Yikes. How did the race sneak up on me like that? Oh yes, I was pretending it didn’t exist so that I’d have lots of time for my crazy injury to heal. I wish I could say I was 100%, but I fear 80% is a little closer. Still, I ran 7 miles successfully on Saturday morning. I don’t have any specific pain to complain of, but my running still feels just a little “off.” I’ve decided if I can run 10 miles this coming weekend, then I will run Oakland for fun. Looking back on this week (my first attempt at regular running since the injury), I’m surprised to see the miles add up to 18. Maybe I can get back on track for Oakland in three weeks.
My doctor diagnosed me with a strained hip flexor three weeks ago. This came after the excellent combination of an intense 7 mile hill workout (6x 0.25 mile hill repeats) followed up with an 11 mile run. I had no acute moment of injury; in fact after the 11 miler I didn’t feel like anything was out of the ordinary. When I woke up the next morning, however, I found myself noticeably limping into the kitchen. No amount of stretching could solve the problem. My left hip seemed determined to hover a full inch higher than my right.
My doctor very helpfully diagnosed a strained hip flexor and sent me off. So often I wish I had a sports medicine doctor as my primary care. The problem with the injured hip was really that the other muscles in my left leg were having to compensate. This explained the pain that radiated through my quad when I tried to run and even the pain in my lower back when I sat down too long. Unfortunately, the constantly moving pain was a tricky thing to pin down, and I felt that every time I went into the PT clinic I was complaining of a slightly different injury.
While I wasn’t running, I was going to yoga like my life depended on it. I regularly take lunch classes at Square One Yoga, which is a cozy and comfortable studio that I love. I supplemented this regular 4 days a week habit with hot yoga at Core Power Berkeley. Core Power also offers spin classes (with dynamic bikes that allow you to steer side to side). So instead of counting my days in miles, I counted them in classes. One vinyasa flow lunch class at Square One teamed up with a Yoga sculpt class and then a Ryde class at CorePower to try to keep my hip stretched out and make sure I didn’t lose too much cardio conditioning.
The combination of yoga and PT has helped, and I guess the Ryde classes helped with the cardio conditioning, too, since I didn’t want to die after this weekend’s 7 miler. Unfortunately though, my running gait just felt off. Not crooked, not painful, just not quite smooth and normal. I’m going to keep the yoga/ryde/running combination up for the next week and see how things feel. I’m disappointed to not have been able to train as well as I wanted for this half marathon. A month ago I ran a 13.1 mile long run in 2:06 without any special effort. I wish the race had been the week after that long run! That said, I’d still love to be able to run Oakland for fun with the many friends I have who will be there. I’ll just have to find another half marathon to race as soon as I’m fully healed.