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Erin's Blog Half Marathon

Each week that I get ready to do my long training run for the Colfax Half Marathon, I say, “This will be the longest run I have done since August of last year.”  And each week when I successfully complete the run, pain free, I am able to say, “That was the farthest I have run since August of last year.”  It is a good feeling being able to say that my distances are increasing and even better that I am able to say that I am running without pain.
Fourteen years ago, I tore my hamstring while attempting to water ski.  Not being an active person at the time, I didn’t think about seeing a doctor or physical therapist.  It was manageable to live with given my lack of activity.  Fast-forward twelve years.  As I became more involved in triathlons, marathons and long distance biking, the scar tissue from the hamstring tear became a hindrance.  My stride became shorter, my strength decreased and the nerves in my lower leg were being affected.  I finally got to a point where I was facing stopping all intense activity or do something to hopefully repair the fourteen year old injury.
I was skeptical that repairing the injury was even possible.  August of 2013 I began seeing Lauren Binder at Cherry Creek Wellness center.  Lauren is a physical therapist with experience working with athletes and patients suffering from neurological conditions.  She loves to empower her patients with the knowledge and skills to return to a symptom-free life.   Lauren had addressed my injury from several angles.  She has used Trigger Point Dry Needling, manual muscle and joint manipulation and video treadmill analysis.  Lauren gave me strength exercises to do that have helped to strengthen the hamstring, glutes and core muscles.  Our ultimate goal has been to get me back to running pain free.  In the process of getting to this goal however, I have found that I am pain free in just my every day activities.  Bending down to tie my shoes, sitting, getting in and out of my car.  Simple movements that should be effortless, but for me they used to be uncomfortable, to say the least.
The more I progress, the more I start to wonder, how many people live with an everyday pain that is completely treatable.  How many people run just a few times a week with a tweak in their back?  How many people pick up their children with a twinge in their shoulder?  So many extreme athletes, weekend warriors and active parents live with discomfort that is unnecessary, but they don’t think it is necessary to treat.  Before seeing Lauren, I thought that I could fight through the pain and that only major surgery would ever help.  I didn’t expect that physical therapy was enough, or even accessible to me.  I viewed it as something only for high performing, competitive athletes or for those that have just gone through major surgery.
Not only are my sessions with Lauren helping to get me back to the activities I enjoy, they are getting me back to a pain free-everyday life.  Cherry Creek Wellness Center has such a comfortable, unintimidating atmosphere.  Lauren has discovered what works for me both in and out of the gym and has tailored a plan for me.
The Colfax Half Marathon is less than a month away.  I cannot wait to say that I completed the run pain free.  If I hadn’t taken the steps to rehabilitate my hamstring through physical therapy, I know I wouldn’t have even thought to sign up for the race, let alone think about completing it.