I finally got in my first run today!
Okay, so it was more of an asterisk kinda run. I met with a PT today for a running evaluation to see if we can get to the root of my problems. I was poked and prodded and measured and bent every which way and then had some strategic dots attached to me for running analysis. He had me run barefoot and shod. Interestingly enough, when barefoot, I run with much more of a forefoot strike – I actually land toe-heel rather than heel-toe. I’ve never run barefoot before so that was definitely an experience. As this was my first real run post-injury we kept it short, only about .3 miles or so.
It turns out my problems come from a hip imbalance. My pelvis isn’t aligned properly and my hip doesn’t move symmetrically when running. We are going to work on strengthening my hips, glutes, and core, and he’s basically going to re-teach me how to run. It works out well because having been off for so long the “bad” habits are less prevalent. Another component of that is increasing my foot strike.
Then, came the fun part. Have you ever heard of the Alter-G? It’s quite possibly the coolest piece of technology I’ve seen in a long time. You have to don some wonky clown pants for it, but you zip yourself in and the thing, which is basically a big bubble-covered treadmill, inflates and actually reduces your weight load. It’s great for post-injury recovery. And it made me feel like I could have run for hours. He had me run a mile at 60% body weight at a 10:10 pace (pretty fast for me) and a 159 cadence. All those years of marching band are paying off! It took about two seconds for my mind to remember how to follow a metronome and move my feet accordingly. Now if only they could make a mobile version of that contraption to use in races…
I go for Alter-G sessions and PT twice a week for the next month, then I should be able to run outdoors again. I am allowed (and expected) to keep doing non-impact cardio and strength training on my own. I’m a little bummed that I can’t run outdoors yet, but if know it’s for the best. And the Alter-G is super fun.