Yesterday I had a PT appointment in the afternoon. We started with a bunch of dynamic warmups and exercises. While my left leg is definitely a bit weaker still than the right leg, the PT could already see a difference from last Thursday he and said it is toning up nicely. We tested balance and strength and it was better than expected. Then I got to run!!
I brought a few different kinds of shoes (more on that in a minute) and I tried a few out. The PT video-taped me running and slowed it down to analyze my stride and see which shoes seemed to work the best for me. Ray (my coach) and Dan (PT) both think I need to run a little less on my toes/forefoot and more on my midfoot, and think that tweak to my form will help take some of the stress off of my posterior tibial tendon. Here are a couple of quick video clips we took for Ray -
It was a slow (check your ego at the door) 8:34 pace and it was only a mile, but dang did it make me smile. I was "aware" of the foot for the first quarter mile or so. There wasn't any pain, but it was a little stiff I think. But after that I didn't notice it at all. More smiles. :)
Afterwards we did a bunch more strengthening exercises and I will go back for another appointment on Thursday. Dan is the best.
Dan gave me "permission" to run short today, as long as Ray was ok with that too. Ray gave the ok to do two miles this morning, but wanted me to take 1-2 minute walk breaks after every half mile. So that is what I did this morning. I left the treadmill at 7.0 as ordered and did 2.5 miles total, with two miles of running and a half a mile of walking mixed in. Dan and Ray both want me on the treadmill for now since it is a cushioned and even surface, and since I can stop right away if anything feels off or starts to hurt.
Tomorrow I get to bump it up to three miles with 1 minute walks every half mile, starting a little slower than 8:34 and finishing a little bit faster than the 8:34. Obviously we are taking it day by day right now and seeing how things feel. I am cautiously excited though that things have felt good so far!! I am still doing lots of conditioning and strengthening exercises too and those will continue.
I am super grateful for Ray and Dan guiding me through this.
Shoes - If you can tell from the video, I am running in Newtons. These are the women's Newton Distance S 111. They are a light shoe, 2mm heel to toe drop, with a little bit of stability. I am used to running in lightweight, low drop shoes with some cushioning. I pronate slightly, and Dan and Ray both think a little support/structure will help my posterior tibial tendon. I had a very fast friend recommend these (knowing my injury, etc.) and they are one of a few different pairs of shoes I got to try with Dan. We also tried the different shoes with and without some insoles designed for runners. As of right now, the Newton's, without the extra insoles, feel the best and seem to help me be more midfoot and less on my toes, so that is what I am going with. Running in them so far has felt very natural and comfortable. (And I know color doesn't matter but I love the blue).
I was excited to get the sponsorship offer from Pearl Izumi, but I had to back out since the shoes just weren't working for me. What matters the most to me is being able to run and being injury free. I do really like the Pearl Izumi line, they just weren't quite what I needed.
So, I am running again! It is short and it is slow, but that's ok. Laying out my running clothes and shoes made me so happy last night. I felt like me again. I am anxious to get back to 100%, but I am going to listen to my coach and my PT and be smart about this so I can come back stronger and faster than ever. So far so good. :)