Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hyannis race report - hip hip hooray!

I had every intention of posting once more before the Johnny Kelley half marathon in Hyannis, but with a bad stroke of luck my internet blew up on Friday and wasn’t repaired until yesterday, when I was already at the Cape.  If I could have blogged last week, I would have given the latest and not-so-greatest update on my hip injury.  It no doubt would have left you on the edge of your seat, wondering for days “will she or won’t she run Hyannis?!”  Sorry to spoil the surprise.  I’ll just give a quickie update on the hip and move onto the race report.  (Um, surprise!)
As I’ve mentioned a time or two, I’ve been seriously stressing out over my ability to run this half marathon ever since my hip injury in April.  I’ve been able to run lightly over the last few weeks, with the exception of the week following the dreadful arthrogram, at which point I was barely able to walk.  This past week I did a few light runs, and the hip held up fairly well.  What didn’t hold up quite so well was my ability to run in the heat.  Summer arrived in New England this week, and like a typical New Englander, I will complain about the weather even when it’s perfect and just what I had been praying for.  The problem was that it just came on so fast, my body wasn’t ready for it.  Wednesday was a fairly hot run, but Todd and I ran Jaimee’s route at lunch, which turned out to be 4.5 miles (I would’ve guessed closer to 5).  It took me all afternoon to cool down after that hot run.  Then on Thursday, Todd, Kerri and I opted for the trail run.  Since it was very hot that day, we thought the trail run would be a cooler option.  It was, but the problem was the 1.5 miles in the sun down to the trail, and the 1.5 miles in the sun back from the trail.  On the way back, I was cooked.  I had to walk, and really didn’t know if I would get back to the building alive.  My heart was beating like crazy and I was just a big melting mess.  At that point I decided I won’t be running during lunch on hot days again.  It’s just not worth it.  Last summer I ran before work or after, and that was fine.  I’ll be doing that again from now on.
If it hadn’t been for the heat, I would have considered those two runs to be successful.  I had some hip pain after but not too awful, so I definitely leaned towards running Hyannis this weekend.  The final roadblock was my doctor’s appointment on Friday.  This was the follow up appointment to review the results of the MRI.  The news, as it turns out, was pretty much exactly what I expected.  I have a labral tear in my hip.  He said the type of tear I have is fairly uncommon and there aren’t a lot of surgeons that repair them, but lucky for me there’s one in the Boston area.  It may not even need surgery, but I’ll need to meet with the surgeon to discuss the pro’s and con’s of having it repaired.  He said there’s a chance that by the time I meet with the surgeon I’ll be feeling good enough that I won’t want surgery.  In the meantime, we’re going to give the steroid shot a chance to work and see how it goes.  He said there’s no problem with continuing to run lightly.  I nodded in agreement, intentionally not pressing him for specifics on his definition of “lightly”, because I thought it might trigger a debate.  I just kept nodding and solemnly swore to myself that I would run Hyannis “lightly”.
That brings us to this weekend!  Yesterday I packed up and headed to Hyannis.  It’s hard enough packing for a race, but this was my first overnight stay at a hotel the night before a race so it required extra forethought. 

Organized packing!  (3 pairs of running socks, just in case)
 I got to Hyannis, checked into my hotel, and then walked down to the town green where they were handing out race packets.  I intentionally booked a hotel within walking distance to the race, and this worked out really well.  It was a picture perfect summer afternoon and I had a nice time, although it would have been better if I had some buddies with me.  After picking up my race packet, I strolled over to Ben & Jerry’s, picked up a small ice cream, and ate it on the grass in the park.  I did lots of window shopping, scoured the streets looking for my next meal, and then went back to my hotel to rest and freshen up.  I went to a great little restaurant downtown, sat at the bar, and had bruschetta, linguine, and a glass of wine.  (And two waters!)  After dinner I relaxed in the hotel room, continued drinking lots of water, and set my two alarms for 6am. 

