Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First Run and A Window Into My Healing Process

My therapy appointment today went better than I could have hoped.  My sports chiropractor told me that I could try out light running.  Music to my ears!  My heart laughed when I heard this! Of course, knowing my personality, he specified LIGHT and said that it shouldn't be for a workout but only to start getting used to the motion again.  I'm so EXCITED! He also gave me the go ahead to start doing light lunges and squats and other types of strength training.   I know this doesn't mean that I'm back to running normally again but it is a first step and that makes me feel hopeful and happy! 

So, of course I had to try out my light run tonight as soon as I got the kids in bed and had free time.  I only ran about a half mile.  I don't even know if you would consider it running but more of a shuffle jogish thing.  I couldn't lift my leg very well and I don't think I am at the point where I can even attempt to run fast yet but I'm taking it all in stride.  Baby steps.  A positive outlook goes a long way.  Here's a picture of me about to go on my first run (with permission) since my injury.

Total Cheese but feeling happy!

Since this is partly a running blog and a way for me to document my transition back into running again, I thought I'd write a bit about what life has been like for me since August 15th when I fell in the forest and injured my hamstring.

I've always been one of those runners that is lucky to have never had a serious injury.  I never understood or gave much attention to all the articles in Runner's World about running smart to prevent injury, or how to recover quickly, etc.  I just knew I loved to run and I ran often.  Injuring myself at a time that I was running better than ever before and on track for a personal best in the marathon was in and of itself devastating. What was more difficult was that running and training seriously for something had become an outlet and goal for me to focus on  in the place of having a job outside my home.  Temporarily giving up my teaching career to stay at home with the kids has been a wonderful decision and I wouldn't trade it for the world but I still find myself needing personal goals and engaging in things I'm passionate about.  Training seriously as a runner was that.  It was a piece of ME every day and I felt so fulfilled with my progress and accomplishments.  Writing my workouts down in my running log provided such joy and because of my hard work and progress as a runner, I had more to give to my family. 

After my injury, it took a few weeks for me to adjust to the redirection my life was taking.  Not everyone understood this.  I had people in my life who just didn't understand why I would have any reason to be depressed over something like a hamstring injury when I had three beautiful kids, a husband that adores me and an overall wonderful life.  I don't know if you can truly make someone understand this type of feeling if they don't already just get it.  I was depressed, frustrated, and impatient.  I just wanted to be healed and back to running.  I even held on to the hope that I would still run the Portland Marathon and be just fine.  Even after the MRI showed that I had a complete tear of one of the hamstring muscles, I still tried to run despite the pain and difficulty lifting my leg.  Yeah, pretty stupid. 

It wasn't until I had time to redirect my focus and surrender to the fact that I would have to just be still and heal that I saw this as an amazing opportunity to reevaluate my goals as a runner and make plans for how I can use this injury to make me stronger.  I've been incredibly inspired by my sports chiropractor,  Dr. Ted Forcum at Back In Motion Sports Injuries Clinic.  He is truly gifted at what he does and incredibly knowledgeable in his field.  I switched to him after having less success with other therapists and when I googled him (yes, I'm one of those people that google people), I was so inspired by all he has done!  I was humbled that he was working on my hamstring once I knew all the great athletes he has done therapy on.  

My therapy with Dr. Forcum has been painful and left lots of bruising but I trust him completely to do whatever he decides to try.  The painful part of the therapy has been from something called The Graston Technique which is a technique used to break down scar tissue.  I just know it as an extremely painful form of torture that leaves bruising.  Here are the torture devices used on me:

Dr. Forcum preparing his Graston tools for torture

And here we go to my happy place.  My breathing techniques that I learned in birthing class actually come in handy here. 

After the painful part I always get to enjoy some quiet time getting ultrasound and electric stimulation.  This part is fun because 1.  I get to read magazines in quiet , 2.  Quiet time without kids, and 3. Did I mention that I get quiet time without kids?

After Graston Technique.  Already starting to bruise.  We can all use a little color in our life. 

At the end of the appointment, Dr. Forcum always comes to use this awesome kinesio taping that looks pretty cool and has become my favorite accessory the past 9 weeks!  Today he even taught me how to tape myself.  He was so good about taking pictures for me so I could share it on my blog.  He's a busy man too so I was really loving the extra time he took to snap shots with my camera.

The best part of my day?  For sure being told that I can start my steps towards running again.  However small my steps are and however slow I run, I'm still one step closer to where I want to be.



  1. So cool Amanda! It is great to be able to see the visuals!

  2. Hi there!
    Welcome to the BloggyWorld! Reading about you, I see so many similarities;-) I too was a former teacher, love, love to run and never really got injured til' my PF thingy, etc, etc, ;-)

    Thanks for sharing about the Gastron Technique. I feel like i've heard about it so, so it's cool to see visuals about the process

  3. Thanks Tiff!

    Thanks so much...is your real name Anne Marie or just Anne or am I way off? I feel funny calling people by their blog name...but thanks GoalsfortheWEek (that just feels odd). So nice to hear from you. I'm excited to connect and get to know you.

  4. It's super hard when something that's a huge part of your life gets taken away. I had a pretty bad bike fall last spring that made training for my half iron difficult. However, it's a good time to re-evaluate. Sounds like you gained some perspective and are on your way back following docs orders. I should make a running date with you now while you're recovering from injury--reading up on your running times---you're speedy!!!!!!!!! Almost my hubby's marathon PR (he's a 3:19 marathoner). I'm slow but if you're willing to slow it down sometime I love runner meet ups. Pretty much all my friends in Portland I met through blogging :).

  5. Hi Amanda, I think I know you... maybe our kids were dedicated at the same time last summer? Anyway, I saw the link for your blog on Patti Jone's page, and was interested because I am also a runner. Loved your take on recovering after injury. I have been recovering from an achilles injury for almost a year now, doing very little running during that time, much to my dismay. Doing my 2nd round of PT including Graston, and am keeping my fingers crossed. So hard having running taken away, but the blessings have been learning how to better take care of my mid-30's body (MUCH more injury prone than my mid-20's body), and getting better about cross training. I am now a cyclist and a swimmer, and plan to keep those up when I start running again. Keep up the great blog, and awesome work on your injury recovery!