Chicago Marathon Training, Week 15 Recap

Two weeks to go ‘til marathon time…
And I am officially BACK TO RUNNING!
Buhbye, ITBS, you biotch.

Sunday, September 22nd: rest

Monday: 5 miles 50 minute run/walk (10r:2w ratio)
Started with 5 minutes of walking to warm up + stretching. Then, it was time to try 10 straight minutes of running and see how it felt.

And it felt gooooood!

I ran for 10 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of walking, and repeated that two more times for a total of 36 minutes. I ended with a nice walk back home to cool down & lots of stretching.

Total of 51 minutes & 4.12 miles.

Tuesday: 60-minute cross train + PT appt.
I had a lot of stuff to finish for work & then had to pack before I headed to Chicago for the rest of the week. I traded off my bike ride I’d planned for after my PT appointment, so I could get the important things done.


Wednesday: 5 miles rest

I knew I wouldn’t be able to work out this day; I had to get up at 5am to get ready and catch a super early train to Chicago. I was in workshops and panels until 8:30pm (long day!) and then had to catch up on work emails after that. I’m pretty sure I walked at least a couple miles around the city though, so at least I got some movement in.

Thursday: 5 miles 30 minute run (10r:1w ratio)  
Well I was planning to get in a run…but after my conference was done for the day and I headed back to my sister’s place (my temporary home while I stayed in Chicago), I decided I needed some quality sister-time filled with food, wine and talking. So, that’s what I did.

Probably shouldn’t have skipped the run, but sister time always comes first! But, I think I walked a total of 4-5 miles all day, so at least there’s that. City livin’ sure gets you moving around.

Friday: rest
Another planned rest day, as I had to work in the morning until my conference stuff began, then had to travel back home after it was all over. I was so happy to get back home Friday night, but was so exhausted that I went straight to bed… by 9:30!

Saturday: 20 miles 10 miles (10r:2w)
Duuuudes. TEN MILES! Yeah.

I really wasn’t sure how this run would go. I was hoping it’d go well, since it’s been over a month since my last long run, and time is running short (pun not intended). I decided to keep with the 10 minutes running/2 minutes walking ratio, so I could really ramp up the mileage with less chance of aggravating my hips and knees. And it worked!

I enjoyed the first few miles and didn’t really think or worry about how things were feeling. Then I got to 4.5 miles and realized that was almost the furthest I’d run since I’d been injured. I got nervous for the next few miles, and then…

I looked at my watch and was at 7 miles. I still felt really good. My hip was feeling normal, my water belt was keepin’ my sweaty beast of a self hydrated, and I was popping Jelly Belly Sport Beans like a, uh, fat kid who’s running hungry? Because that’s probably what I looked like.

But, it was at that 7-mile point that I finally realized, and decided in my head, that I was going to do it. I would make it to 10 miles today.

The last few miles were exciting and continued to feel great. I had to hold myself back from picking up the pace. I got to 10 miles but was still over a mile from home. I got to almost 10.5 miles and decided—why would I push my luck?! So I stopped and finished the run up with a good bit of walking.

Proof of 10-miler awesomeness.

Proof of 10-miler awesomeness.

{Don’t mind my nasty un-manicured nails. Priorities, people.}

My average pace, with the walking mixed in, was around 11:45/mile. That’s about a minute slower than I originally wanted to pace the marathon, but at this point, I’m just happy I’ll be able to have any pace & can run it at all.

This week’s schedule:

  • Sunday: 30-mile bike ride (talk about cross training!)
  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: 40-minute run/walk
  • Wednesday: 3 miles yoga
  • Thursday: 40 minute run/walk
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 8 miles 13 mile run/walk

Second-to-last week of training, but it’s finally starting to look like a normal week. If I were starting to taper now, I’d be down to an 8-mile long run next week. But, I feel like I’ve been tapering for weeks already, so I’m going to go for 13 miles. That at least gets me halfway through the marathon, mentally…and I think my body, and mind, will be strong enough to get me through the other half, to the end.

“Taper time!” everyone seems to be exclaiming joyously. What are your tips for dealing with the taper, and what should a runner be doing differently (or additionally) during it? 

Chicago Marathon Training, Week 14 Recap

Fourteen weeks down, and only three more to go until the Chicago Marathon. I’ve been able to increase my running this week, so I’m stoked! But, with time ticking down, I’m starting to get nervous about how that 26.2 mile run will go…

Sunday, September 15th: rest
With lots of stretching.