Had lots of spare time in the hotel room to prep for the race!
Here are a couple of my mistakes I noticed right off the bat this morning:
  1. I woke up with sore legs.  I believe this is due to the amount of walking I did last night in flip flops, which my body isn’t used to.  Which brings me to mistake #2.
  2. My feet were covered in little blisters and raw spots, due to the amount of walking I did last night in flip flops.
  3. Although I carefully set the alarm clock in the hotel room last night, I neglected to notice the time on the alarm clock was set as AM when it should have been PM.  Luckily I had set the alarm on my phone as well.  And if all else failed, the front desk was kind enough to call me at 6:30 for a wakeup call, even though I didn’t request one.  I politely thanked them and didn’t bother to tell them they dialed the wrong room.  I laughed wondering whose morning plans I just foiled.
Another oddity of my hotel room: I woke up this morning and everything in the hotel fridge was frozen.  This included my bottled water and my peanut butter sandwich I had packed for breakfast!  There’s almost nothing less appealing than eating a frozen peanut butter sandwich at 6am and washing it down with slushy water.  I managed to eat half the sandwich and tossed the rest.
At 7:15 I left my hotel room and walked to the race start.  I got there just in time to see the 5k runners starting off at 7:30.  I walked around the common for a while, drinking lots of water and eating a package of Sports Beans.  I thought about hitting the toilets but I couldn’t find them anywhere.  I know this was covered in the “things to remember” email from the race director a few days ago, and I was kicking myself for not paying closer attention.  I lined up close to the 10:00 pace section, because I knew the only way I had a shot at getting through this race would be to start slow.
Sure enough, the race started and I was SLOW.  I honestly felt like I wasn’t moving.  I was just shuffling along, not breathing hard, not sweating, and not passing a single person.  I wasn’t really thrilled about this approach but I was determined to stick to the plan to avoid the humiliating DNF.  The good thing was, now that I mastered my Garmin I’m able to track individual miles, and that would keep me in check.  Mile 1: right on target at a 9:39 pace.  Mile 2: still barely moving at 9:25.  I have to pee.
Mile 3: I swore I’d never be one of those people that can’t get through a race without hitting the outhouse, especially in the first 20 minutes of a race.  I broke that rule today though.  I figured, if I’m already running slow anyways and not trying to PR, then who cares if I lose another minute or two?  I spotted the outhouse and made a beeline to it.  The stop was totally worth it.  I felt like a million bucks afterward.  It was like Clark Kent went in, and Superman came out.  Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but still I felt pretty refreshed.  I immediately picked up the pace and it didn’t take me long to catch back up to people I had been running with earlier.  Mile 3’s pace was 10:40, which is pretty good considering the pit stop.
Miles 4-7 I continued to take it slow, averaging about a 9:20 pace.  I didn’t want to edge my speed up until I was well past the halfway point.  At Mile 8 I started to speed up and clocked my first sub-9:00 mile.  Miles 9-12 were all right around a 9:00 pace.  When I hit the 13th mile, it was so refreshing feeling like I still had gas in the tank.  I easily increased my speed and hit the last mile in 8:40.  I was absolutely thrilled to see I finished the race in 2:02:29, and felt great when I crossed the finish line!  When I started the race so slowly, I thought I’d be lucky to cross in 2:10.  I never imagined I’d be just over 2 hours.
I remember back to New Bedford when I finished feeling horrible, depleted, and sick.  I wanted so badly to erase that race with a strong finish.  Today’s finish may not have been a PR, but it was a huge accomplishment in several ways:

  • I finished the race feeling great.  I felt like I just finished a run, not a half marathon.  After crossing the finish line I grabbed water and two hot dogs, and sat in the park.
  • I stuck to my plan by starting off slow and gradually increasing my speed over the second half of the course.  This is the first time I’ve actually successfully done this, and it was a phenomenal feeling passing people constantly in the last three miles of the race.  I need to do this for all races going forward.
  • I completed this race even without logging a long run since Mid-April
  • Um, hello… I just ran a half marathon with a torn hip! (“lightly”)

If you want to check out the course, click here.  What this link won’t show you is the JFK memorial, the Hy-line ferry, the salt marshes, the yacht club, the rocky piers, or the sweet smell of salty ocean air.  It also won’t show you the GIANT tom turkey that stood still on someone’s front lawn honking at us as we all went by.  He appeared to be a seasoned spectator!  That you have to experience for yourself.

If anyone is ever looking for a fun way to spend Memorial Day on the Cape, I highly recommend this race.  The Johnny Kelley Half Marathon is one of three races that all take place at the same location, as part of the “Great Hyannis Road Races”.  The other options are the 5K and a 7.2 miler.  But if you only do the 7.2 miler, you are going to miss out on 6 beautiful miles of Cape Cod scenery.  And if you only do the 5K, you are going to miss out on 10 miles of beautiful Cape Cod scenery.   I’m just sayin’…

Feeling surprisingly refreshed after the race

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hyannis - my final decision. For now.

Well it's been an interesting week here in injury-ville.  I hadn't run since last Wednesday, my final hoorah with Todd and Kerri before going in for my MRI and arthrogram.  That Thursday morning I was actually feeling not-so-crummy and still hopeful about running the half marathon on May 29.  All that changed on Thursday when I went to the hospital for my tests.

