Physical Therapy: Week 0

John Mayer or Queen both have appropriate lyrics

Runfession: I’ve been much more worried about my Achilles than I’ve let on, especially when I started to feel some thickening. I made the decision that I’d go see a doctor after the Half, and that day finally came this past Monday. The reason for my concern? While it wasn’t getting worse, it also wasn’t getting better. I first felt the strain when I was in Florida and blamed it on two 15Ks in four days, but it didn’t make sense as my Florida route was pancake flat.

Cari's adventures with physical therapy Click To Tweet

Luckily I work in a large-ish office with many of us on the same insurance plan, so finding a podiatrist was a fairly smooth process. I was able to get in the same day and she was amazing. She listened to my symptoms, did an exam and x-rays and confirmed what I’d been thinking: achilles tendonosis. Course of treatment? Physical therapy to improve my ankle strength and break up the scar tissue. Their office had in-house PT, but not one that I was in network for, but I had a quick referral to one who was able to see me Tuesday.

You know those words that stick with you because their name makes them so memorable? Dactylography, Triskaidekaphobia. Dorsiflexion.

The latter joined that collection when I met with the PT team who said that, among other things,  I have limited dorsiflexion in my ankle. Sounds like I should spot a dorsal fin and be a dolphin! Things I learned from one day’s session:

  • My 2019 goal of not getting injured is intact – I was already injured! Boo. From their initial assessment, my bouts with plantar fasciitis are connected with this achilles injury, both stemming from my flat as a pancake feet.
  • On the plus side, I don’t need to stop running or change my plans to run any of the 2019 races I have planned.
  • There’s an app for that. PT in 2019 is much better than 1997 and 2008 (both for my knee) where I had bad xeroxes of the home exercises. The app with my daily exercises includes a video that demonstrates them too.
  • When the PT is using some tool on the achilles itself that you can’t see since you’re on your stomach and facing away, it crunches and feels a little like a pizza cutter

(as an aside, WordPress’ spell check is the worst. Those three words may kill it)

I see PT like I did Invisalign — it’s very different when you’re paying for it as an adult. I have been very good about wearing my retainer and will be compliant with my PT. The top photo is actually a resistance tube from the gym, but they gave me my own strap so I have no excuses. It’s too early to tell, of course, but I like the stretches and am optimistic.

My appointments over the next three weeks are at 7 or 7:30 AM. When I (hopefully) graduate from PT the plan is to keep getting up that early and either go for a run, or get to the gym.

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly Michelle after a slightly worried DM to Wendy about whether this recap was running enough for the Wrap:

  • Monday: 5K row between podiatrist and Monday Night Magic. Such a fun show, and dinner was Pommes Frites. How can you go wrong with any of that?
  • Tuesday: beautiful day, nearly 60 in NYC. I had my first PT session and then headed to the gym for a short elliptical session before walking home. Can’t skip a gorgeous weather interlude when snow is on the horizon.
  • Wednesday: off. Did not even get step goal. Not achilles related, more at work until 8 PM related.

new kicks!

  • Thursday: office run group didn’t happen due to schedules. I thought we were happening so only brought outdoor pants (tights) which were more than a little warm in the gym. The shoes look white, but they’re more an ice blue with a coral/pink accent. This was only a short run as I didn’t want to push the Achilles-treadmill bothers it more. Shoes feel good and I’m antsy to take them out for a longer run once I know they’re a good option.

so this is why I’ll never be a home owner?

matching for cross training, apparently illegal

  • Friday: I’m not technically a millennial, but the avocado toast/real estate thing always makes me laugh. Love me some good avocado toast but rarely get it for lunch. I’m back on MealPal for February and it popped up today at ‘Tisserie. So good! After work, headed to the gym for a 5K row and my PT stretches. It’s too soon to have any real impact, but I love feeling the stretches in my calves. Another lovely feeling this week-I don’t “need” to go to the gym. I filed for the reimbursement and the next six month window doesn’t start until March 1, but I wanted to go. It feels weird not to go on days like Wednesday. That said, next week is crazy and I’m going to miss it more than I make it.

trying out new Lotta Breeze capri skirt

  • Saturday: I wanted to run. I did not want to run outside with a wind chill of 20 when I had not prepaid and didn’t have to. But I wanted to run. Oh the arguments with ourselves. So I layered up and headed to the gym where I could give the new shoes another go and try out my new Lotta Breeze capris. They are definitely my favorite capri model. Best thing? No pain and went just a little longer than Thursday. Followed it with a short row and long stretch followed by some well bundled errands.

yep, those are icicles!

