Christina Ross is a CARA member and Rush PT client. Below is her personal story of training for the Chicago Marathon and how RUSH PT helped her along the way.
I have volunteered at water stations for the Chicago Marathon for many years. I was turning 60 in 2020 and I thought it would be an adventure to be on the other side of the water stations. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon as well as CARA to train. I was trained in classical dance and I was not much of a runner so I thought a marathon was out of reach. I knew I needed to be with a group for guidance and support to train. I was really disappointed when Chicago 2020 was canceled, but I decided to keep up running during the pandemic on my own.
Unfortunately, I guess I overdid it during the lockdown period and found myself with several
running problems. I had foot soreness from an ankle sprain and recurring IT band tightness on my longer runs. My podiatrist referred me to RUSH Physical Therapy because there were two therapists that he felt knew how to treat runners. The therapist I ended up working with was Claire Remec.
I worked with Claire off and on for months to help me get stronger and run pain-free. Claire is a marathoner, so she knows how to treat runners’ issues first-hand. Knowing I wanted to run
Chicago in 2021 really kept me motivated to keep up with the physical therapy sessions. The
work paid off because I finished my first marathon in 2021!
In looking back I am fortunate that I sought out medical advice from my podiatrist because he
pushed me toward physical therapy. I encourage anyone who is starting to have recurring aches and pains during running to seek advice from a professional early and take the time to complete a proper care plan. I highly recommend Claire. I sent my husband, who is an avid marathoner, to her and he was impressed. If you stick with the care plan, you are more likely to be back to sustained running.
Questions for Claire Remec, physical therapist at RUSH Physical Therapy
1) Tell us a little about Christina's journey back to running with the support of RUSH PT.
a. Christina has come in with a few injuries over the years, as many runners will have many different injuries, and she is such an excellent patient. She is so diligent with her home exercise program which is a vital component to physical therapy. She started as a patient, the most recent course, with a tendinopathy of the lower leg. The majority of her pain was caused by weakness and improper shoe wear. She had been training with a racing shoe which was not allowing her ankle stabilizing muscles to contribute to her running form. After changing shoes, addressing her balance and improving her ankle strength, Christina was on her way back to running pain-free within no time.
2) What advice do you have for other runners returning to running after injury?
a. If you have a minor ache or pain with running, don't ignore it. If you treat it early you can prevent it from spiraling into something worse. With Christina, if we had not changed her shoes, had she waited until a month before the marathon, likely it would have been too late to address the shoe wear and she would have had a painful marathon. There are many band-aids and quick fixes that can be done with injuries that occur close to the marathon. However, it is best to avoid this to prevent future injuries and worsening of symptoms.