My First Few Weeks of Physical Therapy + A Good Balance with Exercise

My First Few Weeks of Physical Therapy + A Good Balance with Exercise

This has been a long overdue post! There’s been a lot going on with the holidays approaching, plus being busy as usual with work, etc. So I’m happy to be sitting down and sharing my physical therapy experience so far with you!

I went my first PT appointment the week after Thanksgiving at Optimal Performance Physical Therapy in South Tampa. I was pretty excited to get some help and learn something along the way. Plus I knew this was gonna lead me back to hitting the pavement hopefully sooner then later, so I was ready to learn and do all I could.

I had never been to a PT office, but this one was busy (are they all like this?). I was surprised at the amount of people who were in later in the afternoon and the amount of PTs working too. I saw all ages and abilities. I thought, “there’s really this many people that need PT?” as I watched people come in and out of the floor area steadily. There were even 2 people per PT (and there’s like 7 or 8 on staff regularly…). Luckily, that didn’t stall my appointment or anything. I was seen on time which I’m a stickler about. ūüėČ I had my evaluation where I explained everything and my PT, James,¬† who sent me home with exercises and stretches to do until we met for our next appointment:

Stretches and exercises I do once per day up to 5x a week, stretching multiple times per day:

  • Standing calf stretch- knee locked and heal against wall or off a step (we all know this one, but I hardly ever do it…reason #1 I need some guidance… LOL).
  • Standing soleus stretch- knee bent, heal/foot against the wall.
  • Exercises with resistance bands 3×15
    • Inversion
    • Eversion
    • Anterior tibialis
  • Tennis ball posterior tibialis roll out (as often as possible)

My PT is really nice and very easy going! So far he’s pretty chill about answering my questions and explaining everything. My heart actually skipped a beat when he did say I can run, just up to 1.5-2 miles 3x per week after my eval. I was ELATED! Although this is really low mileage for me, I’ll take anything I can get. He advised no consecutive runs, making sure I have a day of rest between runs or doing spin in between.

The following week, after seeing him twice, I explained my symptoms which were lessened thanks to soreness from our sessions and the exercises on my own. I was advised to add TWO runs consecutive which is symptom dependent. Honestly weeks that I can run have been hit or miss so I run when I can and fill in with walking, spin, or strength training.

Three miles have been my max mileage per run. If I don’t do 3 miles, I run 1.5-2 miles a couple times per week. The mix in mileage has been good since the short runs don’t take too long (less then 30 min). It’s kinda nice for a change running shorter distances instead dedicating a chunk of my morning to being on my feet! I take my pace easy regardless of the distance. The best feeling though is knowing I haven’t lost any running fitness or endurance. I’m thanking the spin classes that!!

Since I just added in 3 miles this week, I think my calf is getting used to it. I do feel some stiffness towards the very end, but I don’t push it. I try to be in-tune to my body after my runs, when the aches and pains set in. So far none of that!

So far, this has really been a humbling journey for me. I’m still appreciating the low-impact workouts while adding in some easy runs. I’m realizing running 3 miles is an accomplishment on its own! I would discount running 3 miles because it wasn’t “as far” as running 5, 6, 7 miles like I was. Taking care of your body and going slow is another lesson I’ve been learning. No one is measuring or comparing your distance or pace against another’s. On Instagram it feels like it is (I went off it because because the comparison trap is a real thing, not sure when I’ll return honestly). I’m working out and I’m feeling great without pushing mileage. I don’t fret about getting in a certain amount of mileage each day or when it will happen. Right now there’s a good balance.

In a bit, I look forward to adding more mileage pain free. But for now, I’m just moving when I can and getting stronger in the process!

Thanks for reading & Merry Christmas, friend!

Reseting and Doing My Own Thing…Excited For my First Low Key Weekend

Reseting and Doing My Own Thing…Excited For my First Low Key Weekend

It feels like I’ve been here, there, and everywhere during the month of September. Which is good, because I got a lot done! Moving, continuing to get acclimated in my job, adding running back into the mix more regularly, eating healthy (can be hard when you’re on the go), showing and doing fun stuff with friends IN my new condo and in St. Pete, my mom visited to better help me organize my place, getting over the breakup (much better for it and happier), Junior League commitments, worked my other jobs (fitness desk at the Tampa Yacht Club and babysat). Yeah. That’s a lot both physically and emotionally.

But I also felt overwhelmed with it all happening. As much as I love being busy, I realized I am a 100% introvert. I love to be with friends and do fun things, and don’t get me wrong, I loved having people see my place and get involved with JLT—but I am learning I need to reset and do my own thing equally as much. I am still thinking about the breakup from time to time. The more I think about thought, the happier I am that I am not dating right now. I’m doing ME and I’m grateful in an odd twisted way that I am not with him (still hurts a little writing that though).