  • Sunday: it was marginally warmer (less wind) and I really wanted to go outside. After a l-a-a-z-y morning with my book & coffee, I headed out to do some errands via the long way around. Shoes are definitely a keeper and legs felt good, although that was assisted by a conscious decision to avoid the hills. Still feel good after two days in a row, and cautiously optimistic for the Half. Hardest part was errands after in running clothes. Brrr

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: PT; crosstrain as I’m not running three days in a row
  • Tuesday: off, book signing after work
  • Wednesday: gym following after work event. Run or crosstrain TBD
  • Thursday: office run group?
  • Friday: fly to Florida; shakeout?
  • Saturday: short run to beach?
  • Sunday: Fort Lauderdale Half

33 comments to this article

  1. Deborah Brooks

    on February 10, 2019 at 19:24 - Reply

    I had a nagging calf tendonitis this summer and went to PT as well. I also ran through it while doing the stretches you just have to back off a bit. Good Luck! Hope you are feeling better this week

    • cari

      on February 11, 2019 at 11:14 - Reply

      That’s good to hear. I’m willing to and have backed off after the Half – will do the same after FLL if needed. Want to have this resolved and not linger. Has yours fully resolved, or is that the shin issue you had last week?

  2. Wendy

    on February 10, 2019 at 20:21 - Reply

    I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. I’m a medical person but the only word I recognized was dorsiflexion. What the heck are the other words? I hope the PT gets to the bottom of your issues so you can get moving again! New shoes are a good motivator!

    • cari

      on February 10, 2019 at 21:10 - Reply

      Dactylography – study of finger prints. SAT word in high school
      Triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number 13. Elementary school trivia. Just weird ones that stick in the brain
      Me too — Cautiously optimistic

  3. therightfits

    on February 10, 2019 at 20:58 - Reply

    Sorry you’re dealing with all this, but it sounds like you’re got a good plan to get sorted out. PT’s are the best!

    • cari

      on February 12, 2019 at 16:48 - Reply

      I (luckily, knock on wood) don’t have much experience with them – but this team certainly seems to be. I have my fingers crossed

  4. Kimberly Hatting

    on February 10, 2019 at 21:58 - Reply

    I have never had any Achilles issues, but have heard how nightmarish they can be. OUCH! Hoping all the PT works its magic on you!

    • cari

      on February 21, 2019 at 16:24 - Reply

      Thank you! So glad you haven’t

  5. Liz Dexter

    on February 11, 2019 at 01:59 - Reply

    I’m glad you’ve seen someone and an app – wow! my physio just emailed me the names of the things I have to do! And of course you’re OK to post even if you hadn’t run – there are loads of people in rehab on the Wrap. They only don’t want non-fitness related and ads and things. Everyone will want to see your progress.

    Now to eat. Midnight snack last night? Me? After running 15.5 in the morning? Could be ….

    • cari

      on February 22, 2019 at 11:33 - Reply

      I’ve discovered the only downside of the app – I don’t really know the exercise names
      At the time I asked Wendy I’d managed only one day of running. It felt a little off balance
      Think of it as a stair workout not a snack 😀

  6. Coco

    on February 11, 2019 at 07:48 - Reply

    I wonder if your PT is using Graston? It’s a metal rod, not a pizza cutter, but it can feel like one! It works wonders though. When I had PF I had to work on my dorsalflexion too. Ft. Lauderdale is going to be so great!

    • cari

      on February 11, 2019 at 08:33 - Reply

      Oh maybe. I’ll ask him Wednesday as I didn’t see this in time for this morning’s session. Whatever it is is magic. I literally squeaked when he hit one spot. I’m loving his holistic approach to not just fixing the tendon, but also the other leg weaknesses. I can’t wait. Pre-ordered a poncho to ensure no rain

  7. Shathiso @thegaboronerunner.com

    on February 11, 2019 at 07:59 - Reply

    I’m feeling optimistic for you – I always find things so much easier to deal with when they are no longer a mystery so I’m really glad they’ve established what may be going on. And a big bonus – that you can still run. What a relief! Is that a Half Marathon I see scheduled for Sunday?

