Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Running Shorts In My Laundry

I had been biding my time before venturing to run again. I figured that each day that I would be able to hold myself back from running, would be another day of healing. So what about running again? After three weeks or so of resisting the urge to do so, I tried running a couple of times on the treadmill the other week at a very, very slow pace. The first time, I did a 4 minute run then a 1 minute walk for a whole hour. The second time, I was able to do a slow jog for 40 continuous minutes. Three weeks of rest didn’t do much good for the developing PTTD on the left ankle.  However, as usual I had good days and bad days. The following week, I did a couple of jog/walk workouts for an hour each time. Then on Monday morning I was able to jog for an hour and five minutes non-stop on the treadmill without too much strain on the ankle tendons. I may never be able to run hard again or for extended distances but for now, some running shorts have been finding their way to the laundry basket again.
To try to strengthen the muscles around the ankles, I’ve been doing toe contractions where you scrunch your toes as if to pick up objects from the ground. Although it helps a little, it hasn’t been enough so I had to find other strengthening workouts. I had been looking for Thera-bands which can be used to rehabilitate my ankle tendons, but couldn’t find any in drugstores. I found something similar and cheaper at Walmart with the Gold’s Gym brand name (Thera-band is a brand name by itself). With these wide rubber bands, I could do ankle flexions, extensions, and eversions with resistance, which I hope would strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankles. How much it helps remains to be seen. The left ankle has more potential to be rehabilitated because the posterior tibialis tendon has not ruptured, but the there isn’t much I can do with the right side since it ruptured a couple of years back.
While looking for Thera-bands, I saw that drug stores are now selling pulse oximeters for home use which costs about $50.00 (Pulse oximeters measure the level of oxygen in the blood).This was a surprise because in the past, only healthcare professionals can buy these and you probably would have needed a prescription from the doctor. Anyhow, I If I looked, I would probably have found a cheaper version of pulse oximeters at Walmart too.
                So there it is. I’ve taken the first tentative steps in my attempt to return to running or jogging. My muscles seem to have forgotten how to do it because they get sore despite the slowness and short distances. Nevertheless, it’s better than having to ride the stationary bike all the time and I get to wear running shorts again instead of just cycling shorts. If my laundry basket could talk, it would probably ask – “where have you guys been?”

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