Progress Report

Sunday, January 19, 2014
There have been some developments on the running front that I thought I would share with y'all.  As you may recall, the tightness in my feet was getting better after a number of visits to the physiotherapist but my calves just wouldn't stop hardening into giant sequoia-sized knots whenever I would run.  So, following my first physio's orders, I had not run since mid-December.  To top it all off, the arthritis in both of my big knuckles on my feet decided to take this opportunity to cause me more grief than I care to mention.  Needless to say, shoes were not my friend for weeks and I could barely walk.  While visiting the Kinsmen and testing out their running track, I decided to make an acupuncture appointment with one of their therapists, Joyce.  

After talking about my history and the problems I was having for about half an hour, she examined my calves.  However, following this initial assessment, she didn't think I needed acupuncture - I was a bit disappointed; I was secretly looking forward to getting jabbed with needles.  She figured it was more that my calves needed strengthening.  So, with the recommendation of some stretches and other exercises I went home with a follow up scheduled for a week and half later.  I have to say that I was very impressed by how thorough Joyce was.  My appointment, which I figured would be about 20-30 minutes ended up lasting 1 hour and 15 min!  

The Sunday before my next appointment, I did something crazy.  I got on the treadmill and ran.  I managed to run for five minutes straight without any foot pain or tightness in my calves.  Needless to say, I was more than a little ecstatic.  I probably could have attempted a second set but I didn't want to push my luck so I just walked for another fifteen minutes.  The rest of the week I took it easy and didn't run again.
Kinsmen Sport Centre Wristband
When I went to see Joyce for our second appointment, I told her about the run and the success with stretching and the other exercises (except for an arch lift that made my knuckles swell up again).  She was very happy.  After stretching and a bit more chatting, she threw me out onto the track and told me to run for five minutes, rest/stretch and then run again for another five.  I stared at her blankly for a few seconds and then headed off.  Is she crazy?  Apparently not at all.  While my legs were a little tight towards the end of that first five minutes, the second were easy peasy (all things considered).  The biggest problem I had was that I had forgotten to bring a water bottle and there were two guys that passed me about 4 times each during those five minute intervals.  I hate getting passed.

Joyce is very optimistic that she won't have to see me again after our next follow up appointment later this month and, while I really like her, I hope she's right.  To test out my calves, I ran on my treadmill again today and did three sets of run three, walk two.  Not a single problem other than being overweight and out of shape.  It felt great to be able to get back running again.  The weird thing?  I found myself wishing I was running on the track at the gym.  For the first time in almost two months, I feel much more positive about my running future! Look out Toronto, I'm coming.

FYI, I was beyond impressed by the amount of time and interest that Joyce and the other therapists took in their patients that I recommended Mom go and see her.  And they'll probably be the only PT I go to see in the future.

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