Last Day of Physical Therapy 6-30-11

1985 CGAS Cape Cod 10K  //

Today is a milestone of sorts, it was my last day of physical therapy with Erin. It means that I am that far enough along in the healing process that I can go it without “adult” supervision.

Actually I couldn’t have asked for a better physical therapist.  She is a runner also and understood my want/need to begin running again and was supportive of my goal to do so.

Erin was absolutely terrific and she pushed me to do more with my knee than I would have on my own, I would have wimped out on some the stuff she had me do.  Through her help my leg is stronger and I able to a lot more with it than at the start of PT. Thanks Erin and I hope you enjoy the rhubarb cordial

During this last session of  PT, I mentioned that my wife watched me running the other day and thought that I was running differently than I had in the past. So we went out in the parking lot and I ran down about 50 yards and back. Erin noted that I was “quick stepping” with my right leg. We talked about what I was doing and why I felt it was necessary to “quick step” when I was running.  She stated that she would think about what she had seen for a little while.

We went inside and did some exercises and then Erin asked me to walk normally, then run inside without thinking about it, then she had me stand at a comfortable position.  She noted that when I run that I am running with my feet straight and when I walk or stand that both feet are a little out and when I stand that my feet are out.
I told her that I was attempting to consciously run with a straighter stride than in the past in order gain more efficiency in my stride by keeping everything straight and that I had always ran more like a “duck” than not in the past. I told her that my wife used to make fun of my “duck walk” when walking behind me in the snow.Erin had me run again with my natural gate without me attempting to be conscious of keeping my feet straighter. I didn’t experience nearly as much discomfort in my knee and was not quick stepping my right leg.  Part of the problem had been identified.

It is amazing how a little thing like my trying to improve my “gait” can change so many other parts of your stride and become uncomfortable. I am not saying that this is 100% of the cause of the discomfort, when running – no I think that the arthroscopic surgery a month a half ago still has a lot to do with it.

However, sometimes it is the little things that add up to make things more uncomfortable than they need to be.
This also showed me that it is important to have someone who is knowledgeable about how the interconnected body works – look at your running form to give you feedback and ideas about your running style.  Thanks Erin for catching this “little thing” that I wouldn’t have given a second thought about.
I will go back to my “old” or “normal” running style, it served me well for more thirty years, experimentation is fine, but at the same time it is time to start running more pain-free and if the experiment is part of the problem, DON’T DO IT!  🙂
After PT, I went to Colby’s track and ran a mile in exactly 10:00, I used my normal running style and did not consciously try to correct my gait. Guess what – the discomfort in my knee was not nearly as bad as it has been previously when running this year, so Erin was spot on.Now to shed some pounds and increase my fitness level, so that I don’t feel like a beached whale when I am out there running.

Ahhhh if I could only run like I did in that picture again – those “glory days”, oh well getting old is not for the faint hearted.
Thank you Erin for all of your help – I appreciated it more than you ever will know.