Injuries are an ugly and inevitable part of running, and it's the part we don't like to talk about.  Just like pilots don't like to talk about crashes, sailors don't like to talk about capsizing, runners don't like to talk about injuries.  Especially to non-runners.  As a runner, I often find myself justifying to non-runners why I run.  Here are some real life examples of comments I've had to defend against:

  • Running is bad for your joints, you'll be needing knee replacements soon.  You should try swimming instead.
  • Running is dangerous on the streets, you could get hit by a car.
  • Running is dangerous on the trails, you could get attacked by an animal.
  • Running is so time consuming.  It's interfering with other activities.
  • Running marathons is deadly. People have heart attacks and die running marathons. Never do one of those.
  • It's such lousy weather. Why would you want to run in that?
  • Why don't you just take a day off and relax.
Up until now I've been able to defend against these well-meaning (I think) comments, but this injury seems to be ammunition everyone needs to reinforce why running is so bad for me.  I find myself reminding people that I sustained this injury because I tripped over a root.  I could easily have sustained the same injury tripping over my cat, my coffee table, the stairs, the dog, the dog bone, or my son's shoes.  At least I was doing something healthy and active at the time.  If I had tripped over any of those other examples, it no doubt would have occurred on my way to the fridge, and that would have been a lose-lose situation.

So Thursday I headed to the hospital for my MRI and arthrogram.  I didn't really know what to expect other than the notorious tunnel with the really loud noises.  That was the easy part.  The much less enjoyable part was the arthrogram.  This involved shooting dye into my hip socket in order to get a contrast x-ray.  Before they could inject the dye they had to numb the hip.  For some reason my hip just wouldn't numb up, and the result was sheer agony.  The doctor felt horrible as I layed on the table sweating and crying, and after a very long process and FOUR doses of lidocaine, he was finally able to inject the dye as well as the steroid shot.  the nurse had cautioned me that my hip was going to be feeling so good after the shot that I had to remember not to be over-confident.  No worries there!  I was so sore after all that, I couldn't even walk into the house without help.  Friday was no better.  I couldn't even walk, and spent the entire day on the recliner packed in ice.  It was extremely disappointing, going from marathon training to unable to walk in the matter of days.  Over the last couple of days my hip slowly started to recover from the trauma of the arthrogram, and today was the first day I could walk without a noticeable limp.  So, you know what that means!!

My running club has its weekly Monday night pond run, so I thought a 3 mile jog would be a perfect way to test out the hip.  I was a little nervous about it, since I hadn't run since last Wednesday, I honestly didn't know if my leg would cooperate.  I figured worst case scenario I'd suffer a little embarrassment and have to turn around.  Luckily it didn't come to that!  I hooked up with one of the girls I ran with a couple weeks ago and she agreed to run slowly with me, although I told her not to wait for me if she wanted to go ahead.  She was a great sport about it.  I was very relieved to find that my hip held up fairly well at a slow pace.  Granted, my standards are a lot lower than they used to be.  My hip is now only as sore as it was before the tests, which is still not good by most standards.  The good news about this is that it gave me some confidence.  For the last week I've been pretty sure this weekend's half marathon was out of the question.  After today, my final decision is that I will be heading to Hyannis.  Ideally I'd like to get a 5 mile run in on Wednesday and maybe a 3 miler on Thursday, then take Friday and Saturday off.  I have no expectations for this weekend though.  This truly will be a race where I'll be pleased just to finish.  Ah, how things have changed!

As far as the results of my tests, I haven't heard from the doctor yet.  Part of me is anxious to get a diagnosis, but the competitor in me is hoping not to hear anything before this weekend so I don't have to make the decision an even harder one.  In any event, I will be heading to Hyannis Saturday afternoon, checking into a cutsie little hotel room and playing tourist on Cape Cod.  One way or another I will be taking part in the half marathon.  Whether it's as a runner or as a spectator, or a little of both, that will be a "game day" decision.  One thing's for sure, it will make for a great story!

And now, for today's run: TVFR Hopedale Pond Run. Not bad for a gimpy hip!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back when I was a runner...

Shortly after my last rant regarding my trouble scheduling an MRI, (and I mean, like within seconds of clicking "publish post") I received a call from Shields MRI to set up my appointment.  My MRI is scheduled for this Thursday and I'm really looking forward to getting a specific diagnosis and treatment plan.  As long as the treatment plan doesn't require rest.  I'm hoping for an outcome that includes something like, "we're gonna inject you with this miracle serum and within hours you will be back to running 8 minute miles".  With so much uncertainty about the condition of the hip and my ability to run the upcoming half marathon, it's been a delicate balance of trying to maintain some level of fitness while trying not to further damage the joint.

