virgin  Prior to this current stint, I was rehabbing my other calf last November/December.  About 60% of the stuff I'm doing now, I was doing in my last PT jail time.

The difference?

Last time I could take a couple weeks off, gently start running again, and not worry about my pace. I could rehab my injury in prime speed. This time... not so much. I'm exhausted in the process.

Note: Your experience may vary

I asked my physical therapist how long this would take the heal if I rested vs my current training needs to feel "normal" again. 1-1.15 months if I rested and eased back vs 3 - 4 months of doing what I do now. So <20 miles a week to recover vs >60mpw. Mental ouch. I obviously won't be going to therapy that entire time. Likely only a couple more weeks.

Don't take me wrong, I'm happy to be able to push through my runs and be close to my times, but how I feel the rest of the day after my run is completely different.  I normally feel super human all morning and want to run again.  Now my legs are just like NOPE! Sit down mofo, we hurt.

It is sort of like being Yoda in  Attack of the Clones. Hobbling around most of the time, trying to conserve your running force and channeling it for your hard runs.  You know you got the ability to do it, just have to believe in yourself, and maybe take an Ibuprofen the night before..You run it, then hobble again.

Now in my head, I always pretend that injury/rehab/return process is like this:

Except it isn't.  Therapy feels good at the time (painful good) , but they don't tell you that for one to a few days after, that worked on area can be a wonky mess.

It is like Jenga.  You walk in with whatever junk built up in your leg, they break it down, so your body can put it back together properly. During this process, weight bearing and going full tilt on that muscle is a show of stubbornness and a mental battle to decide when you are hurting yourself and when you are running over the hurt to get better.

This blog has helped me remember what pains and aches I have every day to recant to the therapist for her notes and plan for the day.  This at least helps mentally to have more confidence in the professionals hands that torture me.  They also have been upping the intensity of the exercises, as I'm now building up a sweat for the 75 minutes they build me up and tear me down.

Last night, I was spent by the time I got home.  Getting off the couch and dealing with the tot was a challenge.

But always worth it!

Happy Friday Eve!


  1. Totally there with you... stop running and heal faster or keep running and slow down the healing process. It sounds like it should be a simple decision but it's not at all.

  2. Do they know what's causing the strains? Is it a hip imbalance (when is it not?)? I'm sorry you keep dealing with these things but at least you've been able to run through it. Plus, if you can heal a little bit or stay where you are now, you can always take some time off after Chicago (HMM recommends 2 weeks) to help heal. I know it's not what you want to hear but at least you should be able to run a pretty strong race!

  3. agreed! One draw back to signing up for an event that requires hard training... last thing you want to do is fall behind

  4. per my understanding, it is still the same issue. Recovery is just slow since I won't rest. Half the pain comes from the ART work and rebuilding those muscles while pounding out Hanson. No imbalance. But they suggest maybe getting my sneakers rechecked (maybe stale shoes). I'll be taking a trip to fleet feet or somewhere to see if my foot strike has changed.
    Def taking the two weeks off after Chicago and just trot for a little while after until I'm 100% (plus, who is busting speed in the winter?)

    I'll be using the last tempo run of the plan to see what I'll set as my reasonable goal and hopefully find a run buddy for the race around that pace

  5. I've never actually had to go to a PT, but when injuries have crept up I've had the luxury of taking a running break to heal up...never been anything too significant in the lead up to a big race.
    Every time I read the word therapist I say it incorrectly in my head, Dr Tobias Funke style.

  6. Funke style is great! I looked for the celebrity jeopardy version from SNL for that stuff too, and watched all the Sean Connery clips.

  7. Pete B lakefronttrail.blogspotSeptember 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Glad that you are on the mend and that I'll be eating your dust on October 13th!

  8. w/e! i'm sure your experience will trump my ambition and school me!

  9. Oh gawd. I hated CG Yoda. HATED.

    Moving on.

    This is not a cool state to be in for 3-4 months. I want running to give you that pep and energy! Not that run down feeling!