Though I woke up with a touch of soreness in my left leg, a breakthrough: I was able to stand on my left leg with no problem while putting on clothes, which I have not been able to do without difficulty for two weeks.
Yesterday, wearing compression shorts and the groin leg brace, I did attempt a bit of actual running… not a full run but about 4 sustained minutes during a break, more than the brief jogs across the street I’ve managed here and there. It was slow going and I did feel a mounting pressure/soreness so I stopped at 4 minutes and walked (pain free) the rest of the way.
However, during lunch, I had a different breakthrough. I noticed that if I ran with a fast cadence that I didn’t feel any pain at all. It was only when my cadence was a slow jog that the pain or stiffness began to build. I went on an extended walk where I put this to the test a few times, without any pain.
The obvious caveat to this is that I can’t run long at that velocity without beginning to tire because the effort is more anaerobic. It’s similar to the earlier problem I mentioned, where I basically can go fine in 4th gear and higher but it’s the starting 1st-3rd gears where I have problems. But still, being able to run without pain, let alone fast, is better than not being able to run at all.
Last night’s elliptical training went off without a hitch. I didn’t use the groin strap for this, and was able to go a full solid hour even though I was somewhat tired.
Now, being able to actually balance on the leg without trouble, I’m going without the compression shorts for the first time in about a week, plus no groin strap. I’ll play by ear whether or not to attempt a run on a work break. The hope is to do one and feel good enough to do one Friday (as Thursday is a scheduled rest day), plus work another long elliptical session tonight after work.
Going forward, at least for now, the plan is to try and do 2-3 key run workouts each week, and surround them with longer elliptical sessions, 60-90 minutes. Depending on how running feels, I may do more long 2+ hour elliptical sessions on the weekends, maybe even a 40-60 minute run and then way more time on the elliptical beyond that for a long workout.
First off, however, I got to make sure I feel better enough to run for any extended period. I’m still at least a few days from that. But this is a big move forward.
As of now, my weekend trip remains on. If I take a turn before Friday and any pain/issues return, perhaps I cancel. But if I continue to progress and am able to run, then I’m going to take the chance to run at cooler altitude.