Amazingly enough I was able to run four consecutive days last week, although my hip got progressively worse each day.  By Friday I could barely walk let alone run and I forced myself to take the whole weekend off from running.  It wasn't actually a choice but more of a requirement.  On Friday, my son and I went camping and for the first time ever I actually left my running gear at home.  I knew if I packed any gear I'd be tempted all weekend to run.  This way I was further reminded that this was a "rest weekend".  It worked, but not without an emotional toll.  I had visions of hiking, biking, and running.  I thought it would be fun to run alongside my son while he was biking throughout the park.  Instead, I spent the weekend sitting in a recliner and occasionally limping around the campground.  We did manage to do some biking but eventually that hurt too much.  It was incredibly frustrating.  For so long now I've identified myself as a runner.  This weekend I was just some parent limping around the campground.  I imagined what people were thinking.  She's probably really out of shape.  Look, she can't even walk up that hill.  Maybe she has a deformity.  I'm pretty sure none of them were assuming I was an injured runner.  These thoughts started getting the best of me and I started thinking of myself as a "former runner".  I saw a woman all decked out in her running gear, just finishing up a run, and I thought to myself, "Oh look, a runner.  I used to run".  I briefly remembered how I had once had dreams of running a half marathon a couple weeks from now.  I had a copy of Running Times magazine with me but I couldn't bear to read most of it.  I couldn't even relate. I may as well have been reading about surfing or geo-cashing.  I saw my distorted toenails not as little badges of honor but as ugliness leftover from my earlier days as a runner.  Logically I know I'm making too much out of this injury, but once I entered this slump it was hard to pull myself out.

Mondays I usually run with my lunch buddies.  Sticking to my Monday routine, I dutifully packed my running bag even though I acknowledged that as a former runner I shouldn't really be packing a bag.  Nevertheless, at work I made plans with Todd and Kerri to run.  After three full days of rest, I couldn't take another day off.  I needed to see how the hip would hold up on a short run.  If I have any hopes of running the half marathon on May 29, I need to at least maintain the fitness I have.  Not wanting to slow anyone down though, I gave Todd and Kerri full freedom to run and not look back.  No sense in dragging anyone else into my miserable pace.  When I confided in Kerri some of my frustrations of this injury, she reminded me of the time she broke her hip from a fall off her bike.  She healed just fine in time, and whatever this injury I have is, I will too.

So, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and off we trotted down to the fire station.  This has become my new favorite route because it's downhill the first mile, and no real uphills.  Usually I look for something a little more challenging but these days it's all I can do just to move forward.  Plus, now that I have mastered the art of timing my individual mile splits, it's fun to repeat the same course a few times and see how things change.  I was pretty satisfied with a run that Jaimee and I did last week in which we managed to negative split the whole thing.  (Although in full disclosure, we started off reeeally slow so it would have been an embarrassment if we didn't negative split).  Today I didn't even attempt to stay with Todd and Kerri.  I kept a slow pace of just under a 9 minute mile for the first three miles.  Then at mile 3 I met up with them (our turning point) and kept pace with them for the final mile.  My body, which had protested its return from early retirement, finally woke up and wanted to move faster.  My final mile was an 8:16 pace.

The result of today's run: sore.  My hip is a lot more sore than it was this morning when I woke up.  I'll take an Aleve and promise not to run tomorrow.  I'm planning to run again Wednesday if I'm feeling up to it, as it might be my last run for a while depending on the results of the MRI.  (Unless they have the miracle serum I'm hoping for!)

Here are the last two runs I've clocked on the Garmin, from last Thursday and today.  No, you're not seeing double.  I'm just really dull and starting to repeat myself!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My first club run, and the marvels of technology

