Here’s what happens when too many “new” things (e.g., new & improved part-time job; new writing clients; new school year, especially with younger child starting Kindergarten) are happening in my life: It starts to feel increasingly frivolous to spend time writing on this blog when there’s so much to do an learn – and children to feed, and help with homework, and cuddle….
What doesn’t help is getting yourself injured and therefore unable to run the October half marathon you were looking forward to. Here’s a recap of what happened.
On Saturday, September 20th, I ran the “Miracles from Maggie” 5K trail race, which I’d written about here. Because that race was on Saturday and I still needed to fit in my long run, I went out the following day and ran a very slow nine miles. I deliberately took Monday as a rest day after those back-to-back workouts, then Wednesday morning, I set out from my house to meet my friends at Lynch Field. But when I started running down the hill, I got some fairly sharp pains around my left hip and headed immediately back home. I took a few more days off, then went for a 4.5 mile run the next Monday without incident. But then the next two times I attempted to run, my hip bothered me either during or afterward.
I decided that maybe I had a “real” problem, so I scheduled appointment with both my spinal care doctor and my orthopedic doctor. I was able to get in with Dr. Tim, my spinal care doctor, almost right away. During my appointment, he bent and stretched me, and poked me all around the area – at my hip and up my left side around my back and abs. And I realized I was sore in places that I didn’t even know were a problem! He helped me with some stretching (standing with feet crossed, reaching over my head and stretching to the side; sideways over a ball) and strengthening (side planks) moves. I wasn’t particularly diligent about doing them, but I at least got a little stretch in every day until the following week when I met the orthopedic doctor. During the week between my appointments, I continued to rest.
I’d been resting from running for a week and a half by the time I went to my appointment with the orthopedic doctor, and by then, I could hardly recall exactly where it had been hurting me. After getting x-rayed (see the sexy, polypropylene shorts I got to wear for x-rays below!) and bent and twisted all around, Dr. Habib told me that he believed that I had just strained a muscle. He said that runners can have hip problem when they’re running on uneven terrain. I think that running the Maggie race (very uneven – and not typical for me – terrain!) maybe caused some issue, and that my long run the very next day pushed me over the edge.
Dr. Habis said that rest is what takes care of muscle strains, recommending 3-6 weeks off – and noting that six weeks would pretty definitely take care of it. But he added, “But I know you’re not going to wait that long.” He’s cool like that – he wasn’t even giving me a hard time. We decided together that I’d wait a few more days, try a slow, short, flat run and see how I felt. And he told me just to be “smart” about it – to not overdo it and to call back to get hooked up with the physical therapist if I had any additional trouble.
Since then, I’ve gone for just a few 1-3 miles runs on flat terrain, and I seem to be fine. WHEW!
So now I need to get my groove back but also make sure that I don’t end up re-injuring myself. In my last post, I’d alluded to a potentially big goal for 2015. I’d been entertaining the idea of running the (full) Columbus, OH marathon next October. For a variety of reasons, including not being able to do it with the buddy who was also considering it, I’ve decided that will not be my 2015 goal.
Instead, I’m going back to goals I’d had around simply running the distances (5K, 10K, half) I already run, faster. (Then if that goes well next year, I’ll consider a full marathon in 2016. Maybe.) In order to do that, I determined that I need to have a sound running training plan, a weight lifting component, and a plan to lose weight. Details:
I will start anew on the foundation running plan I was interested in from my book The Cool Impossible. This includes 3-4, level-specific runs each week, as well as some strength training exercises. And let’s not forget to stretch!
I have a video that is roughly equivalent to the class I love to take at the gym. I will do that workout at home twice a week, and – if I’m good about that – I will “treat” myself to two trips to the Tuesday class at the gym (at $5 each) each month. (It meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, and my Thursday schedule doesn’t allow me to make it there.)
(Often referred to as “diet,” but who doesn’t hate that word?) Less weight means faster times, plus I really am sick of “settling” for the weight I’ve already lost and not losing the rest of the weight I should. So for both my running and my general health, I’m going to lose it this winter. To kick it off, I will be doing the Standard Process Purification program again, beginning on Monday. That will help get my weight loss going and ‘detox’ me from all the garbage I’ve been consuming for the past four months (since we went on vacation in June/July). Based on my experience last time, sticking to healthy foods will be much easier after that. I will be blogging about my experience on the purification before, during, and after the experience, so stay tuned for that!
Better, Stronger, Faster?
In sum, I am hoping to turn this negative experience (being injured and missing a race) into an opportunity to start fresh and come back for the 2015 race reason better, stronger, faster. Like this, but without the aid of bionics (unless you know someone who can hook me up!):
That’s the better intro, but the latent feminist in me thinks I should add this one, as well. Maybe I can get some workout gear like she’s wearing while running near the end of the video!