Slow and steady wins the Rehab Race

Of all the events I’ve ever done this one is taking the most mental toughness.  Give me a marathon over this any day!  It truly is the suckiest race of all.  But one I know will leave me with a deeper sense of gratitude for a healthy body, supportive friends and a husband who loves me.  Sigh.  So what’s been happening?

More Needles.  Twice this week.  The most recent check in with the Physio involved more ultrasound, dry needling, checking on the ITB and a return to running program.  The ITB from hip to just above the knee has responded well to treatment and isn’t sore at all.  A small section from just above the knee to the knee is still tight and a little sore.  Did you hear a loud YELP about 4:30pm AEDT on Friday?  That was me!  As a needle went in right near the pain spot I squealed!  It was the strangest sensation of contraction and release but my goodness afterwards my knee felt reborn!  It gave me hope.


This was the session on Tuesday. All up I had nine needles with three in my hip. Friday only five down around my knee.

The strength exercises have been done as prescribed as well as the new Band of Burn.  At the gym yesterday I used the weight machine for this exercise and to get as much pull on it as the Band of Burn I had to add 20kgs!  It may look like a little bit of green stretchy stuff but it’s a killer.  Afterwards?  Despite feeling the burn the ITB feels like it’s back where it should be and is happy!  (My Physio talks about making my ITB happy.  I like the way he talks.  I’m all into happy body bits that allow running to be happy).


Do you like my uggies? I don’t usually wear them doing this exercise.  I do three reps of 10 holding out for five seconds.  It doesn’t seem like a lot but the burn is real.

Swimming up and down the pool has been my thing this week.  I’m swimming for 30 minutes which would be 1km or a little more (last time I timed myself I swam a leisurely paced 1km in 28mins).  Introduced to this yesterday was 30 minutes of water running complete with funky flotation belt.  If you are ever feeling sad or down give me a call and you can come and watch me water run.  It will give you the giggles.  I quite liked it.  It felt like running 🙂 I was able to talk while doing it.  AND I could look around.  Looking at the blue line of the pool can get a little tedious and I still haven’t mastered talking under water so can’t chat to anyone!  Water running is much more social and fun.

And today I was cleared for my first run of a return to running program.  It didn’t go well.  It did however feel wonderful to be running.  I managed 1.5 sets.  I’m allowed to try this everyday and go up as instructed and increase the sessions to twice a day.  But any increase is only to happen without any pain.  I’m not going to try again until Tuesday.


Oh how I have missed my running man who signals the start of every run.

Oh how I have missed my running man who signals the start of every run.  He’s a handsome wee figure with an awesome running style!

Pauly marking out the course for me. What better place than to run to the Hay Barn which was my first ever running goal.

Pauly marking out the course for me. What better place than to run to the Hay Barn which was my first ever running goal.


The course was marked with Tail Paint that we use on the farm to mark tails funnily enough!

The calves ran up and down with me until Pauly decided to video them so of course they stopped!

The calves ran up and down with me until Pauly decided to video them so of course they stopped!

I can keep going on my return to running program if there is no pain.  What is pain exactly?  Is it the same as discomfort?  Do I keep running until I’m limping?  Is that pain?  Pain is such a subjective concept.  I don’t want to run with any elevating discomfort.  That’s what I’m calling pain.  So while I reckon I could’ve easily slogged out 5km with where the discomfort was at I decided that it had increased enough for me to stop.  I don’t want to undo all the rehab achieved and end up back at the start line or worse with a harder handicapped start!  That would feel like being at the 25km mark of a marathon and being told that I had to start over.  Oh the agony!

In all the Rehab Race is progressing pretty well.  I would like my pace to be much faster but in this race a fast pace could signal disaster.  Two steps forwards, one step back but making progress.  Slow and steady is the only pace that will win this biggest event of my running story to date.

