This week marked the first time in nearly THREE YEARS since I've recorded a double-digit run! I ran a pretty solid 10 miles last Thursday, keeping the pace nice and easy (9:05/mile average). As usual, my left knee hurt for 2-3 miles, but then it settled down quite a bit. My right hip (which has sometimes hurt more than the knee) barked a few times, but didn't feel too bad. This was an out-and-back run (which I've been doing on the Centennial Trail, by the Spokane River, for my long runs) and I was going to go out 4 miles and turn around, unless I felt better than usual, in which case I'd stretch it to 5. That's what I did, and the last 5 miles were the least painful miles I've run in a LONG time! If all runs felt like those last 5 miles, I could live with that. However, I'm sure that won't always be the case, given my history.
Which leads me to the physical therapy I'm currently doing. I just finished my second full week (twice per week), and it seems to be helping. I'm doing a lot of foam rolling (on the evil black roller), stretching (hamstrings, calves, groin, quads) and a good deal of hip and glute strengthening using various exercise bands. I'm also working on my single-leg balance using a couple of different exercises. I've had my left IT band rubbed and dug into a couple of times (and have bruises to prove it), but it seems a little looser. I often leave there feeling pretty beat up and unable to walk normally, but I can finally feel my stabilizer muscles kicking in now during some of the movements. And, like I mentioned above, the knee pain seems to be lessening a little.
On my second visit, I ran a mile on the treadmill while my PT guy watched my form. I apparently swing my legs a bit and "scissor" my stride (i.e. cross over a little), which probably puts my knees in poor alignment, along with my hips. He says that should start correcting itself as I get stronger and more flexible, but I've started consciously working on my stride the last couple of runs. It feels odd, but I'm trying to make it only a small adjustment and not go overboard and potentially cause other issues. I'll be doing PT until the end of November. After that, I'll continue doing it at home on a maintenance program, and will do my best to roll and stretch both before and after I run.
Today, I finally set my beat-up bike on the trainer and did an easy 45 minute spin. It was the first time I've been on the bike since my accident back on August 13th. It felt good to be back on, even if it was indoors on a stationary trainer. I'm very hesitant to ride that bike outdoors again. I'll probably have the shop look it over, but it did get banged up pretty good in the accident, and if any of the frame is compromised, I'm asking for trouble by riding it outdoors again. And that's the logic I'm using on my wife in hopes of getting her blessing on buying a new bike! Thanks to our glut of broken arm expenses, I'm not expecting that blessing to be granted until next year (if even then), but with a few triathlons in my plans for 2016, I'll pretty much need the new bike.
But marital harmony comes first.
And I'm going to end this blog entry before I get myself into trouble. Thankfully, my better half doesn't read this blog.