Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recovery Hike #1: Presidential Rail Trail, Appalachia to Randolph East. 1/20/2014

1.8 miles roundtrip with perhaps 30 feet of elevation gain.

One of the many great aspects of New Hampshire's White Mountains is the diversity of the trails.  Most of the trails are rocks, boulders, and roots -- but there are quite a few tame and flat paths out there too.  Today, I decided to take my injured gam to the Presidential Rail Trail (just west of Gorham).  This trail is wide, flat, long, and never comes close to going up a mountain.  Most hikers avoid it, but for me and my Iliotibial Band Syndrome, it was the perfect terrain.

The long and unwinding Presidential Rail Trail

Note -- I have yet to see a specialist (my first appointment is next week).  In other words, I hiked today on the advice of no one.  If you have ITBS, then follow your doctor's orders and don't exercise before you're sure you're ready.  In other words, I took a risk today.  My mind desperately needed my body to get back into the woods, though...so I feel the venture was worthwhile.

I stayed off my leg as best I could this past week, and I've been doing these excellent stretches.  There has been significant improvement in day-to-day leg function.  Walking these 1.8 flat miles, however, was challenging.  I walked normally from Appalachia to Randolph East, but the return trip was not so easy.  The pain reappeared and I had to slow my pace.  When I got home, I put my leg up for a couple of hours and took some ibuprofen.  My muscles now feel like I hiked ten miles instead of barely two.

I'm thrilled to have gotten out of the house and into the woods, though, and I don't mind the less-than-killer mileage.  An injured gal has to start somewhere.


Cumulus said...

Oddly enough, none of those stretches are the one I do for my ITB tendon.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Cumulus, if you would like to share a link that demonstrates your stretches, then please do so! I am always looking for other options. I figure the more stretches, the better.

Cumulus said...

I don't have a link -- I first got it from a blogger's description -- but what it is is this:
Sit on the ground with the leg you want to stretch straight out. Put your other leg over that one so that the knee is on top of the knee. Lean forward until it hurts a little bit. You'll feet the ITB tendon stretching. Stay there for a count of ten. Repeat until the ITB tendon is no longer tight, which can be from one to, I don't know, maybe ten iterations. It's usually about four. Do the whole thing again with the other leg.

This has helped me. This and wearing metal reinforced cloth knee braces (which I call knee tubes).

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

What an excellent stretch - very easy and extremely effective. Thank you!!