Fusion to 5k-Part 9 (Just Add Water?)

After waiting three more weeks and continuing physical therapy twice a week my second attempt at running finally came. This time there were no mountains,forest fires, just 754 ft of sweet, humid central Illinois air. I completed the run, but the pain was coming back in my hamstring/glut insertion. I tried to push through the discomfort for the next two weeks but that only made things worse, so common sense finally kicked in and I stopped running and returned to the ranks of a Nordic walker.

I wasn’t giving up on running, but just needed to get stronger to prevent further setbacks. On August 14th eight months after my surgery and with the encouragement of my PT I decided to head to the ARC pool and give Deep Water Running a shot. My first introduction to water running was in the early 1980s, recovering from a torn plantar fascia and after four months of doing it I came back in the best shape of my life. It had been a few years since I had last water run and my 30-year-old float belt crackled, popped & crumbled when I put it on before hopping in the pool. (Probably time for a new one.)This time I was also using a pair of AQX water running shoes that I was given to wear test a few years ago and decided the extra resistance might be a good idea.

Van with his AQx shoes ready to do battle.

After 36 minutes my legs were tired and calves in full cramp mode so it was time to stop and call it a day. For two weeks I water ran twice a week using the shoes and was so impressed with them that I decided that we needed to sell the AQX shoes at Body n Sole, so I gave the company a call to get the wheels in motion.
While talking to Lisa at AQX, she convinced me that I needed to try out their Zero Gravity Suit to help with my recovery and a week later it arrived at my doorstep. My first thoughts after opening the box was that I would look like a oompa loompa or an adult wearing a kid’s floaty suit, and the strange looks I would get wearing it at the U of I ARC pool. (But if Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning could wear it, I had to put embarrassment aside and give it a try although they probably managed to make it look cool).

Oompa Oompa dippity do – I have a water running workout for you…

As I stepped out onto the pool deck feeling like a puffy super hero, no one seemed to be looking my way so I walked briskly and hopped into the pool. At first I thought the suit would have too much flotation and I wouldn’t get a good workout, but as I started running I found that my running form was better than with the float belt and checking my heart rate it was 10 beats higher than normal.

Water running with the AQX suit

Getting out of the pool 50 minutes later my legs were trashed and all my doubts about the suit were erased. Later that week Dr. Gary Killgore, the President and one of the founding partners of AQx called me at home to see how I was doing and if I had any questions about the suit or shoes. After our conversation, I hope in the future to get the opportunity to participate in one of his instructor training clinics and further expand my knowledge of deep water training.

While all of this was going on, I found out my PT Heather that had been working with me since the beginning was leaving to work for another company and I would have to get another therapist. I asked if there was a PT closer to my home and it turned out that Kim Hardin with Carle Sports Medicine had an office at the U of I ARC building where I was water running. (Sometimes things happen for a reason) During my first appointment with Kim she reevaluated me and asked about the water running I was doing and the kind of workouts I was doing. She gave me a list of exercises she wanted me to include during my water running and also a new routine for my strength and flexibility program. I gave her the DVD that Gary had sent me to review and see any of the exercises would be appropriate for me to do. It turned out that several of the exercises she had originally given me were on the DVD as well as some new ones that she hadn’t listed but approved of for me to add at a later time.
To be continued………..

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About runvan26

Endurance Athlete & Avid Fly Fisherman
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