Monday: 5 miles 35 minute run/walk (4r:2w ratio)
Like all my run/walks, I started my workout with 5 minutes of walking to warm up, and some stretching. Then, I did 5 rounds of 4-minutes running + 2-minutes walking. I felt good the whole time—yay! No uncomfortable feeling in my knees or hips like I had on Saturday. I cooled down with 15 minutes of walking to get some extra time on my feet.

Total of 49 minutes & 3.64 miles.

Tuesday: 60-minute cross train + PT appt.
Now that the sun is going down earlier every day, by the time I get home from PT at nights after work, I don’t have much time for biking before the sun sets. Even if I had wanted to bike on Tuesday, my PT doc put me through so many lunges that my legs felt like Jello! I didn’t get in any cardio, but she sure gave my muscles a good workout.

Wednesday: 8 miles 35 minute run/walk (6r:2w ratio) rest
I had set my alarm to run in the morning, because I was going to be busy volunteering at a 5K race in the afternoon…only to wake up to the crack of thunder and flashing of lightning. Ah, well! My legs were realllllly sore from PT on Tuesday, so I happily went back to sleep. I didn’t have time to run before or after the 5K that night, so I had an unplanned rest day.

Thursday: 60-minute cross train + PT appt + 35 minute run/walk (6r:2w ratio)
Since I couldn’t run on Wednesday, I told my PT doc that I wanted to try running after my appointment. I was still quite sore from Tuesday (apparently I should do lunges more often), so the PT staff gave my hip some ultrasound action, some stretching, and only a few exercises to work on strength.

I headed out for my run at dusk. I felt really great, and did 5 rounds of 6-minute run + 2-minute walk recovery.

With warm-up and cool-down walking, I went for a total of 40 minutes & 3.45 miles.

Friday: rest + PT appt
I think introducing the running back into my routine is tougher on my legs and muscles than I thought it’d be, since they haven’t been pounding pavement for a few weeks. On Friday, I felt pretty tight and sore (in a good way—not painfully) so the PT staff gave me a good stretch out. I felt much better afterwards, though there were a few spots that just felt like they wouldn’t loosen, no matter what.

Saturday: 35 minute run/walk (8r:2w ratio)
I originally thought I could jump to a 10:1 ratio, but my PT doc set me straight on Friday when I asked her about it. 😉 So I did an 8-minute run + 2-minute walk recovery instead, building back up, slow & steady. I did push the time a bit, and did 5 rounds of 8-minutes running + 2-minutes walking.

Combined with my warm-up and cool-down walking, I had a total of 55 minutes and 4.81 miles.

I felt great the whole run/walk, and was just so happy to get some mileage in and feel good doing it. My hopes are continuing to raise about the marathon, but I also realize that ~5 miles is still a far cry from 26 miles…

This week’s schedule:

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: 5 miles 40 minute run/walk (10r:2w ratio)
  • Tuesday: 60-minute cross train + PT appt
  • Wednesday: 5 miles rest
  • Thursday: 5 miles 30 minute run/walk (10r:1w ratio)
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 20 miles 10 miles (with some walking mixed in)

This week’s schedule is a little wacky, because I’m going to downtown Chicago Wednesday through Friday for a web design & development conference (woo – geeks unite!). I’m not sure when I’ll fit in some running around the city, but I’m planning on Thursday morning for now. I’ll start with 30 minutes, and if I feel good I might go up to 40 minutes.

Saturday, I’m hopeful to do a run/walk of 10 miles, but realistically I bet my PT will tell me that’s pushing it. But, I was hoping to do 10 miles this Saturday so I can jump up to 13 miles next Saturday…and the following weekend is the full marathon. If I can’t at least get to 13 miles before that, I think I might freak out!

What would you do if you were me—try for 10 miles, or be conservative and hold back still?

After taking so long off and just now introducing running back into my routine, I don’t want to dive in too quickly…but I think I need somewhat of an aggressive (but safe) approach if I want to complete the Chicago Marathon still. Eep.

Chicago Marathon Training, Week 13 Recap

Week 13 of the Chicago Marathon training has come and gone. There are only 4 weeks to go ‘til the big day, and I’m just happy I was able to run at all this week! Here’s the breakdown…

Sunday, September 8th: 60 minutes cross-train
Went on a bike ride.

