walk before run: a progress report

Walk before run: it’s the natural progression of things. Before running was ever a blip on my radar, I walked. I enjoyed getting out there for brisk strides around my neighborhood, and I always liked walking in cities or downtown areas or even parks for the air, movement and change of scenery.

Now, with my mind and rehab focused on running, walking is back on the table, and I am here for it.

Welcome, to the Runner’s Roundup!

walk before run

When I had my last appointment with the surgeon, he told me I was clear for the (non-spin) bike, the elliptical and swimming. I was, by no means, to attempt walking for exercise.

As the weeks passed, however, the idea of walking at all became easier and more reasonable. I was able to walk without crutches, then without a boot, and now I can even walk around without my brace. Some days, it’s just incredibly uncomfortable and I feel stable enough without it, so I skip it (the surgeon said that was ok, too).

My PTs and I are working on some fundamentals, but the treadmill hadn’t made an appearance in my sessions yet. I know it’s important not to rush things, but walking has been on my mind.

In order to graduate to a place where I can walk before run, I’ve been spending lots of time on my dorsiflexion (as I’ve mentioned), strength, and balance. I repeat exercises at home to reinforce what I’m learning in therapy, and build as often as I feel comfortable.

On Sunday, we took a family trip to a nearby venue to hunt for Pokemon and get some fresh air. There is a half mile path around a beautiful lake, and Mr. PugRunner forged ahead while little man and I caught critters, visited gyms, and did battle. After one lap, I told Mr. PugRunner that I wanted to go again, but this time, with purpose.

I turned on my Garmin, for the first time in forever, and we set out.

The effort was not entirely in vain. While my pace was dismal, I didn’t get winded (which has been a concern), and paid close attention to taking even steps and not limping or dragging my injured leg. At the time, I was not wearing my brace, so I had to be extra mindful of rocks and twigs. All in all, it was a solid effort, and I felt decent when I stopped my watch.

walk before run

On Monday, I shared with the PT what I had done, and she said that was just fine. I was extra motivated and felt like I doubled my efforts that day. I pressed more weight on the shuttle, and I finally balanced on my right foot for 23 seconds (they are looking for 30, but 15-17 has been my limit).

walk before run

Tuesday morning, rather than going to the gym and griping at the elliptical, I decided to try again. I picked a goal landmark and hit the road (brace on, this time). Again, I focused on even weight distribution and not dragging. I could feel my efforts just slightly on the inside of my ankle, as well as in my right hip and my right glute.

But, oh, when I was finished… I can’t quite describe that happiness. I totaled 1.2 miles for the outing, and it was about the best day since the surgeon took off my boot.

walk before run

Things feel rather real now. I am going to keep this up, as best I can. I’m almost halfway to my goal distance, but I don’t want to neglect the rest of my leg. The atrophy has left it a little weak. There’s an opportunity to relearn my running without some of my bad habits (limited strength training, lack of attention to my weak hip, etc) and I want to take advantage.

walk before run

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22 Responses to walk before run: a progress report

  1. Catrina says:

    YES!!!! You’re definitely on your way to running. How nice that your walk went so well on Sunday! And then repeating it again on Tuesday – well, that’s a double-win.
    Well done, I am so happy for you!

  2. I’m so excited for you! It must have felt great to be able to get in that walk. And now as you walk more you will really be able to track your progress as you cover more distance. Yay!

  3. Yay Jenn! Congratulations!!!
    Beckett @ Birchwood Pie recently posted…Weekly Eats: Leftover WeekMy Profile

  4. Look at you back w the Garmin! Nice progress and just remember how far you have come. I am really impressed w all your milestones each week. Forward is a pace!

    • runswithpugs says:

      And of course, now my Garmin is crapping out. So it’s kind of devastating, because that’s a runner’s tool, and now I’m without for a bit. Ugh. Forward is a pace, so here’s to forward faster.

  5. Wendy says:

    I’ve used walking to return to running many times–after pregnancy, surgery, and injury! I use my running playlist and oddly enough, I get the same mental boost from listening to that when I walk as when I run. Great job Jenn and I am so happy you are moving forward!

    • runswithpugs says:

      My biggest return has been after my tonsillectomy, but even with that, I was able to just go out and run. Sure, my endurance and strength were gone, but I didn’t have to worry about injury really. This feels so different in so many ways. I rarely run with a playlist, but maybe I will charge up my headphones and see if that helps.

  6. Darlene S. Cardillo says:

    You are on your way.

    I was not good about following PT advice but I was not mobile as soon as you were. It’s funny how different our recovery was. But I think in the end we will arrive at the same point.

    I remember doing a group walk at work. 2 miles. I had to walk on the grass cuz it hurt and then soak my ankle in a pail of ice. My first run was a 5k race. Ouch. 5 mos after the fall.

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s very interesting to see the differences. I did have to ice after my walk on Sunday, but yesterday, I didn’t swell too badly. I hate icing, so I was glad I could skip it.

      I’m almost at four months, so we will see what happens.

  7. Best news! You’ve made so much progress. It’s all up from here!

  8. Chaitali says:

    That’s great news that you weren’t winded and felt good after the walks!
    Chaitali recently posted…One Pot Thai Curry PastaMy Profile

  9. Awww congrats, mama!! I’m so happy for you! Keep up the good work!

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  11. Huge congrats!!! As you know, walking was my gig almost three years ago when running was sidelined. I grew to have a much bigger respect for it, and the walking served me well by maintaining my endurance. Great job…keep it up!

  12. I know it may feel that progress is slow, but it is progress and you will be back! Small steps = Big gains!
    Debbie Woodruff recently posted…Upgrade Your Post-Run Stretch Routine for Better ResultsMy Profile

  13. Shathiso says:

    I love this! Well done 🙂 This is such good progress and I love that in all this, you get to relearn some bad habits! My mum’s favourite saying was “Nothing is so bad, it’s not good for something”. And this seems to fit here!

  14. Esther says:

    Yahoo! I am so happy for you!
    I remember after my foot surgery how great it was to just walk again!
    Hope you are back to running really soon!

  15. Yay! So much progress lately! I’m so happy for you!

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