This morning was my (hopefully!) last PT/MT appointment with Joel. Joel started off by pushing on my calves when I was laying down. I was worried when he said they both feel tight and I quickly responded that it may just be because I haven’t stretched at all today. Was I not making progress?! I was regretting not doing some stretches before the appointment so he could be impressed by my loose, relaxed calf muscles.
On to some exercises on the floor! We started by using a new piece of “equipment” for me, the pro calf stretcher (plan to order on amazon right after writing this blog). It was great! I did 5 holds with each foot, holding for about 20 seconds.
Then I did a hamstring stretch by bending at the waist with one leg in front of me on a bench at about hip height. Lastly, I did a plantar fasciitis stretch (don’t worry – I don’t have it!) by pressing my toes skyward up against a wall. Joel said that even though I don’t have it, it’s still a good stretch to incorporate into pre and post race stretching routine. Then on to the … TREADMILL! I thought I would have been more excited but I was a little bit scared to run. What if my calf started hurting again? I started with a power walk for a few minutes then Joel cranked it up slightly to a very slow run. It was a little too slow for me. I felt like my rhythm was all off and I was running strangely. So Joel cranked it a little more. I did 2 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking for 5 sets. Then…I RAN FOR 5 MINUTES STRAIGHT! Joel said that I’m not favoring one leg over the other and I’m good to run! Tomorrow! Can you tell I am excited? So I’ll join Matt and Mike on the 3 mile training run.
It’s not over yet. On to one of the highlights of the appointment and it actually has to do with my hamstrings. Joel said they are tight but not unusually tight for a runner. I laid on my back and he pulled my leg straight up. It HURT. He suggested we take a quick break and try something. I put my back against a wall and did a slight squat with a pillow between my legs, and with my arms out and pushing down (pushed on a table but you don’t need that to do the exercise). I took a deep breath, exhaled and bent over while pushing my lower back into the wall and contracting my abs. I did this about 8-10 times but was unsure what this exercise did since I didn’t notice much. So we did the hamstring stretch again and it was much easier! I was able to push my leg farther with less resistance. Joel said that exercise helped to align my hips and release tension on my hamstrings. I guess my hips get pushed out of alignment from sitting a lot, crossing my legs, etc. It made me realize just how connected everything is – hips, hamstrings, calves, feet – and how important it is to give each of them their own stretching attention. Joel still wants me to go to PT with Barbara once a week for the month of August. I feel like I have learned a lot of new stretches and exercises and am close to being fully recovered. I’ll go next Monday morning to get an assessment after my 3 days of running this week.
In other news, it’s an exciting time to be at Discovery! Shark Week starts on Sunday! All interns received a stuffed Snuffy the seal today! The commercial is hilarious!