    • cari

      on February 19, 2019 at 12:05 - Reply

      YES! It’s also reassuring that there is something wrong, it’s not just a mystery/phantom pain. The PT has been great.
      And yes, Fort Lauderdale was Sunday. It went surprisingly well

  8. kookyrunner

    on February 11, 2019 at 08:08 - Reply

    I am glad that you went to a PT to get to the source of the issue. It seems like you have a good course of action to treat this so that you can continue running.

  9. Michelle C

    on February 11, 2019 at 10:10 - Reply

    I am so glad you can keep running and not change any plans! PTs are magical and wonderful and Graston hurts so good!

    • cari

      on February 22, 2019 at 11:57 - Reply

      Hurts so good is the perfect description!

  10. Michelle @ Running with Attitude

    on February 11, 2019 at 14:13 - Reply

    Good to hear that at least you can keep running. I’ve had dorsiflexion issues in my ankle too – the stretches did help. Also, I’m wondering if your PT was using Graston – hurts like the dickens but makes a huge difference! Best of luck with your PT!

    • cari

      on February 22, 2019 at 12:00 - Reply

      The stretches and balance work are helping tremendously

  11. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures

    on February 11, 2019 at 19:37 - Reply

    You get an app for PT exercises? I can only blame myself for me not keeping up with my exercises. I find them so boring! I really need to be consistent.

    • cari

      on February 11, 2019 at 23:23 - Reply

      Yep, it’s MedBridge GO
      Much easier to follow even if the voice is PAINFUL to listen to. It’s helpful in a guide of how to do the exercises in a way print can’t be

  12. Chocolaterunsjudy

    on February 12, 2019 at 07:23 - Reply

    Crossing fingers for your half next week. I actually kind of like PT but no app! I wish they used one but they don’t. That would be super useful. I wish I had a masseuse & PT on call . . .

    • cari

      on February 19, 2019 at 15:02 - Reply

      Oh me too re: on call. So handy
      And a chef

      • Chocolaterunsjudy

        on February 19, 2019 at 15:54 - Reply

        Masseuse. And housecleaner — I don’t mind the cooking, it’s the cleaning!

        • cari

          on February 22, 2019 at 12:02 - Reply

          I cannot cook. My favorite roommate was one who loved it. I was happy to clean up

          • Chocolaterunsjudy

            on February 24, 2019 at 14:37 - Reply

            Unfortunately I cook & I clean (and sometimes I still clean when Mr. Judy cooks, although he’s getting better at it — now, actually putting things back . . . a work in progress.

  13. Renée

    on February 12, 2019 at 15:04 - Reply

    I’m glad you went to see someone about your achilles!! this can be a tough injury if left too long! hopefully you are just in time and on your way to recovery. fingers crossed the half goes all right this week!

    i have posterior tibial tendonitis. my physio says there’s nothing I can do about it but get (new) insoles. my own fault, I decided to stop wearing my old ones in october. long story, too long for your blog space! either my physio is worthless or he’s right. I’ll know soon enough (pick up new insoles on the 21st).

    • cari

      on February 19, 2019 at 11:45 - Reply

      I hope the new insoles solve your issues — probably the cheapest solution, relatively?
      I think / hope I caught it on itme.

  14. Darlene

    on February 12, 2019 at 20:59 - Reply

    Yes we are twins. I had the same diagnosis my 2nd year of running. 6 weeks of PT. Of course I stopped doing those exercises as soon as the pain was gone. It never reappeared. Hope the same for you.

    • cari

      on February 19, 2019 at 12:15 - Reply

      I hope it never recurs either. In the mean time, trying to keep up the exercises

      • Darlene

        on February 19, 2019 at 14:03 - Reply

        I did for awhile. Don’t remember when I stopped.

  15. Jennifer

    on February 13, 2019 at 14:46 - Reply

    I’m glad you’ve started PT and you’re definitely right about taking it more seriously when you are an adult and paying for things. Also, as an adult, your mortality starts to become a little more evident and the thought of slowing down can be scary!! But, you’re doing the right things. 🙂

    I love the Lotta Breeze in that print. I need more of those in my closet. 🙂

    • cari

      on February 14, 2019 at 16:47 - Reply

      My actual favorite is a random black and white one that I got off Poshmark. Style is discontinued as far as I can tell as I haven’t seen it, but this one is nice. I’m about to finally own Starlet thanks to the V-Day sale, and I am currently lusting over Bonita.
      Adulting is scary!

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