Saturday, September 01, 2007

Walking Wounded

Okay running friends: here is the question o' the day. At what point do you admit that you officially have an injury that requires some time off? How long do you ignore it with 'mental toughness'? I have been walking that tightrope this summer with my hip. Official diagnosis? Bursitis of the hip. I am lucky enough to have a husband who is also a physical therapist (not practicing, but that's his educational background).

I'm having a hard time taking his advice: Rest and decrease mileage for a while. I know you all can understand. I don't want to lose my long run!! But when I go on a run any longer than 5 miler, I'm in pain. I think the worst part right now is the anxiety that it produces. Will this be a chronic problem? Are my marathon days over? It can't be so.

But it seems to be getting worse. I used to only feel the hip pain when I was logging long runs up in the 20 mile range. This summer I maxed out at 13.1 and my hip was in bad shape. What to do..... what to do......

9 comments:

Polliwog said...

Injuries are the worst. I sympathize with the emotional roller coaster a mid-training injury causes. I'm sorry you're in the situation. My advice, for what it's worth--give yourself a break and a rest. I know it's a different injury, but when I was having foot pain and could barely walk, I had no choice but to take time completely off. I didn't run at all for a week. I was really discouraged. Then the next week I did all my training in the pool. That made me feel better. At least I was training, in a sense. Then the next week I started back in--planning to stop again right away if there was pain. But all was well, and I haven't even had a hint of the pain recently. I've heard of people who've done weeks of training in the pool or on an elliptical due to stress fractures, so maybe that's an option? We runners never want to quit, I know just how you feel! Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I hope you will still be able to run your marathon!

Suzie Petunia said...

I am so, so sorry! An injury is every runner's biggest fear! I agree with polliwog with the cross-training idea. Do you enjoy swimming or biking? It would be hard for me to do something else, but substituting something else for running to let your hip heal is the smartest thing to do. That way you still get a workout and you don't get out of the habit. How long does your hubby think you need to rest it? I hope not long!

Brooke said...

i feel your pain on the hip injury! literally.

once upon a time on a 20-miler, i ignored a little stitch in my hip. and when that little stitch in my hip turned to a full on stress fracture, i still didn't listen to it and pushed myself through recovery runs and the like...

my wake up call was my doctor telling me that if i didn't stop running on it, i'd never run again.

and i limped when walking for a few months.

so my new thing is "listen to your body!" and take the rest. a few weeks off don't make you a non-runner.

it's a few years off that make you the non-runner. like me.

Chelle said...

Thank you, thank you for the kind and sympathetic words. It does suck, plain and simple.

Here is the problem with me and cross training: I'm kind of a one-trick pony. Can you guess what my trick is? (running).

I have a hard time expanding outside of that box. Except for yoga, which I do every day that I'm not running. Maybe this is the universe telling me to focus more on my yoga? I have reaped amazing benefit from my yoga practice in the year that I've done it. hmmmmm.....

M&M said...

Sorry I am so late to answer this. This one is a little too close to home for me. I am just trying to get to St. George, and then I am going to back way down. Maybe I will try this yoga thing with you. How is it going? I am so sorry to hear you are injured. The good news is that it is winter so it is a good time to focus on something else. Let us know how it goes.

Todd & Anna said...

I can relate to your pain, it was just last night I gave up my dream of running my first marathon (St. George). I have been battling an IT band injury for the last six weeks and have been doing PT for the last 3 weeks. The final straw was waking up in the middle of the night to get Ibuprofen because the pain was unbearable. I’m getting a little teary as I think about how hard I worked and now it’s over. Frustrating how my body can’t keep up with my head. It’s going to take awhile to heal physically and emotionally but someday I will run a marathon, I just need to be patient.

I want to tell everyone how much I enjoy reading your blog, thanks to polliwog for telling me about it.

Anna

Chelle said...

Oh man, Anna. That is so hard. I trained for two marathons (all the way up to a 20 miler both times) and was sidelined for both before I got to do the real thing (one because of pregnancy, one because we moved). I don't know if this helps, but it makes it even sweeter when you do get to see one all the way through to the finish line. You'll get there!

p.s. I LOVE when other people chime in. If you are reading this and want to jump in.... this blog is for anyone that runs, or just likes to talk about running instead of actually running... (which is what I've been doing the last week!)

AND

Suzie, Cherl, M&M let's get some marathon training updates. If I'm going to live vicariously through you, I need more freqent updates! : )

cherl said...

Oh Chelle, I'm sorry to not get to this until now...

I'm sorry to hear about your injury. I know how frustrating that can be. My first marathon was supposed to be Portland in 2000, but an injury sidelined me. Again, I trained for Chicago in 2002. This is an October marathon and in mid-July, I injured my knee during a 16 mile trail run. I had already purchased airline tickets, booked the hotel, registered for the marathon, told everyone who'd listen that I was going to run it, etc. I should have listened to my body and stopped running for awhile, but stubborness won out and I continued running anyway. However, there was no more "training" from that point on. That was my longest run and all subsequent runs became increasingly shorter - even 5 miles became painful. I still ran the marathon and finished, but it wasn't a good thing. I walked the last 5 miles of it, crying the entire time because I was in pain and so disappointed. I also didn't run again for many, many months.

My advice? Follow your husband's sound advice! Rest and decrease mileage. It's better to do it now than risk further injury and a longer time on the sidelines.

Abi said...

so how is the hip? better? have you decreased the running? i think your mind wants to disagree with the pain. . . mine does . . . so i'd focus on yoga and heal it.