Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's been a long, long winter (to say the least)!

It's been a long and brutal winter out there. The cold, relentless winds.  The snow. Oh, the snow.  The short, dark days. The frost quakes. The crispy air that freezes the tip of your nose the moment you step outside.

If there ever was a winter to get injured, this was the one.

So I did.

But not on purpose, don't worry.  Part of me actually wondered whether I was faking an injury when I would read the weather forecast. As I peered out the window at the snow, piled high, wind blowing, I wondered how I would have mustered up the gumption to tie up my runners if I had been able to bend down properly!

I really don't like dwelling on an injury, hence me not blogging about it here over he last couple of months. But now, as I feel like I can actually see the light at the end of this long long tunnel of injury, I am inspired to talk about it.

That, and the fact that Boston is just FIFTEEN days from today!

Where to begin?  Waaaaaay back in January, I was running along as I usually do, with no real mileage increases, taking it easy, gearing up for the beginning of February when I planned to make those long runs even longer than the 12-14 miles that I had been doing for a couple of months.

I was excited to have a (loose) training plan, that even included some biking (on our new exciting trainer!) and swimming. I decided that I would try to make Thursday night track nights a priority again, as the indoor track is so warm and motivating. Things were goooood.

There was ice everywhere, and, as I was leaving the house one morning, I slipped. Not a huge slip, but I zigged when I should have zagged, and I felt a big pull in my right hip flexor. It didn't feel good, but it wasn't awful. As the day went on, I tried to stretch it out a bit.  I went out to the track that night, I went for a tempo run a couple of days later, I did my long run, etc.  I could still feel it, but I thought I could just "stretch it out". Then, it wasn't fine.

After a week, I went to physio.  She said it should be a quick fix, and she did some massage. Of course, being the intelligent, experienced runner that I am, I dashed from physio straight to a track workout, trying not to miss a beat.


Within a week, I wasn't able to run without pain in my hip. Actually, I wasn't able to walk without pain in my hip. The pain moved around, from my hip flexor, to the side of my hip, my IT band (from compensating while trying to walk). I was hobbling around like a little old lady and it was not pretty.

I took a full week off of running, I diligently went to the pool to swim, and water-run, and it seemed to make a difference. So back out running I went!

But then the pain came back.

I repeated this cycle one more time, before resigning to the fact that this was not some little injury that would go away with my recipe of optimism/physio/running through it. :(

The pool became my friend. I gained a great deal of mental strength by "running" between 45mins-1 hour of intervals. I actually enjoyed it. It was warm, easy to "people watch" and, if nothing else, it made me feel like I wasn't losing all fitness. Unfortunately, I missed out on some long run time by not being able to run for real.

Almost a month ago, after an entire month off of running, my hip was feeling normal again. I decided to try running on the treadmill. I walked for 1mile, ran for 1mile, then walked another mile. Those were baby-steps in the right direction!  I called them "micro-runs". I did a full week of micro-running, then graduated into a real 5km "long run" outside! Yippee!

Thank goodness for the pool, as I am now up to 10km real runs, and, if it weren't for my attempts to stay conservative for the sake of my hip, I would want to just keep going. Especially now that the days are longer and the sun is shining.

...maybe I was faking this injury due to the weather?!

Will I actually be lining up in Boston?  Yep. Will it be a super-conservative-slow-run/walk-effort?  Yep. Am I disappointed about that?  A little. I was never planning on racing at Boston this year (it will be far too emotional, I assume) but I never in a million years would have thought that I would be looking up the time limit as to when the course would be closing at Boston (of all races)...

Upwards and Onwards, they say.

Our packages arrived from our friends at the BAA!

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