Monday: rest • 15 min. bike ride
Matt said he wanted to bike, so I was all for it. Unfortunately, there were swarms of tiny flies all around our neighborhood. They were all over our shirts and shorts, pinging off our faces, and we couldn’t talk because every time we opened our mouths they somehow managed to find their way in. So gross. Obviously we decided to cut this ride short!

Tuesday: 5 miles • PT
Had a PT appointment, so did all my exercises and stretches for that. Got the green light to try some run/walking, if I didn’t have any pain before I started, so I decided Wednesday would be the day…

Wednesday: 5 miles • 50 min. bike ride + 24 min. run/walk
I had two friends who were going biking so I met up with them before attempting my run/walk. I figured it would help me warm up + loosen my legs, plus I wanted some extra cardio time since I knew I wouldn’t try to run/walk very far. The bike ride felt good, then I foam rolled my IT band and stretched really well. You can read my whole post about my run/walk success, but I ran 2 minutes/walked 1 minute for a total of 24 minutes, with no pain. YAY! Major spirit lifter.

Thursday: 5 miles PT
I was so stoked to go to the PT office and let them know about my run/walk success. They suggested I only run/walk every other day for now, so I did all my PT exercises and stretches and called it a day.

Friday: rest + PT
I had another PT appointment, this time with the doc I had originally wanted to see (she owns the clinic and is a runner herself). She suggested again that I try a run/walk method for the marathon, then gave me advice on how to build up my run/walk routine to eventually get back to running a mile at a time (you’ll see that plan in this week’s upcoming schedule at the bottom).

Since Wednesday’s 2:1 run/walk went well, she told me I could try a 4:2 run/walk on Saturday, but not to increase the time (25 minutes) unless I just added a 5-minute walk warm-up and 5-minute walk cool-down. Sold.

The PT doc massaged my IT band for a decent amount of time at the appointment, and it was a little achy all night afterwards. (This slight achiness or tenderness has continued through the weekend, so I hope it was just the massage breaking up the knots and stuff?)

Saturday: 19 miles • 3.48 miles (~2 running)
Last week I had said I’d hoped I could run 13 miles on this day, and obviously that wasn’t going to happen. I listened to my PT and started with the 5-minute walk to warm up, did some stretching, and then started my 4 minutes of running followed by 2 minutes of walking.

I think the toughest part was actually stopping to walk after the 4-minute running periods were up, especially when I was feeling really good. It was just so exhilarating to finally get moving again! It was also tough once when, after a run interval, I stopped to do my 2-minute walk and a passing runner tried to encourage me, “Don’t stop, you’re looking strong!” Thanks for the compliment & encouragement, runner, but it’s doctor’s orders!

On the plus side, the walk breaks did give nice opportunities for some pretty photo ops:

This sunrise is the best part of early morning runs!

This sunrise is the best part of early morning runs!

I ended up tacking on an extra 4:2 set, so my total run/walk time was 30 minutes instead of 25. Heh. Who’s surprised by the stubborn runner? I did feel pretty good most of the time, but at the end, the outside of my knee started to feel uncomfortable. It didn’t hurt, but it didn’t feel right, either. Then I had about a 10-minute walk back to my car, so I had a total of almost 45 minutes on my feet, and probably about 2 miles of running.

This week’s schedule:
I plan to continue the run/walks, hoping to slowly up the time I can go without pain… (The crossed out items are what would be on my running schedule if I were healthy.)

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: 5 miles 35 minute run/walk (4:2 ratio +10 min walk warm-up/cool-down)
  • Tuesday: 60-minute cross train + PT appt
  • Wednesday: 8 miles 35 minute run/walk (6:2 ratio, if Monday brings no pain +10 min walk warm-up/cool-down)
  • Thursday: 5 miles PT appt + 60 min. bike ride
  • Friday: rest + PT appt
  • Saturday: 12 miles 35 minute run/walk (10:1 ratio, if Wednesday brings no pain +10 min walk warm-up/cool-down)

With only four weeks to go until the Chicago Marathon, I know at this point I won’t be able to run the whole thing… But I’m hopeful that I can at least run a mile at a time, perhaps take a minute walk break between each mile, and still finish. It will just be a loooong marathon!

What do you think of run/walking? Is it something you normally do, or would try? How’s your training going?

I have to admit, stopping to walk in the middle of my running at first felt SOOO slow. I didn’t have the patience for it. But after a couple times, I realized that the short walk breaks make running MUCH easier! I would definitely recommend new runners, or people who’ve been out of training for a while, try run/walking. It’s much less torturous. 🙂

Run-Walk Success

You guys, I did it! I ran yesterday!

