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Foot Rehab Progress

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Went to the physical therapist this morning. As planned, I had one and only one session of run/walk intervals between the last session and this session. Between either wisely taking time to rest, or foolishly being short on sleep and low on motivation (take your pick), my feet had got back to not quite totally pain free.

PT is mostly routine at this point, but I did have a good conversation at the end of the appointment. The intermittent pain in my left foot has migrated from where it lodged back to where it started. I wondered if this was a good sign or a bad sign. The answer was that my pain isn't the pinched nerve kind of pain from back issues where movement is an indicator; we just need the pain to go away. As minor as the foot pain is, we need it gone.

The point of doing calf raises isn't as much strengthening the arch muscles, as I had thought; it's more to work on range of motion. Better range of motion should help with the foot pain. Okay, I can do that. It's a small adjustment.

I'm down to one PT appointment per week. Before the next appointment, the PT wants me to get in two running sessions, which we both understood to me run/walk intervals. But not today, because I was just in therapy. Tomorrow would be good.

I thought my feet felt good enough to do intervals this noon, but it would be foolish to pay for the PT's professional expertise and then ignore her advice. So this noon it was walking. Tomorrow is a day in the office, and running won't conveniently work into the schedule. So I tentatively plan to lift weights tomorrow evening, and do run/walk intervals Thursday noon.

We talked about lightweight versus heavily cushioned running shoes. The PT does not have a strong opinion one way or the other, except for a concern about glass on the road. I have the same concern, and will never be a barefoot runner. But I have to try lightweight shoes for myself to see if they work for me. I have been using my Saucony Mirages for the run/walk intervals; I may as well continue to do so.

Those of you who have been telling me to run slower won't be surprised that the PT agrees with you. Faster than a 7 minute mile is too fast. So I need to work on a slower pace while doing intervals. It might be easier to work on a slower pace in a group, but running with a group entails more time overhead from scheduling and driving somewhere else to get routine exercise. Realistically, that's a non-starter for me. So I'll just have to work on it the best I can alone.

Progress is slow, and it is not monotonically upward. But there is progress. There is a plan. The plan may need to be modified as I go along, but that's okay.

The key virtue for rehab is patience. I'll have plenty of opportunities to practice it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have a couple of pairs of New Balance in the minimalist version. Bought the 1st pair last summer and have only used them on recovery runs.

    The 2nd pair I bought for lifting. Works fine for squats, etc. and useful if you are in a gym or otherwise can't go barefoot.

    Could use the same pair for both running and lifting but purchased them from a New Balance Outlet store, so reasonable price.
    1700 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Glad you have the patience to implement your PT's suggestions. Hope you see steady progress and are able to slow your run down. emoticon
    1700 days ago
    Thanks for the update. I just bought a pair of lighter weight running shoes (Avia), which I use primarily for when I go to the gym to do strength training, etc, but once I start running again I might try a 10 minute run with them just to see how they feel vs. my Brooks. More of a curiosity than anything...
    1700 days ago
    Yes, it does take time to heal. I know we want to be back 100% right away but it takes time. Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Hope you mend quickly and can slow down your pace.
    Have a good day.
    1700 days ago
    I started reading "Barefoot Running". It's on loan from the library as I wouldn't bother buying this particular topic.

    The author states his case, and ends with a chapter on minimalist shoes as the next best alternative. Might be worth a persusal if you are evaluating this topic.
    1700 days ago
    I don't know if you would run with music, but James Taylor could slow you down the same way "Born to Run" sends some runners into overdrive.
    1700 days ago
    Once again, patience comes into play. It is hard to slow down when you have become accustomed to a much faster pace. Keep working on it and you'll get back to where you were.
    1700 days ago
    Yeah, I've been toying with the thought of a running group, but have the same issues... it has pluses and minuses. Good job with the patience and taking the advice you're paying good money for!
    1700 days ago
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