Saturday, September 29, 2012

PT does not just stand for physical therapy

While doing PT tonight I thought of all the things it should stand for. Pretty tedious. Phucking tough. Painful torture. Pickled thighs. Pie time. Pizza tonight.... if you couldn't tell I went from grumbling to thinking about food. :)

I'm trying to get myself into the habit of making this a regular thing so I've been trying to figure out the best way for that. Likely I'll need to print out an excel spreadsheet with check boxes and tape it somewhere that I'll feel guilty enough to keep up with this religiously. I keep reminding myself a few things: This is a prescription. This is going to make you a stronger runner. If kept up regularly this might also mean your out of pocket costs to see the actual physical therapist will be pretty minimal. Soak up all the information you can get and stick with what works. It's going to take time to see results. This is now a part of your training... for the rest of your life. Get used to it.

Tough love is usually the only thing that works when I'm talking to myself.

If anyone is curious here is the long list of what I'm doing every night for now:
Single Leg Squat (hip stability / quad & glute strength / balance) this one is tough w/my knee creakiness so I usually don't do a full squat
Hip Press (similar to a bridge but lift one leg to ceiling with hips up - hamstring / glutes)
Side Plank Leg Lifts (ouch! - core strength / glutes)
Low Plank / Knee Tuck (core strength / hip flexor strength and ROM)
The Jane Fonda (haha) lie on side, lift leg up and back diagonally (glutes)
Single Leg Deadlift - (balance on one foot, push other leg back and up, hold - hamstring / ROM / balance)
Stairway Hamstring Stretch - one leg on ground, other leg straight up on a stair, foot flexed against step, slide hands up railing and feel the pull
Hip Adductor Stretch (leg bent and placed up on table that is hip height, move leg back for more stretch)
Foam Roller: IT band, quads and hamstrings

It's time consuming and I'll likely drop most of these things back to 3 times a week after a couple solid weeks. I've been strongly considering a gym budget so I can get in some more cross-training right now as well as hit the pool. The downside on this one is, the only gym that has a pool that I can afford is the gym that my ex goes to. I'm not too keen on running into him. Ever.

The stretch that is helping the most right now and is what I'm doing 3+ times a day is:
The Calf Step Stretch! - ball of feet on stairs w/heel off. Drop heel one foot at a time, hold for 60+ seconds both with knee bent (soleus) and knee straight (gastroc/achilles) twice on each side. Oh! This stretch hurts so good!

My sports massage therapist, Colleen, suggested to invest in this rocker apparatus that apparently works well for calf stretching plus increases dorsiflexion (stretching the toes towards head). In my last entry I think I mentioned that my feet stretch only a couple degrees where as the normal foot should flex at least 15. I've been warned that my lack of foot flexibility could put me at risk for plantar fasciitis if I don't loosen up. This funky rocker thing supposedly did wonders for Colleen. I'll happily pay $10 now to use some weird foot rocker if it means increased flexibility! Sold!

Another suggestion was to buy a 4 pack of lacrosse balls to tape together: 3 on bottom as a base w/middle one doubled up to use for focal glute and calf tightness. Sounds good to me!

Clearly I'm pretty eager to ward off any potential injuries even if it means spending a little extra right now to soak up information from as many resources as possible.

What kind of things have you done for PT? How did you learn to stick with the schedule? Is there an exercise or stretch that you really felt you benefited from? I'd love to hear any other suggestions or creative ideas!


  1. I feel like we are twins.
    I too have 8 exercises + foam rolling.
    It seems to take forever every night, but I am trying to remind myself it will make me better in the long run.
    I did find that I have to write it on a to do list every day though so that I get to cross it off.
    Love your commentary on what PT could stand for...all true!

    1. Haha, it does take forever. I've wanted to skip it a couple times so far (like 50% of the time already - eesh!) but have to keep reminding myself that it's important and is helping. Plus I feel so much better after it. We'll get through this! :)

      I didn't have time to make a list today but I am going to see if I can print one out tomorrow. I think that will really help to print out a week at a time and go through the physical act of crossing each day off.

    2. I make myself do it before bed and I am not a fan. Friday night I was up reading until like 1 then about to crawl into my warm bed when I remembered. Whoops. Up for PT.
      Good luck making the lists, they really help me.

  2. I love single leg squat workout and also do daily to maintain my body balance. It’s truly an effective and helpful exercise.