With just that one word, I think you can all empathize.
If you’ve ever had to deal with an injury, you know how frustrating it can be. When previously I would have balked at the idea of going for a run during a windy Wisconsin snowstorm, now it seems there is nothing I would rather do more than lace up my shoes and go face that beast…simply because I can’t. How to deal? Here’s how I did, and still am.
Several weeks ago, I was perusing the running forum at runnersworld.com, when I came across someone’s post lamenting a strained hip flexor. Offering my advice on how I personally had to overcome that injury during the summer of 2010 (no running for several weeks, cross-training, strengthening the muscles), I thought about how lucky I have been to not have any lingering issues from that injury.
I’m not superstitious, but I guess I should have knocked on every single wood board in the floor of my house. The next morning, about 2 miles into a 6-mile run, I suddenly noticed my hip flexor starting to feel tight. By the end of the run, it was very tight and hurt slightly. By the end of the day, I was hobbling around from the pain in my hip and scaring my poor boyfriend with tears and wails about how I could not be injured, because didn’t my body know that I was supposed to run a half-marathon with my sisters in less than 2 months?!
Listening to my own advice that I had just given some other poor sap, I only went to my gym for strength-training classes, biking, and elliptical-ing. After three weeks, I went on a slow, easy 2-3 mile run once or twice a week; my hip still felt tight, but at least it didn’t hurt anymore. Finally, last weekend, I decided that my hip seemed better enough to try a long run of 9 miles.
I will spare you the details, but I would say that run was one of the THE worst runs I have ever gone on. Turns out running in a Wisconsin snowstorm is just as fun as you’d think it’d be. By the end of the run, my hip might have still been a little tight, but I had NO pain. This was a win to me, despite it all.
Over the last week, I’ve continued with my strengthening and stretching, but I’m starting to add more running back in: The first run, my hip felt tight but okay. The next run, my hip flexor finally felt normal, but the outside of the hip hurt. I texted my younger sister, Lara: WTF? I think I’m falling apart.
But yesterday, on a blustery 5-mile run, I am happy to say I had no pain ANYwhere. Just goes to prove that sometimes (probably always) rest and taking it slow & easy is the best way to recover.
What do you think? Have you ever had to overcome a nagging injury? What was your recipe for success?
Fingers crossed I’m feeling this good for my next run! Now off to knock on all the wood in my home…