I visited a PT earlier this week, on the recommendation of the lovely and talented Courtney. It wasn’t so much that I thought I needed a lot of work done as it was just wanted to check to make sure I was on the right track. Because as good as I’ve been feeling this past month of buildup, I want to be confident there is nothing else going on that I need to be addressing.
So, when I visited Heather North of Boulder, I was anxious yet excited. Can you be excited about PT? Well, I was. Turns out next time, I won’t be. Not for the poor diagnosis (there wasn’t one) but for the pain I had to endure.
While I sat and talked to Heather North of Boulder, going over every little detail of the past year’s running; Rim Rock marathon, the hamstring tweak I felt a few weeks before that race, the cutback, the Boston training, the miserable Boston 2012, the summer trail running, the back to back halves, 6 weeks off, the gradual buildup; she was able to make some interesting connections that, of course, I hadn’t considered.
It all boiled down to the fact that runners run through pain. Truth.
I had felt something off in my hamstring before a marathon almost a year ago. But hoped that through cutting back on training, I’d be fine. And while I really was mostly fine, I wasn’t great. I felt a dull ache in that hamstring all through Boston training. So I eased up, stuck to trails, and threw in some hip conditioning. But it never truly healed. Not when I keep pushing through and run back to back halves. So I took time off.
I thought it was my hip rotators, all in a cluster, and the pain was running into my hamstring. Turns out, the pain in my hamstring, is really just my hamstring.
Luckily, “it’s not as bad as you think”, Heather North of Boulder said. She stated I had scar tissue in my hamstring; because I had run through the pain, like most do. No guilt. No judgement. Just truth. But when she bore down on my hamstring, breaking up the scar tissue, I clinched my teeth, my upper body contracted, and my eyes watered. I may be 31, but I’m not beneath crying. It happened in the dentist chair not too long ago…
She worked on my hamstring for about 10 minutes; just breaking it all up. It had to happen in order for it to properly repair. You see, scar tissue is just a way for your body to repair itself when there has been an injury. The cross fibers stabilize the affected area and it will restrict motion. By breaking up the cross fibers, you restore normal function to the damaged tissue.
Afterward, a pinching round of acupuncture, and finally electrical stimulation.
An hour and half later, I’m out. But with the assurance that I should be running “an easy long run each week and also a simple speed workout.” Um….okay! Gotta love when your PT is also a distance runner, with a professional runner husband, who GETS IT.
So, it looks like I am on the right track after all. And I can increase my workouts. I need to be diligent with heating my hamstring before every run and doing the hamstring exercises I was given. Piece of cake.
See you in two weeks Heather North of Boulder! Hopefully, for the last time.