Yesterday I found out why being in a running club is so cool.  I originally started running about two years ago and after building up some endurance and learning some tips from Kerri, I primarily ran solo.  I always enjoyed the solitude as it gave me some much needed “me time” and was an endless source of sightseeing, daydreaming, and occasional mind games.  For a good six months now, I’ve been running regularly with my awesome lunch runners at work, and I genuinely look forward to having company out on the roads.
                Last fall I decided to join a running club for a few reasons.  I wanted to meet other runners, gain some good insight, and have a reason to stay motivated.  Late fall was probably the wrong time of year to join a running club, because there wasn’t a whole lot of activity over the winter months.  But as the weather got better I started attending some of the races, the last few member meetings, and I’ve done some volunteer work.  As I suspected all along, runners are a great group of people.  Everyone is so friendly and we all share a common interest.  No need to talk about the weather, because there’s never a shortage of conversation when you pull a bunch of runners together!  (Although we do, occasionally, talk about the weather.  But only as it relates to running!)  My club, the Tri-Valley Front Runners, holds a fun run every Monday night and last night was my first time attending.   What a blast!  I made quick friends with a couple girls and we had lots of fun trotting the 3 mile loop together while chit chatting.  At the end of the loop I was tempted to run again, but decided against it since I had already run 4 miles at lunch.  I felt that 7 was enough for one day, considering my aching hip.  I’m hoping next Monday I can get 2 loops in though, because I’m really going to need to pack a lot of miles into next week with my half marathon coming up.  And make no mistake about it, I will be back next Monday! The girls already made me promise to come back, and I’m not about to break a promise to my new club pals!
                On the hip front, I’m starting to become an unruly patient.  I know that logically I should be resting and giving it a chance to heal, but the goal-oriented runner inside me is pushing for higher mileage.  This dichotomy is further complicated because my MRI has still not been scheduled.  I called the doctor’s office today to see what the holdup was, and apparently my insurance company has not approved the procedure.  It infuriates me that despite what a doctor orders, the insurance company that I’m required to pay for can refuse to cover tests.  I’m hoping it will get approved soon, but in the meantime it has turned me into a bit of a renegade.  For example, the following thought flowed through my brain repeatedly today, “Oh, my hip isn’t bad enough to qualify for an MRI?  FINE!  I’ll just run until my leg rips off!  How’s THAT!?”  Yeah, I’m sure that’ll show them.  So, today on my lunch run I did a solo 3.6 mile run at home, and for the first time in a couple weeks I inched my pace up to race pace (actually a little faster).  The first mile was slow, but the second was 8:36 and the third at 8:22.  I was happy to be moving out and testing my breathing a bit.  It was nice to feel like I was working hard but not feeling depleted.  If I didn’t feel like my leg was going to fall out of my hip, it would have been a perfect run.  When I got back home I stood in front of my garden checking out my plants for a minute before walking into the house, and when I went to move I couldn’t seem to get my leg moving.  I’m sure my temper tantrum induced lunch run was not what the doctor ordered and contributed to my prolonged pain but as I’ve said, I’m becoming a bit unruly.  This isn’t, of course, the first dumb thing I’ve ever done.  Once I had a stress fracture in my foot and the doctor said absolutely no running for a minimum of 6 weeks.  I tried negotiating with him since Hyannis was in 6 weeks.  He wouldn’t budge, and told me Hyannis was absolutely not going to happen.  So, four and a half weeks later I was back on the road and made it to Hyannis.  I really showed him!!  Of course, my foot has never been the same and threatens me every time I start to increase mileage too aggressively.  Maybe it’s a blessing that the MRI hasn’t been scheduled yet since I might be facing the same fate on a larger scale, since I have a half marathon just two weeks away.
                In other news, I’m starting to become much more tech-savvy.  In fact, after a full year of owning my Garmin Forerunner 305, I have now learned how to put the data online to share with people.  It was actually very complicated.  I had to:
1.       Go to the Garmin website
2.       Click “upload”
You can see how this was confusing.  Once I mastered this skill, I started putting some of my routes into Google maps.  Unfortunately, until about a week ago I didn’t know how to record mile splits on the Garmin.  I was only able to get averages for the entire distance.  When I told Hiroshi this, he told me I had to change the settings.  So, after exhaustive research I learned how to update the setting to record splits:
1.       Go to Settings
2.       Press Auto Lap – 1 mile
Voila!  Now I have splits.  So, some of my newest routes have individual mile data, and the older ones from my rookie days (like, anything prior to last week), only have averages for the entire run.  I have been rather lazy about bringing my Garmin running with me lately, especially for well known routes that I have the mileage memorized, but the ability to analyze individual splits is just too tempting to pass up!  That Garmin is going everywhere with me from now on!  I’m seriously considering using it for other activities.  For example, I could compare my pace through the soup aisle at the grocery store against my pace down the ice cream aisle.  Meat aisle versus seafood counter.  Dunkin Donuts drive-thru’s.  The possibilities are endless! 
Now that I have access to this magical technology, I wanted to share a couple of my routes.  Click on the links to see what I’ve been up to the last couple days!
See?  Magic!

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.