If you read my PT update from last week, you’ll know that my physical therapist thinks that I’m strong enough to start running again. She’s been watching my hips to make sure they stay in the right place during every exercise and has been building up my core strength with Pilates, and on Monday it was time to test out all my hard work!
Last week my physical therapist had been talking about starting me off with pool running, but I think I was making some really good progress and she wanted to see how I would do on the regular treadmill. Both of my PT sessions this week started out with my typical warmup exercises, and then I nervously got on the treadmill and started to run. This week, I’ve been running 10 minutes with intervals – 30 seconds of running, 30 seconds of standing on the side of the treadmill. On Monday I just focused on running and staying pain free. My physical therapist noticed right away that some aspects of my running form have already improved from doing PT, which is awesome news! I was on cloud nine when I left PT on Monday, and couldn’t wait for Wednesday’s session.
On Wednesday my physical therapist took another video of my running form to compare it to the first video, and she also had me run with a metronome and videotaped the results of that as well. She had calculated my running cadence from the first video and then added 5% to make my cadence slightly faster, and had the metronome set to that number. I immediately noticed that I was standing up straighter, keeping my legs under my body more, and wasn’t letting my legs drag out behind me. She also told me that I do something weird with my right foot (reminder that the main injury is on my right side) where I kind of whip it around in a circle. So my homework for this weekend’s run is to focus on keeping my knees straight at all times and trying to prevent that whipping motion from happening.
Yep, you read that right – I have running homework! I have to do the exact same run I did in both sessions this week by myself on a treadmill at the gym. I’m actually very nervous because every run has the potential to bring all of this progress to a screeching halt, but my physical therapist said that if I start feeling that pain again I’ll run on the pool treadmill while we continue to work on my core and hip strength. It’s a huge relief that she has a backup plan and trusts that I can get back to running in a sustainable way. This is such a different process than it was the last time I tried to return to running, and I know that I need to trust that everything will work out okay. For now, I have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other!
Have you ever seen a video of your running form? Did you ever try running with a metronome? How do you stay positive when recovering from an injury?