Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Massage & Physical Therapy

Crossing the finish line of the twenty miler was good and bad.

I was pleased with being able to stick with the 10:30 pace throughout the run.

My achilles, on the other hand, was hurting.

Sh-t! How do I manage to do this to myself each year?

I headed over to the NovaCare tent where a PT took a good look it. There was a long line of people, all with similar aches from training.  She said she was happy to hear I'd been experiencing it for only a week and thought some deep tissue massages and PT would put me in good shape for race day. I appreciated her positive attitude as I was trying to stay positive myself.

Flashbacks of last year's doctor's visit just a few weeks before race day appeared in my mind as I called the doctor on Monday. If I went to the doctor's office, I was certain to hear, one way or the other, that I should give up running. Or I may have to visit an orthopedic, have an MRI, maybe an X-Ray, all before going to PT. So I took a different approach when calling the doctors office. Instead of calling and saying I had a running-related injury and wanted to see the doctor, I just asked if I could go straight to PT. The nurse wasn't sure if this was possible, but said she would check.

Ok, that went better than I thought. Now on to the next thing that will help straighten out the achilles - massage.

Who doesn't love a massage? I found a massage therapist (a former distance runner no less) who lives two blocks away and tends to run long on his sessions. Really? Yeah, really awesome.

We worked out a game plan for working on the achilles over the next week. After I left the massage therapist's house on Monday night, I already felt better.

Wednesday came and I still hadn't heard back from the doctor's office. I call the doctor's office in the morning and the answering service tells me they are not in the office yet. I call later on and I told they are at lunch...twice. Then I call again in the evening to find out they close early that day. I then call their suburban location and get a hold of another nurse who was able to tell me the doctor approved my request for PT and she'll send it over.

Thursday morning I have the script from the doctor and call PT. Their schedule is booked for the rest of the week, so I'll have to come in Tuesday. Now I start to worry. I'm basically losing a week here. I won't be doing a 12 mile long run in this condition. Then I remind myself what Kim A. has told me all too many times - as long as you have a 20 miler under your belt, the runs during the taper don't matter.

Thursday night I go back to the massage therapist where he's able to loosen up my calf muscle and I continue to stretch it out. I do a two mile light run that evening and it tender, but not painful.

Saturday I go out on a run on my own. I'm fearful I can't or shouldn't push a 12 mile run on a bumb wheel, so I go out on my own to see what I can do. I end up run/walking about six miles. I am frustrated, but I try not to let those thoughts linger. It's still bothering me, but it's bothering me less. That's good.

Tuesday I get in to the PT and she works her magic. Thursday I return. More magic.

The following Saturday I go out to run a great 8 miler, my last long run before the marathon.

I continue to stretch and go to PT, but I feel much better.

I'm good to go.

No comments: