I like to think that over the last two years I have built up this imaginary “Runner Baby Book”. The pages are full of things like the first time I ran a full mile, the bib from my first race, the receipt from my first pair of compression socks, the details of my first track workout. It appears that we can now tuck “my first obnoxious running injury” in it as well.
I’ll admit that the week I started back up I was a little over zealous and went on a bit of a running bender. I just was so excited to run that I wanted to do it every day… and I did. The first chance I got to head out in a t-shirt and capris I may have compared my run to “hopping like a bunny”. So it probably shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise as it was when I started getting a weird pain in my hip. Not wanting to give up what I had just taken back I ran through the pain wishing it away….which we know always ends up well. Finally after over a week went by I was finally
threatened talked into going to get it checked out. Giving in and making the appointment suddenly made it real that I might have an actual injury which sent me into panic mode. I JUST got back into running, I have a half marathon to train for… an injury is NOT on my agenda.
I think it’s funny that I made it through my entire childhood, teenage, and most of my young adult years before having to get an x-ray. Since I became a runner… I’m up to two. The things that happen once you get healthy, huh? After an x-ray, performing some balancing acts and the (incredibly attractive) doctor pushing and pulling my leg until I almost cried in pain it was determined that I strained my Gluteus Medius. Want to make a running injury even MORE obnoxious? There’s nothing un-sexier than a strain in your side bum.
Apparently the doctor’s incredibly good looks had me completely side tracked because I smiled and nodded as he told me I was going to have to take some time off of running and do some PT exercises with my trainer. It took the walk to the car to process entirely what he had said. I was alread supposed to be in Week 2 of my half training plan. “A few weeks off” was cutting dangerously into the time that I had already dedicated to working my ass off in. This was supposed to be my second chance at 13.1. I was ready to give it everything I had at the track. And now you’re telling me I have to take more time off? Cue the tears.
Before you start leaving me “get well soon” wishes I’m really fine- my injury is minor and more of a nagging pain. It’s the mental injury that’s killing me. I’m learning that pain of a running injury far outweighs the physical. I don’t do well with not having control of a situation or not being able to plan ahead and this is a very real exercise in both of those things. And when running is your outlet in life- how do you deal with that outlet being taken away?
You become an emotional monster, that’s what. I’ve spent the last few weeks cheering when I wake up and feel no pain… and feeling defeated when a slow two miles brings it back. I fight back the tears as I listen to my friends talk about their runs and their training. I try not to panic as the weeks turn into months since my last run that was over 3 miles. And I try not to panic as the months turn into weeks until my (hopefully) next half marathon. I’m trying to accept that there’s nothing I can do about this situation except rehab it as I’m told to, take a deep breath, and dig my fingernails in to keep from jumping off the ledge. One day at a time.
A special thanks to those who are holding me back from jumping :)