Without PAINNN.

Take that, ITBS – you pain in the ass knee.

At my PT appointment on Tuesday, I asked my doctor to get real with me about when I could start trying to run regularly again. It’s been a couple weeks since my last real run, and I’m only a month out from the Chicago Marathon now. Sure, I’ve been biking a lot, doing some PT exercises to build strength, and working on my core muscles…but to complete 26.2 miles by foot, I need to get some lots of miles in on these legs. Plain and simple.

If my knee wasn’t hurting me, she said, I could try it, but shouldn’t go overboard. And of course, if it started hurting, I promised myself I would stop immediately and walk, so I don’t make things worse.

Naturally, on Wednesday I decided it was time to try a little running. Even after some massaging, exercises and stretches on Tuesday night, I didn’t have any pain or tenderness around my knee or IT band. The other doctor in the clinic had suggested I look up a run/walk plan for the marathon (since I told her I was getting nervous about it), so I figured I might as well start out run/walking now.

It doesn't matter how slow you go, as long as you don't stop.

I started my workout with a 45-minute bike ride, since I knew I needed to put in some real cardio time, more than I would be able to run. Plus, I figured this would be a great way to get my legs warmed up and loose, which would help to stretch them before I ran.

After the biking, I did some foam rolling on my IT bands, and then stretched really well.

Then I was off, almost holding my breath with each step I took. Except, you know, I was running and all, so I had to breathe.

I decided I would do 2 minutes of running, followed by 1 minute of walking, and repeat that. I didn’t really have a set time or distance in my head, as I had no clue how my knee would feel, so I just trotted off without a plan, happy that it seemed the run would go okay as I took my first steps.

I continued my run/walking iterations until I got to about 12 minutes. Ecstatic that I wasn’t feeling any pain or anything at this point, I decided I better turn around and start the 12-minute jaunt back home, just in case. I didn’t want to push myself too far, right away.

By the time I got home, I was grinning like a freak, sweating like an even bigger freak, and restraining myself from jumping around. In total, I did 24 minutes of run-walking (16 minutes of running/8 minutes of walking). Not a ton, but, 16 minutes of running was longer than I could run this past Saturday, and without any aches or pains. I’ll take it.

We’ll see tonight at my next PT appointment if the little workout did anything adverse—I bet I will probably be a little tighter than the last several days, but hopefully the doc can continue to work out the tightness and knots in my IT band.

I’m taking this all as a reminder that when you start losing hope and wonder when things will turn around, you should never really worry—because before you know it, a little miracle just might happen. 🙂

Thanks for all encouraging responses to my last few posts & on Twitter, folks! And to my everyday friends and runner pals who’ve heard me yak on and on about all of this. You poor souls. I lova ya.

Running Withdrawals

Hi all! I realize my blog posts haven’t been as exciting lately—mostly due to the fact that I can’t run. Womp.

{However, I shall uplift this post with a sprinkling of funny runner memes.}

Ryan Gosling makes everything better.

Ryan Gosling makes everything better.

I’ll admit, I’ve been trying to stay positive, but it’s been tough. I was sure everything would be okay the first week my knee started bugging me. I thought I’d just enjoy several days’ rest and then take my runs easy for a few weeks, and I’d be A-OK and back on my way to marathon training bliss.

Then the next week moseyed on by and my knee was still bothering me. Not to worry! I’d just take the whole week off, go see a PT, and all would be fixed.

But, no. Now I’m on week three of injury patrol and it’s starting to wear on me. Gone are the positive thoughts and relaxed attitude. Enter the psychotic, cliché, injured runner symptoms of worrying and obsessing over the fact that I can NOT run.

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I find myself constantly googling things about my injury online, reading articles, posting on message boards, babbling the ears off of anyone who will listen, and seeking out advice from every other runner I know. I’m doing all of this while already seeing a professional physical therapist…who should really be the only person I’m asking for advice from, not the interwebs.

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But alas, I’ve arrived here, to the injured-runner-exile, where self-pity and crabby pants abound. And I am so not about self-pity and crabby pants type of person, so on top of not being able to run, you can imagine how much this all annoys me.

So forgive me, dear friends and fellow readers, for my lack of oomph and passion and fun posts lately. You see, I choose to just keep my crabby pants to myself, to spare you from the headcase that I’m slowly becoming. You don’t need to see the slow unraveling of wits that is starting to fray at the seams.

Yes. Wine does help.