This is the first weekend coming up that I VERY minimal things planned! I have time to lounge around and just chill. I have a 10 miler race this weekend that I’m doing alone and I couldn’t be more excited to just focus on the race, do my own thing without knowing what to expect, and without the need to be anywhere right after. I do have something later in the day, but have time to sleep before that! ūüôā

Let me tell you what I plan on doing with my chill time (I’m excited to share!):

Binge watch the first season of This Is Us (I’m late on the bandwagon but that is what hulu is for)

Meal-prep: I love to cook and be in the kitchen. Especially because I have a FULL kitchen! Give me something homemade and nourishing. On another note, send me your suggestions for meals you love. Would love to hear what you like to make in the kitchen.

Clean: Not really exciting…but whatever it has to get done.

-Running Ronnie’s 10 miler race! Really excited for this since I’ve never done a 10 miler. Not a half, but longer then a 10k/5k. It’s a PR no matter what right?

Some kind of workout Sunday with stretching and mobility: Not sure what I’m thinking…probably a short run. Definitely mobility and stretching at some point. My body really needs this lately. I make sure to devote time for this at work on slow mornings or before bed.

I’m excited to reset and enjoy just being me doing what I love to make me feel my best. These things bring me happiness (minus cleaning) and I’m good with that. Sometimes I feel we have to running around like a chicken with their heads cut off to look “productive.” I did that in September and it was too much. Excited to have a low key weekend in my little condo all to myself ūüôā

What do you have going this weekend? Are you chilling, busy, or a mix of both?

 

Love Your Body: Reasons & Benefits of Rest

Love Your Body: Reasons & Benefits of Rest

So marathon training is in full swing…I completed week three of training! However, it came with a couple setbacks. No one said marathon training was going to be easy. I signed up knowing setbacks could be part of training. Knowing I teach group fitness, I didn’t completely account for rest. I do the workout with my¬†Barre class since form and equipment are involved and generally instruct with demos for my H.E.A.T class. I’m not generally sore or feel completely wiped after teaching so I figured to take it as an¬†active recovery¬†day. This past weekend I did a nine mile run at¬†Upper Tampa Bay Trail and LOVED IT!! Beautiful scenery and I was feeling great. However, my hamstrings and feet felt otherwise. I taught barre and H.E.A.T no problem, but realized I never actually RESTED aka was lazy and didn’t do anything physical. I’m naturally on feet most of the day since I work in fitness, and since when do we ever sit??!! NEVER!! We constantly GO! Which is great, the reason why I love what I do, but rest is equally important. After the two “active recovery” days, I felt good to get my six mile long run out of the way during the week. Again, felt great! Post run I felt extra tight, sore, and just overall achey. My hamstring and feet felt tight and over-used. I literally hurt all over. I then felt equally bad and was hardcore kicking myself because I knew I should have¬†listened to my body. I also know a reason why I felt I over did it was because I had neglected¬†leg day/strength training¬†(I know what you’re thinking…”Ali how could you?!”) just because I wanted to hit my milage each week. I’m also focused on my client’s and group fitness and along the way, neglected my own. Muscle-wise there was a lot of imbalances that contributed as well.

SO LESSON LEARNED: Listen to your body and give it the¬†TLC¬†it needs! Its okay to say give an extra day to relax and be a¬†couch potato,¬†it won’t kill you. As runners or anything else you might be passionate about, you want to constantly strive to be the best you can. That might mean doing it regularly to take advantage of continued¬†improvement.¬†NOT SO FAST! (lol pun intended) giving your body time to recover from your hard work is equally important too.

Below are reasons and benefits why REST is important and to not be afraid to add it to your program:

-Time off from activity allows your body to heal and rebuild without added activity

Gives your mind a mental break

-Prevents injury

-Restores glycogen stores

*Other benefits of rest ;)*

-Sleep in (set NO alarms)

-Focus on foam rolling, icing, or soft tissue work 

-Get other things done…either personal, work, school, etc (that closet that needs cleaning out…)

-Focus on other hobbies, friends, or activities that don’t take the same demand…a cooking class/meal prep, yoga

-You get to be (somewhat) lazy :P…GO AHEAD! curl up with a movie, a cup of tea/glass of wine/ice cream…[you know where I’m going with this], and take care of yourself, you deserve to relax!

Instead of using your setbacks as ways to wreck your motivation, use it as a way to IMPROVE and learn from your mistakes!

Happy Running & Resting!!

-Ali