Since Monday this is what I've been up to:
Tuesday - Elliptical 45 min
Wednesday - Elliptical 45 min then PT in the late morning.
PT was cool. I got to go to the running clinic. They had me racewalk on a treadmill with force plate sensors so that they could track the force on each part of my foot through the whole gait. It was quite informative. In addition, the PT did the standard exam to measure muscle strength, etc.
1) My gluteus medius, abductors, and external rotators are weak in my hips. No surprises there, since I've slacked on my strength training. Drat. This injury thing is preventable if I'm not stupid and have time to train properly. (That's easier said than done...).
2) I'm not engaging my core effectively when I walk.
3) 1) and 2) result in gait problems, including a) excessive hip drop, b) crossing the midline with each stride, c) too much trunk rotation.
4) I also have a shortened stride on my right leg and less toe-off on right foot. This is possibly related to my current injury to the piriformis.
So now I have a big list of exercises to do daily, plus a "return to running" (or racewalking!) plan.
Today - on the return to racewalking plan, I did 6 x (4 min walking then 1 min racewalking) for a total of 30 min. Piriformis felt a bit sore but I was able to do it. I concentrated a lot on my form esp on activating glute med and on activating my core, as the PT suggested. After that I took the kids to school and then went to PT again before work. The PT assistant checked my form on the exercises and then did soft tissue work on the piriformis area. I think it helped a lot - it felt a heck of a lot better when he finished. Interestingly, he didn't work it to the point of pain. He just skillfully used his implements (a tray of metal tools that looks like something from a medieval torture rack) to massage the problem area and surrounding tissues.
Later tonight I'll have to hit the gym for some cardio and finish my exercises, as we only did a few in PT.