After 8 full weeks of zero running, I have started back up again. Very gradually!
I was not exactly sure when it would be safe to return. My physical therapist cleared me to run after 7 weeks, but I felt like I needed an extra week. I still felt the injury with certain movements and I wanted more confidence that I wouldn't hurt myself. Meanwhile, the Osteitis Pubis specialist I am working with in Australia doesn't advise running until stage 8 of his program- which I won't reach for another few weeks.
The physical therapist tested my strength and was confident that I was far enough along in my recovery
Monday, June 7
For my first "run" back, I did 6 sets of 0:30 running, 4:30 walking. Essentially this was a walk, with six 30-second jogs thrown in. This was discouraging. I felt the injury more than I expected to. I tried focusing on my form and just being really purposeful about my movements but I still felt irritation in the pubic bone area. I did have some hope, however, in that a few of the reps felt decent. I would say about half them felt pretty good and the other half did not.
Did I do too much too soon? As soon as I stopped the running portions, walking felt 100% pain free. And I didn't have any hints of the injury for the rest of the day or the next day. What a relief. This means that my 3 total minutes of jogging didn't make things worse and I could proceed with the plan,
Wednesday, June 9
Building on Monday's session, this time the 5-minute blocks were split as 1-minute run, 4-minute walk. Twice as much running! I was a little nervous heading into this but I was pleasantly surprised that I had very little pain. I felt WAY better than I did on Monday! I was very encouraged by this. So what made the difference between Monday and Wednesday? I think it's a combination of:
- My body needed to get the message "Hey, we're running again, and it's okay" and shake off some of the cobwebs
- My body needed to recover from a run and realize "that didn't cause an injury"
No injury flare ups or pain all day Wednesday or Thursday, so I advanced on Friday to 1:30 run/3:30 walk. This was also encouraging although not perfect. I would say that maybe 5-10% of my steps triggered a mild pain sensation around the pubic bone, but the rest were fine. Some of the reps felt much better than others. Once again, I really focused on my form. Several key items:
- Fall forward as you run - let gravity help
- Keep a straight spine with the shoulder blades down
- When landing, ensure that the toes are spreading to form a stable platform
- When pushing off, observe the firing of the glutes
- Breathe through the core to help engage the core
In an ideal world, the next six months will look like this:
- June: Run/Walk, be able to run continuously for 40 minutes by the end of the month
- July: Build a mileage base, introduce strides and some introductory faster workouts
- August: Begin training for the Richmond Marathon, include long runs and tempos, run a 5K
- September - October: Richmond Marathon Training, run a 5K and a longer distance
- November: Richmond Marathon