Saturday, August 02, 2008


Most of my posts of late have been about family trips and Marc's race reports so I think I'm overdue on writing a bit about what's been going on me. Truthfully, I've been avoiding writing about myself. The bad is too depressing to dwell upon and the good is too tentative to get overly excited about yet.

About a month ago I started seeing a therapist who is certified in Graston and ART. My left side lower back, hip and quad/glutes had gotten so tight and constricted from compensating for whatever isn't quite working right. I was at the point where I couldn't even do any significant walking. Resting is all well and good. I've always thought of myself as lazy. But I'm discovering that I'm very goal oriented. I needed to move but I also just wanted to loosen up and be able to go about my day not feeling so out of whack. Some people find that Graston (and maybe ART too) is painful. I guess having knotted muscles scraped with a metal implement is not most people's idea of fun. But I don't mind it. There is some lingering soreness (and bruising) the next few days. But still, not bad at all. Most of the medical professionals I've seen over the last 6 months have commented that I have a high tolerance for pain. I guess I finally believe them. Anyway, after one week and only two sessions, I felt like a new person. So I've been going once or twice a week and will continue indefinitely. I'd say the therapy I'm getting is about 2/3 Graston combined with 1/3 ART. It's a great combination!

I've been pool running since February and have been going to the pool most lunch breaks all summer. But I am so not a water/pool person and I've finally reached my limit. Fortunately this breaking point coincided with the pain relief I've been getting from therapy. So I decided it was time to get ambulatory again. And I really needed to be outdoors. So I've been out walking this week and it seems to be coming along nicely. The first day I tested the pavement with 2 miles at a 16 minute pace. The next day was a 15 minute pace. And I've gradually worked up to 3 miles at a 14 minute pace. I could go longer but I don't want to do too much too soon. But I will keep adding time/miles and increase the pace. And maybe at some point I'll throw in a little bit of running. But I need to wait until I'm mostly pain free while walking and my muscles don't seem overly tight later on. Walking sure isn't running but it does feel pretty awesome to be moving forward!

I guess my biggest fear is that my body won't be able to fully heal itself on its own and I'll have to re-navigate the medical system. "Soft tissue injury" is incredibly vague. But I've stopped trying to figure out what exactly may be my problem. Too much googling can be a bad thing. And spinning my wheels about it is just not helpful, I've decided. So I'm going to continue moving in the right direction as much as I can with walking, yoga, strength training and maybe some other cross training that seems reasonable. I'm trying to find that balance between impatience and giving myself the time I need.

My new favorite quote:

Dripping water bores a hole in the rock

I just need to keep believing that all these baby steps are going to get me somewhere...eventually.


Bob Gentile said...

Sarah sounds like you have a good grasp of the situation and I am very happy that your able to add in walking for now...and got ur butt out of the pool, that can get boring!

KEEEP the Faith!!!

Seems like you are headed down the path towards running!! I "believe" that for you as well :-)

sherri said...

Sarah, I am so glad to hear that you're finally seeing some positive progress in this journey. I'll bet the hardest part will be taking it slowly.

Joe said...

Sarah, I'm so glad to read this. I know it is terribly frustrating for you on the inside.

I can't help but think that getting moving, however gently or slowly, is a lot better than just rest. Getting the biomechanical balance back, so both left and right sides are in harmony, not fighting each other, is key. Walking is a low-stress way to do this. I'm guressing stretching might be good too...but you know best.

Persevere...keep taking those simple, small steps. You're gonna be back.

lglessner said...

Sounds like more than just "tentative" good news - sounds like very definite good news to me! You must feel so must better.

Darrell said...

I can understand your frustration, at least a little bit. I certainly empathize with you.

When we were little the tale of the tortoise and the hare taught us that slow and steady wins the race. I gotta believe that to be true.

I love the description of your particapation on your race calendar. Your cheering will make a difference for sure to someone. You may not know who, but you know it will. On their behalf, thanks for being there.

rick said...

Wow such positive news. I didn't realize there are therapists out there who combine the two. I'm quite happy with the ART person I'm seeing now. Well your baby steps have gotten you this far and you're back out there walking again, out in the open air instead of a pool. I hope things continue to progress nicely.

Pinkcorker said...

I still check your blog a lot and I am so encouraged by the latest news! I really do think about you a lot and look forward to meeting you someday. Heal up so we can do the Ghost Town 38.5 mile race in NM in 2010 together!
The last post about your husband was a crackup. I had a feeling the story would end with him running that race!

wendy said...

Can I hate on you b/c I'm willing to bet you'll be walking faster than I'm running in no time?? =)

The pool thing is sooo good, but it's a bummer it's not very exciting. You will be running soon, we all just know it!

Carrie said...

I'm a swimmer, but I can't stand pool running. I get bored (nothing new to look at -- isn't that the point of being outside anyway?). I'm impressed you've stuck with it this long.

Great news on the walking front. Hiking is excellent cross-training (and you're still out on the trails!). Good luck taking it slow -- I really like the dripping water quote.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there! Stay optimistic!

Rachel said...

Progress is good! I don't think I could manage pool running without a waterpoof music device. I need distraction.

I have a huge blister on my toe from a wasp sting, so I haven't been able to wear shoes to exercise for two weeks. It's been bugging me, and I can only imagine how frustrated you've been.

olga said...

Oh, I've been looking for this phrase translation for so long, thanks!!!
OK, back to post:) You are so smart and patient, I bow my head to you. That's the way. that's why you'll be running long into your 70's and I'll be crippled at 50...if live till then. Sarah, thanks for the lessons. Good wishes with it all.

Backofpack said...

You've got a good plan going. So glad to hear you are feeling improvements!