Sunday, March 20, 2011


When it comes to rehabbing an injury, I am relentless. I am a relentless cross trainer and a relentless optimist. Once I realized I had a real injury and not just post marathon tweaks, I immediately cut out all the running and hopped into the pool and onto my stationary bike trainer. I did a couple days of just pool running, along with copious amounts of icing and self massage. When walking became a little easier I transitioned into cycling in addition to pool running. Although I like pool running, it's just not as aerobically challenging as real running and definitely does not work your leg muscles as much. I like to add cycling because it really works the legs and you can build up some lactic acid pain. However, neither of those activities can completely simulate running. Enter the Alter-G.

This amazing treadmill has been floating around elite training circles for a couple years now. You basically put on a pair of shorts and get zipped into a big air bag that happens to also contain a treadmill. The Alter-G weighs you and then will pump air into the bag to provide "lift" and reduce the weight and force on your legs and feet. This is perfect for someone coming back from a tendonitis problem. I believe in active recovery for soft tissue injuries and an important component of coming back from a tendon injury is strengthening. After a week and a half of no running and lots of icing, I felt ready to run easy and warm up my tendon and get it back to running strength. I started on Thursday at 90% body weight and slowly built up each day until today when I could run 6 miles at 100% body weight with no problems. Of course it can get quite boring running on a treadmill in a garage but I was so happy to be able to run again that the time flew by. Putting in a Metallica CD also helps.

And now, amazingly, I am ready to hit the trails again if only softly and slowly at first. Despite the two week layoff I did not get depressed about this injury. I willed myself to be as optimist and positive as humanly possible. After all the brain is incredibly powerful and placebo works 40% of the time. I believed that rolling a little plastic ball under my foot and rubbing my ankles with the back of a metal spoon would heal up my tendon and lo and behold it's healing.

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