Yes. Wine does help.

The bike, foam roller & PT are my new BFFs, and while they’re all good listeners, they just doesn’t compare to my oldest friends…my running shoes.

I hope we’re reunited soon.

Since I can’t write so much about running right now, what would you like to hear more of? My PT & cross-training, other various workouts? Or something entirely different?

Wedding planning is on the upswing, so I’m thinking that will be making a regular appearance soon. Promise that I’ll get creative and come up with some happier workout posts & healthy eats soon, too, though.

Chicago Marathon Training, Week 12 recap

Week 12 gone, huh? I am trying to stay positive, but this injury is starting to get to me. I’ve had to take off most of the week, but at least I got to see a physical therapist a couple times. So I’m hopeful this coming week will mean more running…at some point…

Sunday, September 1st: rest

Monday: 60 minutes cross-train
Bike ride.

Tuesday: 5 miles
No running. Had my first PT appointment after work so I didn’t have time to bike afterwards.

Wednesday: 8 miles • 50 min. bike ride
No running still, but biked. Ran into some friends just as I began my ride, so I joined them & that raised my spirits. Made the bike ride fun and took my mind off the lack of running.

Thursday: 5 miles
Honestly forget what I did this evening. I didn’t do any working out, besides my PT exercises and stretches. I think I worked late-ish and then did some blogging stuff. Looked forward to my Friday PT appointment, hoping to have good prospects for my Saturday run.

Friday: rest
Had my next PT appointment. Got more stretches and exercises to help with the hips (which I will fill you in on soon). However, when I asked advice for weekend running, my doc said nonchalantly, “Oh, well you can just try a mile and see how it goes. But I wouldn’t recommend more than that.”

A mile? ONE? HA. My PT is not a runner and, I thought snobbishly, doesn’t seem to understand how I’m training for a marathon, which I’m supposed to run in 5 weeks. So one mile, nope—that’s just not gonna cut it.

I figured since I was able to run 3 miles last Thursday, after only taking four days off, that at this point (10 days off) I would definitely be okay with three miles. So I decided that I’d try three miles Saturday morning, and if I still felt no achiness or pain, I’d keep going up to six miles, max…

Saturday: 13 miles • 1.75 miles
And then it was Saturday morning. I ran my one singular mile and felt great. Stopped to stretch and really took my time with it. Started the next mile and halfway in, the aching started on the outside of my left knee again. Already?! I had taken 10 DAYS off!!! Ugh, so frustrating, I can’t even put into words. I started walking back to where I began. Twice, I tried stretching and running a really slow pace back, but both times the pain started to flare up worse than before. So… I didn’t even get 2 miles of running in.

Not what I was expecting.

Talk about discouraging.

This week’s schedule:
This week’s runs are again up in the air. I hope to run AT ALL. Here’s what my schedule should be, if I were healthy…

  • Sunday: 60 minutes cross-train
  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: 5 miles
  • Wednesday: 5 miles
  • Thursday: 5 miles
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 19 miles (really hoping I can do 13 by then, to stay on track)

I have PT appointments on Tuesday and Thursday. I’ll have a third appointment sometime this week with the clinic director (who I had wanted to see in the first place, but was on vacation this past week). She is a runner and had come to speak at our running club meeting several months ago, so I’m hoping she’ll better understand how I hope to get moving again if I want to run this marathon. I am also hoping she will be able to tell me for sure that this knee pain I’m feeling is coming from my weak hips. Cross your fingers…

I am really trying not to be one of those runners, who gets injured and turns into an antsy freak that becomes obsessed with when they will be able to run again. I was doing really well with it, but now I’ve come to the 2-week mark and am starting to worry about timing with the Chicago Marathon. Will I be able to run the marathon still? Will my injury go away, or be under control in time to run 26.2 miles pain-free?

I’m really trying to stay positive, but after two weeks off and no results (in fact, feeling worse after 10 days off that I did after 5 days off)—it is tough!

Have you ever had an injury impede running a race? What did you do to handle being injured, but stay on top of your fitness? Have you ever had hip/knee/IT band issues? 

I think the biking is a decent workout, and all these new exercises are definitely pushing me, but I just feel like without running, I am losing my fitness. Fast.

It’s All in the Hips: Anatomy of a Knee Injury

After two visits to the Physical Therapist, I’m a couple steps closer to running again!

On Tuesday, I went to the PT office for a 15-minute chat with the doctor to give her the background on my achy knee. In case you haven’t read it, here’s what’s going on.

