Monday, May 18, 2015

Injury Update: My First Week of Rehab Has Been Promising.

It’s been a week since I saw the doctor about my groin injury.   After one week of rehab, I’m feeling optimistic.  I’m not there yet, but I’ve come a long way.

Last Monday was my third consecutive day of complete rest.  On Tuesday, I started physical therapy, and I was encouraged to begin cross-training on the stationary bike.  I was also given a few stretches to do three times a day.  Later that day, I did 15 minutes on the bike.  It was surprisingly tiring, reminding me that that I’ve been neglecting the bike for too long.

On Wednesday, I increased to 20 minutes on the bike.  I also did a short core workout.  My core workout is a circuit of three exercises that I do three times.  I didn’t have any trouble with my sit-ups or my leg raises, but on my first set of side-to-side twists, I noticed that it stretches my groin a little too much.  On my second set, I did that exercise sitting down.  That helped, but I could still feel the stretch.  On my third set, I made a point of keeping my knees together.  That felt OK.  I probably wasn’t working as many muscle groups, but I wanted to be careful not to overdo it.

In general, I was feeling a little bit better each day.  I was also noticing a difference in my stretches.  After a couple days, I felt perfectly normal doing one of my stretches.  By the end of the week, I had doubled my range of motion on another stretch.

On Thursday, I ran for the first time in six day.  I started with three miles on the treadmill.  I wore a compression wrap on my upper thigh and ran at a slow pace.  I didn’t feel any discomfort in my groin, but I did feel some discomfort in some of the other muscles in my thigh.  The wrap was kind of snug, and I think some of the muscles were too constricted.

On Friday, I ran outside and increased the distance to 3.5 miles.  I wore the wrap again, but it wasn’t as snug.  Again, I felt no discomfort in my groin.  I still felt a little bit of discomfort in other muscles, but not as much.

I was originally scheduled to run the Ogden Marathon on Saturday, but I cancelled my travel plans rather than risk a setback.  Friday’s run made me wonder if I could have done that race.  It’s just as well that I didn’t try.  On Saturday, I started seeing posts from friends that did that race.  They all ran fast times, but they had to endure heavy rain and cold temperatures.  At least three friends commented that they couldn’t feel their arms.  I regret that I lost an opportunity to go for my second sub four hour marathon in Utah.  I don’t regret missing an opportunity to suffer from hypothermia.

Instead, I ran another 3.5 miles, but this time I didn’t wear the wrap.  I didn’t have any discomfort, although I was going at a pretty conservative pace.  Saturday’s run gave me a total of 10 miles for the week.  I’ve run at least 10 miles every week for more than 10 years, so I was happy to be able to keep that streak going.

I took a break from running on Sunday, but did a few different cross-training workouts.  In the morning, I did another core workout and 25 minutes on the stationary bike.  In the afternoon, I did weight training.  It was my first weight training workout since the injury, and I was long overdue.  I had been afraid to do weight training.  My big concern wasn’t the exercises themselves, but all the other movements I go through getting weights and bars into position.

As it turns out, I was right to be concerned, but moving weights around wasn’t the problem.  Where I really felt tension in my groin was moving myself into position.  Each time I had to swing a leg over my weight bench, I could feel the stretch.  I got through the workout, but it made me nervous.

After being home for the weekend, I was back at work again, which meant much more walking around.  I noticed a real difference.  A week ago, I could only walk by wearing a compression wrap and taking teeny tiny steps.  I’m still wearing the wrap, but now I can walk normally with no discomfort.  I’m walking more confidently and more comfortably.

I’m pleased with my progress so far.  I like my chances of being recovered in time for the Comrades Marathon.  I’m also scheduled to do the Med City Marathon on Sunday, but it’s still unclear whether I’ll be recovered in time.  I’ll wait until Friday or Saturday before making a decision.

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