Saturday, May 7, 2011

Week in review & hip update

It’s been an interesting week, although nothing particularly eventful to speak of or blog-worthy.  My (not a) hip injury continued to be a problem throughout the week.  I had hoped that by resting for a few days I’d be good as new, but that just wasn’t the case.  This particular pain worried me, unlike other bumps and bruises I’ve incurred through long distance running.  This was the first real “show stopper”.  This was the kind of pain that raised red flags and said, “Body, you best not push me through this”.  Did I?  Of course I did.  Sort of.
The last blog post ended pretty much with “come Hell or high water, I will make 90 miles by April 30”.  Well, April 30 came along and for the first time ever, I literally couldn’t run a quarter mile.  While I was disappointed, I had to acknowledge my newfound maturity in realizing that sometimes required rest needed to take priority over my stubborn pursuit of mileage.  Still, it was disappointing.  My plan has been to increase my mileage more aggressively in May so that I would be well prepared for the half marathon on May 29.  After my poor performance in New Bedford, I’ve been anxious to put it behind me and redeem myself.  Everything was going according to plan until that infamous wrong step on a casual trail run last Friday.  Since then, I’ve been worried about so many things: the likelihood of PR’ing in Hyannis, the likelihood of completing Hyannis, the likelihood of being able to even run a quasi-normal race pace prior to Hyannis.  I’ve been sad, mad, and frustrated, especially after I’ve finally acquired the mental focus I need for proper training.
So, instead of doing a long run last weekend I took the whole weekend off as well as Monday.  By Tuesday I wasn’t feeling any better but I was itching to go out.  Instead of taking another day off, I shamelessly used my poor son Andrew as an excuse to run.  I’ve been trying to encourage him to run so we’ve been doing a little walk/jog routine at nights.  So Tuesday Andrew and I headed out for our 2.2 mile walk/jog, and I felt good enough at one point to leave him behind and keep running.  I paid for it later though.
Wednesday I was determined to run at work.  It was an ironic start to my day, as I was limping around my house trying to get ready for work but was determined to carefully pack my running bag.  Running at work has become such a normal part of my routine that I just can’t imagine not packing my bag.  When I got to work I found out that it was only Jaimee and I running, and it actually worked out quite well.  Jaimee, the track star, did a hellish track workout with her running club the night before and her legs were so wobbly the next day that she could barely run.  Between the two of us, we were a perfect match.  We ran very slowly and I tried to be super careful about my stride so that I didn’t further irritate my hip.  It was a somewhat successful slow run, and we managed to do about 3.5 miles.
Thursday it was just Jaimee and I again, and although her legs were feeling better I still wanted to take it slow.  It was great to get out though and we managed a nice 4 mile run and even a bit speedier than Wednesday.  What I have learned through this process is that several days of rest can really work wonders.  My whole body felt so fresh and full of energy, and if it hadn’t been for my hip I think I could have run all day.  The ugly side of this, though, is that by Thursday night I was in pretty significant pain, and it finally hit me in the head that I might not be as invincible as I once believed.  I finally acknowledged that I might need to see a doctor.
Friday morning I went to an Orthopedic specialist.  X-rays looked clean but after doing some diagnostic tests he felt that I could have a labrum tear, which is around the top of the femur, where it sits in the hip socket.  This won’t be confirmed until I go for an MRI and steroid injection sometime next week.  In the meantime, the doctor never said I couldn’t run, so I’m taking advantage of that the best I can.  I’m pretty sure the doctor never told me I couldn’t run because either, 1. I wouldn’t listen anyways, or 2. The pain would get bad enough that I would stop on my own eventually. 
This morning I had volunteered at a local 5K through my running club.  Since the race had a late start I figured I’d squeeze in a little run this morning.  The weather was beautiful and I banged out a quick 4 miles before heading to the race.  In hindsight, I think the reason I felt so good was because of the pain meds I had taken the night before that were still in my system.  By the time I got to the race, I was pretty sore.
The race itself was lots of run.  It was a 5K to benefit the local schools and there was a huge turnout.  Even the famous Rick and Dick Hoyts were there!  I was excited to have “chute” duties.  I got to set the clock and then spend the whole race telling people to stay in order through the chute, while redirecting anyone vomiting or passing out.  Luckily we only had a couple of those issues.  Overall it was lots of fun and I got to chat with so many great people.

Dick and Rick Hoyt crossing the finish, looking strong!

By the time I got home from the 5K I was supposed to go ride my horse, but unfortunately we had thunderstorms popping up all over the place and it just wasn’t safe enough.  Somehow though, my mother conned me into going running again.  She wanted to test out my mountain bike, so she biked while I ran alongside her, directly into really dark purple clouds and heavy thunder.  It was a fun adrenaline rush though, and I’m hoping that we can do this more often.  So many times I run alone at home, but it would be lots of fun to have a partner cycling alongside me.  What I didn’t tell her before our adventure, though, was that my hip was in so much pain I could barely make it up the stairs.  I had been bugging her forever to go out with me so I didn’t dare say I wasn’t up for it.  No worries, I’m covered with ice on the outside and warming my insides with a little libation. 
I guess I can’t be too disappointed overall with the week.  Even with my injury I still managed to get in 15 miles.  I had hoped for 25+ miles, and I would have gotten there if I could have done a long run today.  Right now I’m crossing my fingers that I can keep doing what I’m doing for now, and with any luck that steroid shot will work wonders.  I’m still hopeful for a solid performance in Hyannis!  If not, I still have a hotel room booked in Hyannis for a romantic weekend for one over Memorial Day weekend.

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