Physical Therapy Results

December 16, 2012

I finally got in with the physical therapist (pt) this week, and it was kind of what I expected. He prescribed two exercises for me to do to strengthen my glute. I have known it was weak since this spring, and I have been doing strengthening exercises for it about twice a week, but maybe the exercises I was doing weren’t actually strengthening it?? I don’t know, but I am going back to see him on Monday and have him do some “dry needling,” which is not to be confused with acupuncture apparently. Has anyone done dry needling or know anything about it?

The one good thing that the pt told me is that I can keep running!! He said not to do more than the 12 or so miles a week I have been running, but I may have run 18 miles this week. I know; I’m a rebel.

Picture taken prior to running Saturday morning in 4*F weather. I was hoping the bitter cold temperatures were over for a little while, but no such luck. (And, no, I did not cut my hair.)


I ended up running a whole 5 miles, which is a long run for me these days. It was kind of tough. I’d better get my butt in gear for Boston! I did have some glute pain throughout the run, but it comes and goes throughout my runs.

After running, I went to the gym and walked on the treadmill at 3.0 mph at a 15% incline. The physical therapist said I need to do more cardio if I want to get ready for Boston by April. (I knew I should be doing more cardio, but running is really the only type of exercise where I feel as though I get a true cardio workout—swimming would be up there.) So I did this workout on the treadmill for 30 minutes since this is what the pt prescribed. It was challenging, but still not the cardio workout I get by running.

Picture taken after my run Saturday morning.


When I got home on Saturday, I was very hungry. I have this breakfast about four times a week. I love it for the combination of carbs + protein and the hot + cold aspects. I know it doesn’t look appetizing but it sure hits the spot.

– Spinach protein smoothie with instant coffee

– Original oatmeal made in the microwave with raisins and brown sugar


I just finished this container of Jillian Michaels protein powder. I usually try to get plant-based proteins, but I got a recommendation from a friend for this kind, so I decided to give it a try. I am not opposed to whey proteins. My sister, who is an RD (registered dietician) claims whey protein is better anyway. (I’m not sure ‘better’ in what way—more easily absorbed? better for building muscle? Kristy, maybe you can clarify in the comments below.)

Anyway, I liked this protein powder. It wasn’t my favorite, but I often craved the creamy texture and vanilla flavor after my morning runs.


I also finally made my way through this container of vanilla chai Vega protein powder. I had heard some good reviews about this flavor, but I was not a fan from the start. The vanilla chai flavor was too odd for me, so I am very glad it is finally gone. (I reviewed more protein powders in this post.)


Saturday afternoon I treated myself to a facial. I had a certificate for half off a facial at Glaze Nail Bar. I really do love Glaze, but I just wish they weren’t quite so expensive! I had a 30 minute facial with Melissa, and it was awesome. I would highly recommend Melissa for a facial. I had a facial about 6 years ago, which I didn’t think was anything special, but I would go back again for services here. . . . . .if it wasn’t quite so expensive. I’m cheap.IMG_1680

Friday at work, I was a nerd and dressed up in my best holiday apparel. People were supposed to wear a holiday sweater/sweatshirt, but everyone was holding me to a higher standard since I dressed up as Christmas tree the week before. I did my best, but it didn’t compare to the Christmas tree. I tried. I made my own candy cane striped socks with red electrical tape. I am hoping ProCompression gets some more of their Marathon Holiday socks in stock, so I can order the real thing.


Weekly Fitness Recap

Monday: 3 mile run/ 29:40 + 30 minutes weight lifting

Tuesday: 3 mile run/27:30 + 30 minutes weight lifting

Wednesday: 10 minutes stationary bike, 30 minutes weight lifting

Thursday: 4 mile run/ 39:40

Friday: 30 minutes elliptical, 35 minutes weight lifting

Saturday: 5 mile run/45:00 + 30 minutes walking on the treadmill (15% incline at 3.0 mph)

Sunday: 3 mile run/27:00



What is your favorite protein powder?

How do you like to pamper yourself?

    1. I really like plain hemp protein powder, but for flavored stuff, we are making our way thru some sun warrior raw vegan vanilla powder that is pretty tasty. I’m a little squishy on stevia, and a lot of the flavored powder has it.. I’ll probably stick with mostly hemp if I can.

      1. Awesome! I was *just* getting ready to order this from Amazon. I’m not a big fan of stevia either. I’ll put hemp protein powder on my list next.

