As promised, here is the post-doctor visit update. Today was the one month follow-up to my last appointment. During that time I was encouraged to do lots of physical therapy, no running, and any cross-training activity that I could do pain free. I started physical therapy at the office and then progressed to doing it on my own at home. I could not quite afford the out-of-pocket expenses of going 3 times a week like was prescribed. I also held myself back and actually didn't even try running. I did use the stationary bike as a way to keep up some of my cardiovascular strength, but I can tell it won't be quite the same when I start running again. Four weeks later I find myself sitting in the doctor's office again.
I was nervous. I really honestly didn't know what to expect. The pessimist inside was thinking I would be told that I was never going to be able to run again. As you can see, I am a bit dramatic sometimes too. At least I am willing to admit it. The doctor started off with the general questions. "How's it going?" "Does it feel better?" "Are you still doing physical therapy?" "Did you do anything stupid and try to run?" Yada, yada, yada. After realizing I really was serious about getting better, he was encouraged and started doing his physical examination. He did some stretching to try and find some pain when moving me through certain motions. He also checked my flexibility, which I had no idea was so bad until I started physical therapy. After going through the checkout, he said I was showing improvement and asked if I felt the same way. I do think I am on the slow-road back to full health, but not quite where I had hoped to be at this time. It definitely doesn't hurt as much and the constant dull pain in my groin is gone. My range of motion is still somewhat limited and anytime I put prolonged pressure on my hip it begins to hurt (i.e. when I sit at the office all day). I do see some improvement though.
His prognostication was positive and somewhat optimistic. He told me I needed to do at least another week of physical therapy, whether that be at home or at the clinic. I choose to continue to do my stretches at home. And then, get this.....HE TOLD ME I COULD RUN!!!
I was very excited. He told me not to go crazy. He said I needed to start off very, very basic. To the tune of some brisk walking to warm up and then a jog of one mile. He said only to do a mile for the first time to see how things feel. Then take a few days off and do another mile and add some if I feel like it. He only wants me to add distance/time at this point and not speed. He told me I should only be running a 10 to 10 1/2 minute mile right now. That's really, really slow for me, but it's something. It's a chance to get out and run again.
I go back to see him in 3 weeks to report progress. Hopefully I report back with great news. At that point, he thinks we can start increasing my running up to 45 minutes or so and then start picking up the pace after I get back to that time limit.
Here is the kicker: I asked the question. The question that was burning a hole inside of me for the last few weeks. "Is it realistic for me to start training in August for my Dallas White Rock Marathon?" His answer : "Oh yes, we will get you ready for your marathon." I was very relieved and excited. I left the office cautiously optimistic as I know I have a long road ahead of me still. I hope everything continues to improve and I would really appreciate any positive vibes you could send my way. I am ready to get back on track. I am ready to get that feeling back. The feeling of being a runner. You runners know what I mean.
Off to bed for now. A rested body is a healthy body. Good night all. I am happy :-)