My alarm went off way too early. 6am. 

A month ago I was used to getting up between 5:30 and 6am every other day for my morning run. I had an internal alarm clock and it just went off and I was up. 

I haven't been running because I physically have not been able to. I hate it. 

At the beginning of August my plantar fasciitis flared up so I took a couple weeks off. My PF is manageable and I wasn't worried about it at all. When we got back from Bermuda my feet were feeling really good so I went out for my usual 3 mile easy run. After just 1/2 mile I felt something pulling at the back of my knee. With each step it got a little worse. I slowed my pace and wondered if it would work itself out. I kept going for a bit, but 1 mile in I had to stop. I couldn't go a step further. I very gingerly turned around and walked home my leg aching with each step. 

For about 10 days it ached and pulled. I was freaking out. I could barely descend my driveway, stairs, or even push a shopping cart. I was icing it, taking max doses of Ibuprofen, resting, and wrapping it. I felt little relief from all the at-home treatment. There were very few days that I felt optimistic about it and I was ready to throw in the towel for Ragnar.  

I was going through my phone one day deleting old notes to myself when I came across a referral my yoga instructor had given me to a sports acupuncturist in Boulder. She recommended this office to me when I hurt my hip back in April and to be honest it seemed a little hokey.

I am a nurse. I believe in medicine, but I also believe in the body's ability to heal itself. I've seen busted and broken bodies bounce back.  I also to a certain extent believe in natural medicine - this won't surprise you if you know my mom. She is somewhat of a witch doctor. My brother's wrestling teams often have referred to her as "The Medicine Woman."

I talked to a lot of friends about acupuncture. My mom fell off a ladder once and broke a wrist. She was a painter and after her initial recovery she couldn't even hold a paintbrush. She did acupuncture after lots of therapy and it completely healed her hand. 

Another friend had a similar knee injury. She didn't do acupuncture but did dry needling with her physical therapist and she bounced right back. 

I looked up the office online. Only good reviews and a Groupon deal popped up. After talking to our insurance company (not even close to meeting our deductible) I felt this was the way to go as opposed to going to a doctor - having him tell me to stay off it, referring me to PT and spending weeks in therapy.  I don't have time for that. 

I called the acupuncturist and talked to him about the injury. He was confident that he could get me back running. He works on sports related injuries, is an avid cycler (like everyone else in Boulder) and has seen and treated many many people just like me. 


The next thing I know I'm lying on a table with needles in my ears. 


And in my legs. The session was an hour. He put stimulators on my knee and ultrasound then dry needled my muscles in my quads, IT band, high on my calf, gluteus, and hamstrings. It was crazy feeling my muscles kick then relax as all the tension was released. I made another appt and he told me I'd be achy the rest of the day, to take it easy, then go for a light run the next morning. And holy hell I was so sore! I could barely walk.

I found myself waking to that 6am running alarm the next morning - still a little achy.

I could see the sunrise peeking over the horizon as the windows in my room began to glow hot orange - it was beckoning me. Time to run. I stretched my PF, jumped up, threw my clothes on and got out the door to really enjoy it.

I walked to a dirt road nearby then slowly picked up my pace as I carefully ran down the path and back home.

1 mile.

1 slow mile with that beautiful sunrise.

I was worried the entire time my knee would begin to pull and it just...didn't. I felt weak and afraid, but no pain. No big deal.

Friday morning came (without a beautiful sunrise) and I went 2 miles.

No pain.

Turns out this Ragnar thing might work out after all.

And it also turns out that I'm a believer in needles.


eryka said...

I'm totally intrigued. My knee is still messed up from when I ran the marathon with Jordan. I miss running. How bad did it hurt?

Clandestine Road said...

That is amazing. I've always wanted to try that, but I just haven't. Great story, eh? :)

I've heard it helps with PF. Are you going to try that? Has taping helped? This tape is amazing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ED8JM8/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (Check out the youtube tutorial.) Ragnor, here you come!

Spring said...

Awesome! Love that this worked for you. Maybe I can convince my husband to do this for his IT bands. Can't wait to hear how Ragnar goes for you! It was the craziest, hardest, most fun thing I've done!

Hayley said...

Eryka - the actual acupuncture barely hurt - i was just really achy the rest of that day

Angela - I'm all over that tape! I still used the method off that video you gave me almost 2 years ago :)

Spring - I was sooo skeptical and from what i hear it gets better and better with each visit.


Woo hoo! So glad this worked for you! That's crazy!


Woo hoo! So glad this worked for you! That's crazy!

Clandestine Road said...

@Hayley--I am so sorry to be so redundant redundant. :) (actually, I am a bit embarrassed.) Glad you're feeling better!

Hayley said...

Angela - you weren't being redundant! :) you just gave me the technique video before. I'm excited for the new tip on this tape. It's in the mail :)

AshDaBell said...

Wow thats crazy! I am so glad it worked and you are feeling better!

Alisha said...

happy you're feeling better. i'm thinking i might try it (after the babe) for my 'too young to feel this way' body.

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