I put off writing this post, skipping what should have been training plan updates on my path to the Oakland Half Marathon in 5 weeks. I kept hoping everything would right itself, and I’d be able to post a great update and mention off hand that I’d taken a few days off for some pain in my hip, but now all was well.
Sadly, that’s now what this post is about. I haven’t run in two weeks. Three Thursdays ago now, I did a killer workout. 6 long hills (0.2 miles each) at 5k pace, straight up into the Berkeley hills. The whole workout totally kicked my butt, but in a good way, I thought. I wasn’t able to hold 5k pace for the whole of each hill, but I definitely pushed my hardest on each repeat. When I woke up the next morning I was super sore, but in a good “hey you worked really hard!” kind of way.
Friday is always a rest day for me, and I was grateful for the couch time. I was still sore on Saturday, so I moved my long run to Sunday and took two rest days, all the while thinking I was being very responsible. I ran my 11 miles on Sunday, and everything felt fine. My run was no kinds of fast; I did it in just under 2 hours, but I felt perfectly comfortable.
Then Monday morning, I woke up limping. I felt like my left hip (the villain in this story) was an inch higher than my right hip. Just walking felt strange. My hip hurt, and pain radiated down my left quad. I knew there was no way I’d be running, so I went to yoga, and spent the next few days stretching, icing, and foam rolling. When it seemed no better days later, I went to my doctor. She diagnosed me with a strained hip flexor and sent me home with some stretches.
(My cats like to bite chunks of foam out of the foam roller and bat them around the house. I’m constantly picking up blue foam everywhere I go. I never said my pets were normal.)
Since then, I’ve been stretching and using all kinds of other recovery techniques. An A.R.T. session helped a lot, but I still feel crooked. I have an appointment this morning for some more A.R.T. and an evaluation with a physical therapist that I hope will solve my problem.
In the mean time, I’ve been riding my bike a lot more, and heading to spin class several times a week on top of that. The bike doesn’t seem to bother my hip or quad, and I’m grateful for that. With any luck I won’t lose too much fitness during this period. Oakland is still five weeks away, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to run it. I am sad though; knowing my training was going so well and then having to halt it is incredibly frustrating.
I’m just trying to remind myself that this is the right, responsible thing to do. I’ve run through injuries before, never with good results. This is also the first injury where I’ve known positively I shouldn’t be running on it. These days the most running I’m doing is 6 steps down my hallway to assess the situation. When those six steps feel unstable, I know 6 miles would be a really bad idea.
Have you ever recovered quickly from a freak injury? Please cheer me up with your story!