A little over a month ago, I wrote a pretty positive blog post about my ongoing recovery from a stress reaction in my tibia. At the time, I was about a month into the “no running” prescription and doing pretty well with various cross training. Since then, I have kept up with the cross training and even purchased my own mountain bike (GT Avalanche)… riding my bike has become a very regular thing!
Of course it hasn’t all been positive. At the time I wrote that post, I was hoping to be running again in about two weeks, as it was the magical end of the 6 weeks off. Turns out things weren’t so magical and I was referred for physical therapy for 6 more weeks. But the silver lining is that PT includes weekly runs on the AlterG, anti-gravity treadmill.
This space age (literally, it uses patented NASA technology) treadmill allows me to run at a reduced percentage of my body weight. The first session, I ran 1 mile nonstop at 75% of my body weight. The second session:1.5 miles at 80-85% of body weight.
Before running on the treadmill, I am zipped into the contraption – special shorts zip right into the treadmill. The treadmill calibrates my weight and then I can enter a percentage. It’s a strange feeling at first – being so light on my feet, I felt like I could run faster with less cardiovascular effort. After weeks on an elliptical, I was just happy to be on a treadmill… running!
Once I completed the second session without any pain, I was given a cautionary ok to go try some quarter mile intervals, which I did on the Santa Fe Trail just this past weekend. After the AlterG, I felt so heavy and a little awkward running outside. One thing missing was that old familiar pain … it’s funny how I just expected it as I headed out on the trail. I did feel a little twinge or tug in that area – but it’s hard to say if it’s real or just imagined.
A couple miles on the treadmill, a couple outside… I’m running again. It’s going to be a long road but just happy to be back on it!