Susan Giordano didn’t start running until she was in her 50s. As a single parent of two young boys, she was looking for a way to keep up with their energy levels and running seemed like a good fit. A decade later, she’s completed the Trials Legacy Marathon (a recreation of the first women’s Olympic marathon trials held in Olympia in 1984), the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, Alaska, a dozen or more half-marathons, three 25K trail race and numerous shorter rung. She’s also a member of Olympia’s Guerilla Running Club. “Running is really important to me,” says Giordino, now 62. “It’s my social circle, my sanity and my health all wrapped into one.”
When her ability to run has been threatened by injury over the years, she’s turned to one reliable source to help her get back on the trail: Penrose Physical Therapy. Owner Jennifer Penrose and her staff have helped Giordano recover from hip pain, plantar fasciitis, a torn meniscus in her knee that required surgery, a pulled hamstring, and a torn ligament in her ankle.
“One of the things I really appreciate about Jennifer is that she’ll look at the whole picture, not just the issue that’s bothering you,” says Giordano. “She puts me on a treadmill and videotapes my form, looking for weaknesses or anything that might have caused the injury to happen. Then she gives me tools to prevent it from happening again.”
Aside from exercises to recover from injury, Penrose also prescribes ways to strengthen areas around the problem. “I learned that once you pull your hamstring, it’s much easier to re-injure it,” says Giordano. “Jennifer’s given me tools to strengthen around it.”
As important as the physical component of therapy is, the mental aspect also has an impact, particularly for an older athlete. “I’ve had people tell me I shouldn’t be running at my age,” says Giordano. “Jennifer is great about encouraging me and letting me know there’s no reason for me to stop.”
If you have any sort of ongoing pain that’s interfering with your ability to do what you love, don’t wait to have it checked out, she advises. “One of the reasons my relationship with Penrose has been so successful is because I don’t wait for a nagging problem to become a serious injury. It can throw off your whole form or cause some other problem.”
If Penrose isn’t available, other members of her staff can help. “They’re all just really awesome there,” says Giordano. “I’ve seen some of the others and they’re great about coming up with options. I’m impressed with the whole organization.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Penrose team, visit the Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy website or call them at 360-456-1444.