This week was 22,000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.
Besides the swimming, I also did a bit of walking - the goal here was just to start reintroducing activity to my legs without the impact and stress of running. I also test drove the arc-trainer on Sunday to see if it aggravated anything. It didn't seem to, so I'll try more this coming week.
As one can see, a large part of my daily schedule has been rehab exercises. What does that mean?
Well...two of my biggest exercises are:
1) What I call "bridges on the ball". Take an exercise ball, and position yourself so that your shoulderblades are on the ball while your feet are on the floor, with knees bent at 90 degrees. Your torso and thighs should be parallel to the floor.
That's pretty easy, right? Should be. But...what makes this tricky is to start marching, lifting one leg or the other while keeping your torso stable. Basically, you do the first exercise shown here.
This one was about impossible for me at first, but I've gotten much better at it (I've been practicing a lot the past few weeks).
2) Eccentric hamstring bridges. The better term for these is probably bridge walks - there's a good description of them here (second exercise). You start in a normal bridge position - feet and back on floor, glutes contracting to raise your hips off the ground. Then you take alternating "steps" with each foot, marching out until you are nearly prone. Then march back in.
Over the last few days, I've gotten to where this exercise is totally comfortable and easy (I do 2 sets of 10 twice a day). So, per my PT's instruction, in the next few days I'm going to introduce eccentric hamstring ball curls. A video demonstrating the general idea is here - the only difference is that instead of lifting my hips up with my legs straight, as he does in the video, I'll lift up with my knees bent, so that I'm in a bridge position. Then extend the legs out by straightening the knees (this is the eccentric part), lower my hips to the grounds, and pull the ball back in.
As for whether the PRP is helping? I'm past that first two weeks stage where it makes things the same or worse, so hopefully I should see steady, measured improvement. I'm seeing glimpses here and there - feeling better when I get out of bed in the morning, for example. And my massage therapist raved over how good my left hamstring felt - a good sign.
The other area I had treated was my right foot. I got two shots targeting the ligaments on the outside of my ankle, which are very loose. You don't really think of flexibility as a problem, but in my case it apparently is.
More specifically, the looseness of the ankle ligaments means that more stress gets placed on all the tendons (especially when I wear shoes with a higher heel-toe drop and/or more cushioning - all that stuff just adds more lateral forces/instability to the ankle). The result of the loose ligaments was exactly what I dealt with - a bit of every type of tendonitis in the foot/ankle. The hope is that the PRP will tighten up the ligaments and prevent recurrence. So far the ankle does feel stiffer, and that's a good thing. The acid test will be when I run again.