Then, I had an hour-long exam on Wednesday (thank you, last-minute scheduling gods) to really dive in and discover what’s going on. The physical therapist tested the range of motion in my knees, legs, and hips; she even measured my feet and arches! She poked at my limbs for painful spots along the hips and knees, but as I’ve had no pain unless I’m actually running, I felt quite unhelpful telling her that, nope, there was no pain anywhere. Then she has me perform several exercises, like squats, single-leg squats, and running around the room, so she could see how my form looked.

Finally, my doctor told me what I half-suspected was the root of the knee issue…

Problem #1: Weak hip adductors.
My hips were tight and relatively weak. In fact, they were laughably weak. To test the strength of my different leg muscles, the doctor pushed or pulled against them slightly and I’d have to keep my leg from moving. It was no problem when she put resistance against my quads, hamstrings, [thunder] thighs or shins. But as soon as she had me lay on my side and barely pushed down against my hip muscle, it was like my leg had a 50-pound weight on it and it couldn’t stay up, no matter how hard I tried to keep it level. I was in disbelief!

Problem #2: Tight piriformis.
Piri-what? I’ve heard of the muscle before from other runners who’ve had tightness or pain, but I never knew what it actually was. It’s located in the upper butt/lower back area, behind the hip joint:

piriformis muscle injury

So, I have a tight piriformis muscle. Well, THAT makes sense, because for the last few weeks, I’ve been having a lot of pain in that area. I thought it was just my lower back being crappy, as it’s always had a tendency to ache due to misfortunes in snowboarding forays in junior high school… I figured it was completely unrelated to all these other issues. But of course, everything in the body is connected and affects everything else. Basically, because of the tightness in my hips and piriformis, it’s no wonder my knee is hurting.

So, how to reconcile these issues?

The ironic thing was, I had already been working on strengthening my hip adductors. Knowing that weak hips often cause issues for runners, and having had knee pain/ITBS issues in the past on my right leg, I was doing my own PT exercises at home (on both legs) and foam rolling the crap outta my right leg.

The doctor asked me to show her the exercises I was doing at home. She said, Great! All good exercises to do for your hips.

IF you do them CORRECTLY.

…Which I wasn’t.

She showed me how my form was incorrect for most of the hip exercises I was doing. I wasn’t isolating the hip adductors correctly, so instead of working those muscles, I was letting my hips fall back and my stronger muscles around them (like the hip flexor or quadriceps) take over. Turns out the hip exercises that I was usually rushing through at night and thought were pretty easy, well… After she showed me the proper way to do them, I realized just how hard they can be when you do them right!

At the end of the appointment, the physical therapist gave me several stretches and exercises to add to my normal routine of stretching & strengthening.

In case you too are battling tight or weak hips, these links to videos below are similar to what my doc gave me to try out. Remember, all of these stretches and exercises are tailored to my specific needs or weaknesses, so if you’re really hurtin’ or have a goal race in mind, go see a professional! There’s a reason we pay them the big bucks.*

Exercises for the hip adductor:
• Side Lying Hip Abduction (10x, 1 set)
• Clam Shells (10x, 1 set)
(I am doing this without a band, as shown in the video. Also, I’m only able to open my knees about half the distance this woman is, she must have hip adductors of steel!)
• Lumbar Quadruped Alternating Leg Lifts (hold for 3 seconds, 10x, 1 set)

Stretches:
• Piriformis Stretch (hold for 30 seconds, 2x a day)
(note: I don’t come close to being as flexible as the woman in this video, only stretch as far as feels good for you!)
• Hip Flexor Stretch (hold for 30 seconds, 2x a day)
• IT Band Stretch (hold for 30 seconds, 2x a day)

I go back to the physical therapist tomorrow for another hour-long session. She mentioned at the last appointment that she’ll start trying to work out some of the knots at the top of my hip adductor and around my piriformis. I can already tell it will be one of those things that will hurt so good—just like my friend, the foam roller.

Here’s hoping I’ll start to getting stronger, and get the go-ahead to try running a few miles on Saturday!

Have you ever had knee pain, hip or piriformis issues? What kind of exercises or stretches do you normally do to help them out? 

*Don’t let the big bucks thing scare you away. My doc wants me to come in 3 times a week, but it’s $50 a visit, so their office worked it out so I only have to pay $35 a visit instead. They said it’s more important to them for me to get better, than to miss an appointment due to money! Very thankful for that.