Since the start of 2014, I’ve been making an effort to exercise more again. I was a bit delayed with that goal due to my shoulder injury, but now that physical therapy has started, there’s no excuse not to get moving.
Last week was my first meeting with the physical therapist. Since having the cortisone shot in my shoulder, I’m not feeling any pain in the shoulder, which is great, but it’s still stiff. She had me try some basic movements and concluded that it doesn’t have nearly the same range of motion as the right shoulder, and is significantly weaker now. So I’ll be going to PT twice a week until my shoulder is stronger and more flexible. I’m hoping the cortisone shot won’t wear off during this time, since exercising pain-free is much better than the alternative.
The first session wasn’t too bad. She had me show her the exercises she asked me to practice at home. It’s funny how something as simple as a shoulder shrug can be difficult when asked to do it thirty times with a weak shoulder. I found myself laughing from the frustration of struggling through what should be easy movements – laughing only so I didn’t show how much it bothered me. I’m not used to having a part of me not working properly. I can already tell I’m going to be unbearable as I grow older.
One positive to come out of physical therapy is that it’s a mandatory upper body workout twice a week, so I can’t complain about that. I tend to not pay enough attention to my upper body when I exercise, so maybe this will start a new habit to spend more time on those muscle groups?
But I have also started running again, too. Back in January it began as walking on the treadmill. (Most of January was covered in snow here, so the treadmill was the safest option unless I wanted to actually ice skate.) While I was only walking in January and still getting out of breath, I gradually got used to it and started the Couch-to-5K program again.
I’ll be honest: it took two weeks to successfully get through week 1. I can partially blame the awful head cold that Mira passed along to me, but the other part was purely being out of practice. The legs were willing, but the lungs were not. It was disappointing to struggle through the most basic week of the program, unable to run all of the eight 1-minute run periods, gasping for air like a fish out of water.
It did get better, though, and on the second try I completed week 1 without any added walking breaks. I’m now on week 3, and I can assure you it’s not getting any easier. I’m up to running three minutes at a time, and I’m remembering how three minutes can feel like FOREVER when running.
I’m going to get through it, though. There are moments when I’m running and feel like I’m in a comfortable spot and suddenly all is right with the world. I can’t make those moments longer without pushing harder beyond them first. Now that spring is almost here (right, March? RIGHT?) I’ll be able to run outside again, too, and the change of scenery might help the training go faster.
And it is training. Because I’ve signed up to do a two mile runDisney Fun Run when I go to the Disney Social Media Moms conference in April. Not only will I be running, but I’ll be doing it in costume. I don’t want to be the one who collapses on the run, or comes in last, or just looks like she might pass out at any moment.
Hey runners – what do you do on the days when you don’t run? Do you do strength training? Another form of cardio? I’m curious what else I should be doing to make running easier for me.