    1. Hi, Michelle! This is Jess Nelsen, Peggy Hicks’ friend. I ran with you and Peggy for a few minutes once this last summer. 🙂 Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I have had dry needling done. It was by Alec Kay, a PT up here. Is that who you’re seeing? If not, and you decide you want to make a switch, I HIGHLY recommend him. He has helped me through plantar fasciitis and a hip injury. He is an accomplished runner himself, so he knows what he’s talking about. Anyway, dry needling, in my experience, is a little painful, but nothing major. If you can handle acupuncture, you can handle dry needling (I’ve experienced both). I had a few sessions of it done, and it didn’t do remarkable things for me, but it may help you, of course. I just wanted you to know that it’s nothing to be worried about. I loathe needles, so I was pretty nervous about it! Good luck! I feel for you, not being able to run as much as you want to. I know how awful that is. Take care! 🙂

      1. Hey Jess! Good to hear from you. I am seeing Alec for my glute problems because it seems *every* runner recommends him. I was a little disappointed in my appointment with him; he seemed so uninterested in trying to help me. :/ I do go back today and hope the dry needling isn’t too painful. I’m not too worried. Did you like acupuncture? Did it help you? If the dry needling didn’t help you, what did?

        1. Oh, I’m so sorry that he didn’t come across as eager to help. In my experience, he is rather laid back, but I never felt like he didn’t care. Maybe he was having an off day? The dry needling didn’t do much, but it was after many weeks of my having done the strength exercises that Alec prescribed (for my hip pain) and I was already much better. Alec just wondered if dry needling would be helpful in eradicating that last little bit of irritation. Strengthening my core seemed to be the answer for my hip pain and even now, when it flares up a tiny bit, if I work on core strengthening exercises, it goes away. That and stretching my hip tensor really well.

          As for acupuncture, I tried it a couple of years ago when I was desperate for help to deal with a very acute case of plantar fasciitis. I think it DID help, but I could only afford to go a few times (my insurance didn’t cover it), so I wasn’t able to get the benefit I could have. It was rather amazing: the doctor that did it (her first name is Bertha and she worked in the same office as Alec — I can’t think of her last name. She’s Chinese, though…maybe it was Tien? If I think of her name, I’ll send it to you. She was so fun and friendly. Peggy went to her too and also loved her.) showed me a map of the ear and a place on the ear that corresponds to the heel. As soon as she put a needle in that spot on my ear, I felt a lovely bloom of warmth on my heal, right where my pain was. It was crazy! So, it might be worth a try for you.

          Okay, I’ll stop rambling. My treadmill is calling my name since it’s -6 degrees outside. Blegh!

          Good luck!

          1. Thanks for the detailed response! I do have to say my appointment with Alec was much better today. He seemed more interested. (Was he always late to your appointment? I’ve had to wait 15 and 20 minutes after my appointment was supposed to start.) I’m hoping the strengthening exercises I’m doing for my hip/glute will clear up the problem as well. The dry needling wasn’t that bad. One spot hurt more than the others, but it still wasn’t all that bad. Acupuncture is expensive! Although, I’ve been having to pay out of pocket for PT since I haven’t met my deductible, so it actually ends up being the same price per minute. :/ Um, yeah. -9 wasn’t so pleasant to run in this morning.

            1. Oh, I’m so glad your appointment went well today! In my limited experience, the strengthening exercises Alec prescribes really do the trick, as long as you’re diligent about doing them. I got rather tired of them, though. 🙂 As for Alec being late, yeah, I think he was generally a few minutes late, but it seems like EVERY doctor I go to is late! And you are one tough chick for going running outside this morning. I was so grateful for my treadmill today, although I much prefer running outside. I just didn’t feel like wearing ten layers just to prevent frostbite. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that your glute heals soon and you can resume your impressive weekly mileage! 🙂

            1. I probably just noticed the tardiness more because I had to get back to work at a certain time. Seriously, I might have to resort to the treadmill more this winter if these temperatures keep up!

    1. The redleader tag is one of my husband’s video game names…sorry. This is Jess again, in case you weren’t sure. 🙂

    1. How great that you can still run! I have the same vanilla whey protein as you do, but haven’t tried many types so I really don’t know how it compares in taste. Brr to 4*!

      1. Yes, I am very glad he didn’t say I couldn’t run at all. It probably helps that he, himself is a runner, so he gets it. 😉

    1. Hi there. I am a PT who is certified in dry needling. I have found it really helps my pts with chronic overuse trigger point pain as well as acute pain from musculoskeletal injury. This is only an adjunct treatment though. Probably should make sure your core is very strong as well as weightbearing hip strengthening exercises. Best of luck in Boston, and don’t increase your mileage too rapidly!

      1. Thanks for the comment! I think I’m pretty good about doing core work 2-3 times a week. When you say ‘weightbearing hip strengthening exercises,’ what would be some examples? squats? lunges? or something else?

    1. I am a physical therapist is laguna hills, CA ( and have worked with many runners of all levels. Not knowing what your symptoms are, and how they are manifesting during your training, it is difficult to give exact information. If you care, you can describe further, as I would like to help. I trained at Mayo in physical therapy. Cold was too much so I headed back home to the warm climes of southern california.

      1. That’s awesome that you trained at Mayo. I applied to go to PT school there but was rejected. :/ I seriously need to move some place warmer some day! I’m going to try and do a blog post in a couple of days explaining all my symptoms and what’s been happening. I’ll solicit some advice through that blog post, so please comment when that post goes up!

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