Thursday, September 16, 2010
I completed my third round of physical therapy today. I can honestly say that I've never in my life stretched more than I have the last week. It's a mental challenge completing my three rounds each of multiple sets of multiple stretching and "eccentric" exercises (ones that serve to lengthen tendons rather than contract them) every day.
Compared to my daily rounds of on-my-own assignments, the actual PT sessions are quite pleasant. My therapist is originally from South Africa, and I enjoy listening to her accent as she speaks. Also, in addition to reviewing old and introducing new exercises, my sessions also include ultrasound and icing therapy. The former is essentially a foot massage with the warming ultrasound cream (there's probably a correct, technical name for it), and the latter involves not actual ice but a cold pad or wrap that is placed over the backs of my feet for about 8 minutes. Heretofore, I'd heard of ultrasonography only in the context of obtaining scans of unborn children in the womb; I didn't know I could "have an ultrasound" as well. (ps: It's a boy!)
I have one more session scheduled, for next Monday. At that visit, my therapist will let me know if she recommends that I return to my sports medicine specialist for a follow-up exam. At this point, I'm willing to accept pretty much anything--recovery short cuts ultimately prevented me from running, and since the ultimate goal is to get back out there, I want to make sure I'm really ready when I am finally cleared to run.
As a possible harbinger of that day, though, my therapist asked me to go on a short run--on a flat road, slowly--sometime this weekend to see how my tendons will respond. I'm planning to run for 15 or 20 minutes this Saturday on the newly opened Memphis Greenline paved path (pictured above), noting if and when pain arises and then how long before any such pain subsides after I finish my run. Having resisted the urge to run countless times over the past several weeks, I'm both thrilled and nervous about the idea of actually going on a run--and doing so with the therapist's blessing.
Most Saturday races here in town start at 8:00 a.m.
I wonder if I'll be able to wait that long...