"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Full-Contact Competitive Rehab

If you watch reality TV and wonder how someone gets to be 700 lbs. or lives in a house so filled with trash they can't move, you probably will have the same reaction to this. I've run in pain for so long (decades) that I got used to it and got used to more and more pain until I reached the ludicrous pinnacle.

Day 1
Found out I couldn't plantar flex my right foot without cramps in my arch and big toe, nor could I dorsiflex my left foot without spasms in my calf. How did I get here? 80000 miles of running on structural imbalances. You hear about people who can run 200 miles per week without injury - they have no structural problems and they don't need to worry about stretching and strengthening. Then you find people who are my (advanced) age and running well and they either started the sport late in life or they do minimal mileage. No one runs high mileage for decades on unsound body parts without incurring the penalty.

Day 2
Was able to decrease from 4 to 3 hours of rehab because I could cut out the crying and moaning. First thing in the morning (when tendons are tightest), I soaked feet in hot water. Then came deep tissue massage while working all the little joints in the foot through full range of motion. Then specific stretches for all the bits that are problematic, then a few hamstring, back, hip and groin stretches that become problematic if I ignore the first problems.

Day 3
Discovered that, under the tendon problems there's still ligament problems in the left ankle, dating back at least to 2008. Manually worked out the adhesions - and rubbed the first two layers of skin off as well. Down to 2 hours of work before I could start the day.

Day 4
Spectacular improvements already. Couldn't run, but had to mow my lawn, which is 90 minutes of walking while making sharp turns. Feet hurt, so I'm not ready to run just yet.

Day 5
Starting to notice all the little complaints I glossed over because of the big ones.

1 comment:

Carilyn said...

Very interesting. Are you doing the rehab yourself, or is someone working on your feet? I find that, other than the two ruptured disks in my back from a bad fall, my feet give me the most problems. Ironically, the less I run, the more problems they give me. It's like they tighten up if I take too much time off. Go figure.