This morning was one of my last physio sessions. I've been trying to see my injury in a positive light; Trying to make the most of the rehab and learn. And I am. I'm learning that I need to continue to focus on all those stabilizing muscles no matter what the mileage is. I'm learning that rest does equal recovery. I'm learning that I have a lot to learn about being a better runner - more than 3x400m repeats, or go long and slow, or don't forget to put bodyglide on.
Physio has been kind to me. I love physio. I was discussing with a friend about being able to buy passes for treatment access but not necessarily one-on-one attention. How great would it be if you could drop into a physio clinic and use the hot/cold tubs, or give yourself some ultrasound, maybe hook up the TENS machine. But, as it doesn't work like that I'm happy pay for a painful rub down and some light hearted conversation.
The thing I love the most about physio is that the prescribed excercises are functionally appropriate. I'm doing hamstring work by doing B drills with a resistance band, A drill balances to trigger my glutes to fire - both excellent running specific exericises I can continue to practice and use. Neither are a quick fix but rather a long-term plan to mould me into a better runner. I'm working on having a stable pelvis while running so both sides of my body are used equally - this requires and enormous amount of core strength - both in my abs and my butt. After a 6km trail run on Saturday last and an 11km run on Sunday my left glutes were very tired, a good sign they were being used.
There are hundreds of exercises out there I could do but I have to beg the question - if they're not functional to my sport are worth the effort? Straight leg dead lifts - sure they build strength but doing B drills in a specific motion exactly related to running - very effective. I hope to come out on the other side of this injury a smarter runner who is more educated about her body. And hopefully in turn I will be stronger and faster too.
I've also decided that to make the best use of my time while I'm doing wall fonda's - yes a totally technical butt killing exercise - rest periods shouldn't really be rest at all but rather a time to strengthen some other part of my body other than my butt. Pushups, rows, core work - I'm going to become all around strong. So, this is exactly what cross training as an endurance athlete looks like. Physio has made it habit forming and I hope to ride this wave for the year or more to come. The current plan is to do my exercises 3x/week - I'd ideally get it down to two - but add in some other exercises as my strength increases.
Overall I'm feeling - or my knee/IT- is feeling much better. But that's the catch - feel good and go out too hard. Tonight I did some hill work with the Personal Best group at Strides. I was slow and conservative in my efforts - not wanting to aggravate or undo all the good work I've done. The foam roller and I had a good make out session when I got home and the ice pack is always ready and waiting.
I'm going back to physio in a couple weeks to redo a treadmill video test. Maybe I'll be able to get my hands on the videos and I'll post them to share. I'm confident there will be some improvement. For now, I'm looking forward to the weekend. Doing a great 12km run in Canmore on Saturday and then the Mother's Day 5km walk with my family on Sunday. Happy to still be out there running!