On a win I have learnt how to pronounce two new Pakistani names with confidence.  I have met some lovely new people at the Physio Practice who empathise with me  but who laugh at my jokes.  Best of all I’ve learnt that I am braver about needles than I thought I was.  Dry needling has made a huge difference with the healing of my unhappy right ITB. I look forward to each session!  Unsporty Women Can Run and Can Brave Dry Needling.

But I have a problem.  While I am completely ready to withdraw from the Ultra, the Physio and Pauly say I will be able to do it.  If it was an event where numbers were capped and it was difficult to get an entry it would be a no-brainer.  I’d have withdrawn weeks ago.  It isn’t.  I don’t even want a refund.  It’s a sporting group that put  it on.  They don’t make a profit.  I’m happy for my entry to be a donation to them.  This return to running program will show the Physio and Pauly what I can do.  Proof will be in the pudding.

And today for the first time in what feels like forever but it’s only a few weeks I can really say…

Happy Running 🙂   🙂    🙂

Thank you so much to everyone for your support.  It’s hard to write a running blog when I’m not running but this is all part of it.  I have been particularly humbled by caring comments from readers who don’t usually comment.  They have meant so much to me that I simply can’t put it into words.  Thank you x

18 thoughts on “Slow and steady wins the Rehab Race

  1. I’m so glad to hear of your progress Annie, take care and don’t do too much too soon. Can’t believe you are loving the needles – bravo to you!

  2. OH ANNIEBABES! Improvement is great… baby steps!
    Love that the calves were running with you, how cute is that🐮🐮just typical of them to stop when the camera comes out 😂
    Take care of yourself and heal well. You will be back stronger and mightier 😘😘😘 OH and as for the needles???? #respect

    • Thank you 🙂 tail paint is used a lot in the dairy to mark cows who need different things done…it’s quite scientific. Tail paint comes in two shades: Bovine Blue or Hereford Red hehe 🙂

  3. You captured the reality of running – or any sport, for that matter. Unfortunately we sometimes end up on the disabled list and it really sucks.
    I’m so happy that you feel like you are making progress in your recovery – that’s so important. You have to be able to feel it!!
    I’m still cheering loudly for you because you’ve got what it takes!

    btw – having a paddock of calves running up and down the lane with you would have been hilarious to watch 😀

    • Thanks Joanne, I appreciate your comment and your belief in me. There have been many tears and a full on pity party at times. My boot straps have had a good old tug and I’m trying to stay more positive. The calves are cute but so much work. We have a paddock full of them right outside our bedroom window at the moment. They often come and just stare inside at me. I wonder what they are thinking…

  4. It sounds like progress in the right direction! I’m glad that it’s happening for you, but I can see that it’s happening because you are working so hard at making it happen! Respect to you Annie!😊

      • Sometimes a setback is a springboard to even better things!hopefully in the long run this will have payback in the form of even better running!

  5. Annie I read every word and as much as this is a terrible injury, perhaps you seem a little more human to those of us who could never possibly run at the speeds you have achieved. My guess is that through this tough recovery you will be re-inspiring many. You will be showing others who have been plagued by injuries, who have yet to run anything over 5km that anything is possible. You will be demonstrating that running plans don’t always work out and that it is all right to be flexible. You are busy motivating on your running blog to a much larger group through this latest ‘endeavor’. Stay strong my friend. Happy to see you beginning to run again. One step at a time. xoxo

    • Thank you Sue, your comment makes a lot of sense. It’s funny to think of myself as a speedy runner though because in my group of local runners I am always at the back of the pack. I hope that my story does reach out and encourage others, I’ve been reading so much about injuries and the personal stories are the ones that I relate to so much rather than the full on medical information. Pace isn’t important, it’s running and having a go that counts. Or in your wonderful words, it’s trying. Just trying and not quitting. The Rehab Race continues. I might even get myself a medal made when I’m fully back with ‘Rehab Race Finisher’ on it OR (shhhh) finally get that marathon tattoo I’ve been wanting…what’s a few more needles? 🙂

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