After starting to "run" at 7 months and now being right at 13 months, I understand a bit better both sides of the coin.
I went EXTREMELY easy for the beginning. First, you have to understand that up to that point, I had gotten my long walk up to 6 miles at a very brisk pace every couple of days and was also swimming 2500 meters a couple of days a week and cycling up to 50 miles per ride a couple of days a week. That is all fine and good for general health, but, for me, did NOTHING to prepare the soft tissue for the stresses of running.
At 7 months, I ventured out to try to start running. I would warm up with a walk of a mile to mile and a half and then jog for only 50 yards or so. Then back to walking for a few minutes. Then another short jog, and so on for a total of around 5 miles.. In the beginning this was long walking and just some occasional light jogs for a VERY short distance.
Over the months, I would bring the running distance up a little every couple of weeks. At a couple of months into the running, I started doing 1 minute run, 1 minute walk (after a long warm up walk) for a couple of miles. That would push it. Every time, it would get sore, but some days it would be just the soft tissue complaining and some days it was pretty bad and refused to cooperate. I iced my entire bum, and upper thigh by wrapping big ice packs all around it EVERY TIME. ICING IS CRITICAL FOR RECOVERY!
Since I needed to stretch out the distance for the upcoming event and
there was no way I was going to run the whole thing (I couldn’t run over
a quarter mile at a time without walking), I simply walked a lot more
and ran a little more in the sessions.
I had days where I could
hold an easy run during the sessions for up to 3 miles, but these
sessions were irregular and unpredictable. There were good days and
there were bad days. By 11 1/2 months out from surgery, I got the whole
thing up to a long distance of 13 miles once a week and 6 mile short
sessions in between. The 13 at that point was WAY TOO MUCH. Although I
did have some good sessions right before the race where I ran a lot of
1, 2, and 3, mile segments in the long session, there were some really
bad ones in there too. I could feel that I was just pushing too much too
soon and resigned myself to doing mostly walking in the event run
portion and allowing another year of working on it before I could go out
and really push.
In retrospect, I would definitely do the first 7
months of my rehab exactly the same way. The difference would be that
when I started running again, I would have stretched out the very short
jog period for at least another 3 months. I would have then doubled the
time to gradually slide up the distance and run segment intervals. To
simplify, what I did in 5 months (7 through 12) I would stretch out to
12 months (7 through 19).
The one other thing is that I have read
from other hippies that the illopsoas and psoas can be very painful
after this surgery when pushed to come back and will cause exactly the
deep tissue soreness that I keep getting. A deep tissue expert /
specialist in resolving this is reported to help tremendously. I blew
off PT because I could tell they weren’t specifically knowledgeable
about this operation and were appying a template treatment that was
going to actually do damage (like those leg lifts early on which are a
big NO NO).
Hope that gives some helpful info, but remember the
standard disclaimer: Everyone is different so PLEASE listen to your body
and don’t take others experiences as the way it should go for you. The
body is usually pretty good at telling us what we need to do. We just
suck at listening much of the time. I have the listening part down
pretty well, now I just need to learn to stop arguing with it so much.