ASTYM & adventures in physical therapy

Want to know what sucks?
having crappy, painful runs because my achilles is still being a little bitch.
I finished my prednisone last Friday and started running again this week.
I did 6 miles on Saturday, 3 on Tuesday, and 6 yesterday.
They all pretty much sucked.
So I called Dr. Rich’s office and got myself an appointment.
I was hoping for a miracle injection or some other sort of miracle cure.
Instead, I got an ultrasound and physical therapy.
The ultrasound revealed nothing to crazy. No tears and no evidence of a rupture.
but it did reveal new blood supply… according to Dr. Rich, the achilles tendon is not supposed to have a blood supply. Which means my body IS trying to heal itself.
after my ultrasound, Dr. Rich sent me over to the physical therapy office to see Kirk Jorgenson.
I met Allison, an aide at the office, and she did ultrasound therapy first, to warm up my achilles and get it ready for ASTYM therapy. We chatted about running, favorite races, and how much it sucks to be injured, and how I was terrified of ASTYM. (I’d heard a lot of stories of how BAD it hurts). After I got all heated up, Kirk came in and got to work.
let me tell you…
ASTYM HURTS SO GOOD.
Yes, GOOD.
He used a few different plastic tools, one looked like a shower squeegee (but harder) and one that look a fat shoe horn. and I’m pretty sure he had some sort of skinny tool, like a big pencil (at least, that’s what it felt like). He also used his hands to dig really deep into my achilles and my soleus and my gastroc.
I must have made a sound that sounded like I was in pain, and he asked if I was ok, and I told him he could use his elbow to dig out the inflammation if he wanted… it did hurt, but felt SO good at the same time. After I was done, my achilles felt SO much better. All loosey-goosey and almost normal. 
What is ASTYM??
according to the pamphlet Kirk gave me… ASTYM therapy addresses problems such as scarring, fibrosis and degeneration that occur in soft tissues. These problems develop as the result of trauma, surgery or overuse (i.e. running/training for 3 marathons in a year :/ ). ASTYM uses instruments along the surface of the skin to locate these problem areas and start the body’s healing process.
I have 5 more sessions scheduled.
Hoping that the ASTYM will get rid of the inflammation so I can have a pain free marathon.
Kirk also wants me doing various calf/foot stretches.
lucky for you, I took pictures.
 Arch Towel Stretch
(Kirk gave me some stretchy therapy band thingee to use)
 Calf Towel Stretch
Gastroc stretch
(leg straight, foot flat on the floor)
Soleus Stretch
(knees bent, feet flat)
Supposed to do 5 reps of each stretch for 20 seconds, 3 to 4 times a day.
other instructions include:
-keep working out!
 (but stop when it hurts, at all… so that means little to no running right now, and lots of spin and ellipticizing. Hopefully as therapy progresses, my pain will decrease and I can run more.)
-avoid icing and anti-inflammatory meds if possible
-& drink lots of fluids
Dr. Rich told me to not expect much from this marathon.
He says I’ll be able to run it (which, duh, I know I can run it, regardless if I hurt, I’m RUNNING this marathon), but that it may NOT be a great race and NOT a PR. Which bums me out a bit. I’ve been looking forward to this race for a long time and really want that DAMN sub 4:00 marathon. He did say something like… ‘well, you never know… resting and taking it easy like you have may give you an advantage and the ASTYM will make you hurt less, so you MIGHT have a great race.’
so, at this point, I’m just hoping for a pain free race and gonna hope for the best for a good time, but not gonna be disappointed with my time, regardless of what happens.
So after 2 hours at Utah Valley Sports Medicine and 2 co-pays later… I have a little bit more faith and feeling hopeful that my achilles will stop being a bitch and get better! 😉
In other news…
My Dad finished his first 5k last Saturday!
There were a few guys from his work that were running it too. I designated myself the race photographer and got a few good pics. 🙂
:
Steve (also my Mom’s cousin) running in to the finish.
Pretty amazing since he had knee surgery a year ago and started running during his therapy.
He ran the 5k in 27:18! Took 1st place in his age group (he’s 58!)

Kris ran in at 29:12.

there’s my Mom and Dad!! My mom ran backwards from the finish line to run my Dad in.

Go Dad GO!

Dad doing the airplane to the finish line 🙂

Crossing the finish line in 44:48!!! WAHOO!
He would’ve taken 1st place in his age group but he signed up in the Clydesdale division.
He would’ve been the ONLY one in his age division… but hey, first place is first place. 😉
then in a rush decision, we jumped in the car to go to Midway to watch my boss cross the finish line in the Wasatch 100.
watching the men and women cross was SO incredible.
they don’t even really look tired! It’s insane!
they all come across with HUGE smiles on their face!
I have to admit that I felt like a big ol’ poser in my nike tempo shorts and marathon finisher shirt. We were surrounded by these crazy awesome trail runners, who are covered head to toe in trail dust and mud, and I’m in my new shoes (which are still stark white-since they haven’t seen the road-only the treadmill) and I just felt like the biggest douche wearing my marathon shirt… what’s 26.2 miles compared to 100?!
puts things in perspective for sure! 🙂
Anywho… It was awesome being there when my boss crossed the finish line. We got to chat with his family and I was able to take lots of pictures, since all they had was his iphone to take pics. 😉
He finished in 29 hours 41 minutes!!!
he took 5 hours off of his time from last year! 5 HOURS!
Wanna know what he said when he crossed? “That was so much fun!”
I’m convinced he’s half mountain goat. seriously.
and maybe half crazy.
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8 thoughts on “ASTYM & adventures in physical therapy

  1. Julia says:

    ASTYM = brutal. omg. I had a love/hate relationship with that scraping tool. Its true…i felt SO good after but during I wanted to scream and strangle the PT. haha! I hope this helps…dont count yourself out yet…you never know what will be possible come race day :)Your dad is seriously the cutest! congrats to him!and your boss!?! holy amazing! soooo cool that you got to go watch him cross the finish! i bet that was incredible!

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  2. Amylee says:

    Super random: I did a 6 mile run that went right past the finish for the Wasatch 100. My friend and I were tempted to run through the finish until we found out how long the run was- there was no way we could pass for having run 100 miles!!!! Along the way there were people clapping and cheering for us and taking pictures. Ha :)ASTYM will work miracles for you!!! I think you’re right to keep your expectations low, but you never know- you could have a miracle! I didn’t run for the 2 1/2 weeks before my marathon, so Saturday I felt so fresh and so excited to run, and I totally achieved the goal I had set for myself.So, I guess what I’m saying is- you never know! I have faith in you and in therapy. It is totally worth those stupid co-pays!

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  3. Jen says:

    I’m so sorry about your injury!!! I really hope that everything your doing works wonders. And really, you may just be surprised by what some rest will do for you! Your boss is amazing. Seriously, that kind of endurance is out of my realm of understanding. But it’s so cool and I so hope I can do something similar someday!

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  4. Ann says:

    Okay. I realized I never commented on this blog, but ASTYM sounds RIDICULOUS!! I’m glad it’s providing some relief, and I hope you continue to feel better and run the marathon! I’m sending LOTS of healing thoughts from Minnesota!!!

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