One and a half week out from my first 50 mile race and I am injured. It happened the Thursday before Labor Day (09/01/2016) at work and I am very frustrated to say at least. I was kneeling down to do some work on a lower level and when reaching out and leaning forward I heard a loud popping noise coming from my right hip. I got up immediately and any type of forward movement was accompanied by significant pain. Since it was afternoon that day I waited until the next morning to see a doctor. She thinks it is probably a muscle strain of some sort, but of course only a MRI would really show. However, following “normal” procedures I was sent to get X-Rays taken first and to also schedule physical therapy. Now that diagnosis does not do me much good, doesn’t it?!
Of course – to add insult to injury – everyone is blaming my running for the injury. For the last 3-4 months I have been running a lot, but I have also done a lot of cross-training to strengthen all critical parts of my body at the same time. And think about it – I am a consistent runner for years, too. Clearly – I am in denial, but I do not want to think that this is a running related injury. And compared to others my training has really been moderate – I slowly grew from mid-30s (miles per week) to an average of mid-50s (miles per week).
For the first week I rested a lot, walked slowly and carefully, iced the injured location, and simply did not nothing that could hinder the healing process. Impatient as I am I tried a very easy and careful workout after one week and determined I am not ready yet. I waited another 5 days and this Monday (09/12/2016) I started running again (slowly of course – ready to pull the plug immediately). It was an Ok run. Not great, but not super bad either. I still feel the injury, but it is mainly a feeling of discomfort. I rested and took it easy for the rest of the day and ran again today. The run was Ok. It did not feel worse than yesterday, but it did not feel significant better either. However – now half way through the day I do have to say that it feels decent.
As mentioned I am frustrated of course. I trained a lot for this 50 mile race and I do not want to have it slip away from me being so close. If all feels good tomorrow morning I will run again and the same thing applies for Thursday. I will rest Friday and then attempt a longer run on Saturday to see how things hold up. Then I want to rest Sunday and Monday next week and run Tuesday and Wednesday – followed by 2 more days of rest Thursday and Friday. I think this should allow me to maintain my current fitness even though I probably lost some fitness already by not being able to run for about 10 days. I also hope that the slow running I am doing now helps to strengthen the injured muscle. I am running very slow and are not pushing hard. Of course I also dumped my “A” goal for the race and if I run the race it will be awfully slow. I am ready to partially run and then walk in the distance if necessary. I have 15 hours to get to the finish line and I think that should be doable. I am playing with a few different ideas based on how the next 10 days work out. As an example I am thinking of running 2 miles, then walk 1 mile, run 2 miles, walk 1 mile. Or run 20 miles and walk 30 miles. I played with the different numbers and my calculations show me arriving at the finish line somewhere between 11 and 14 hours. Not pretty and not what I had planned for, but being injured was never part of the plan. I am also ready to pull the plug completely if necessary. It depends on the long run I have planned for Saturday morning. If that run does not work out well, I will opt for a DNS (Did not Start) and go back to resting.