INJURY!!!!! I think admitting it is the first step to recovery. Yes, I’ve been injured for the last couple of weeks.
I’ll start from the beginning. A couple of weeks ago I had a fantastic week of training. Then on Friday I went out for an easy 7 mile run. At mile 3 I was crossing the street in the same spot I always do and BAM! I rolled my left ankle. I cross this part of the street all the time and it is tricky — it’s grassy and very uneven and I usually do a run / tip toe maneuver to get through it but this particular day I was just cruising along listening to my tunes and just not being cautious enough. It hurt when I did it but I had recently read that you should continue to run if you ever do this to keep it from getting too stiff. So I immediately started back up running again. It still kind of hurt but then it loosened up and felt okay. I finished the run and tried to monitor it throughout the day but I felt pretty relieved that it didn’t seem like it was going to have an affect at all. Ha ha ha famous last words. The next morning I woke up early because I was scheduled to run a half marathon. I got out of bed and immediately realized my ankle was really stiff. I asked myself, “why in the world is my ankle stiff?” Oh yeah…. I forgot about that. I told myself “it should be fine I just need to make sure I warm up really good”. After my normal pre-race ritual I met up with my running buddies to carpool to the race. After we parked and porta-pottied we went out for a quick warmup jog. While we were jogging one of my friends said, “Desiree are you limping??” Ummm… “Am I? I might be a little. I rolled my ankle yesterday. I just need to warm up some more,” I replied. And then I got the look. The look runners give other runners when they want to call bull$h@t! After our warmup I felt like it had loosened up quite a bit and so we all lined up at the start line. After the gun went off I was running with one of my coaches and she very politely told me if I could still feel anything resembling pain in my ankle that she strongly recommended I change over to the 10k. She reminded me that if my gait was off at all I could be setting myself back and that this early in my training I didn’t need this half marathon today. With every single step I kept asking myself “do I feel anything?” “What about now?” “how bout now?”… and the truth was I did. My ankle still felt stiff and I could tell that my gait was off a little. So I sucked it up and switched over to the 10k mid-race. I had never ever switched over like that mid-race and let me tell you it was excruciating. As my friends running the half made their turn I wished them luck and turned towards the 10k finish. There were so many nice volunteers trying to direct me the other way for the half and I had to shout to each of them, “I’m dropping out of the half!” Oy.
On Sunday I woke up and wouldn’t you know my ankle felt better. “Woo hoo! That sure was lucky I dropped down to the 10k. I really dodged a bullet on that one” I thought. So I went out for a little 5 miler and everything felt okay. I felt some tightness in my left hip but sometimes my hips get tight so I didn’t think too much about it. I woke up Monday for my run. I started running and by mile 1 that little tightness in my left hip became so excruciating I had to stop and walk home. It’s now been 9 days since that painful walk home and the good news is that it has improved. At first it hurt when I walked and it even hurt while I was sleeping. I did 3 days of RICE (no running at all, icing throughout the day, ibuprofen, foam rolling, etc.) and I noticed some improvement. Although it seemed like maybe the foam rolling might have made things worse. I’ve also been googling and have come up with a couple possible self diagnoses. It’s amazing what you can learn when you type “side of hip hurts very tight runner what to do rehab when can i run again” (JK I didn’t really type that (all at the same time anyways)). So my non-doctor/don’t know anything about this stuff self diagnosis possibilities are: gluteus medius strain or gluteal tendinopathy. I’ve started to run again (I can’t seem to go more than 6 miles) but I notice that I just feel extremely weak and my hips do not feel stable. When I run I feel like I’m running on a slanted road. I’ve also jumped back on my glute / hip exercises (bridges, hip abductors). The only problem is if it is tendon issues then the internets say not to do hip abductor exercises until you are healed. So I finally made an appointment with a doctor for next week so hopefully I will get a real diagnosis and rehab plan. Because I am NOT a doctor at all and consulting Dr. Google is not getting me healed.
I think it was definitely caused from overuse. Rolling of the ankle might have been the catalyst but I think I definitely had been piling on too much mileage given where my fitness was at. I tried too hard to mirror my training cycle last year but fitness-wise I wasn’t ready.
In the meantime I have been loving all of the race recaps lately! Fall marathon season has officially begun!!
Have you ever dropped out of a race mid-race?
Anyone ever been out due to injury?