Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Change of Plans

I've had pain all around my hip for two weeks with little to no improvement. I was nervous to go to another sports medicine doctor because my last experience was not awesome. But by last Friday afternoon I was nearly crying from the pain. I was able to get an appointment with a different doctor first thing Monday morning.

After some x-rays and being bent and twisted every which way, the doc said he didn't think I had a stress fracture. In terms of soft tissue injury I have "a little bit of everything" - tightness and strain in my IT band, my piriformis and SI joint.

"Great!" I said, "So can I run my marathon in 3 weeks?"

For a split second he just looked at me.

"Ummm, no"

I mean, I knew what he was going to say, I just needed him to say it out loud. And the knowledge that he was actually going to say no, didn't make hearing it any easier.

He did say that I could run it, but most likely I wouldn't finish and turn a manageable injury into something much worse. I tried to hold myself together while we discussed our plan: 6 weeks of PT with a focus on core strength and hip flexibility. (I also have to say that I am glad I didn't let my previous experience with a sports med dr keep me from going to a different one. I loved this doctor. He had such a great attitude and seemed to genuinely care about getting me back in my Brooks.)

When the appointment was over I allowed myself a couple of minutes to cry it out and wallow in my self pity. I mean, months of running in the freezing cold just down the drain. Eventually I gained some perspective. This is not a real problem. A set-back for sure, but there will be other start lines. Right now I am choosing to look at this as a lesson that in the back of my head I knew had to be learned: that I can not train for these long distances by running alone.

This winter I half-assed my core work and barely lifted anything heavy. I knew better but I just didn't follow through. So I am picking myself up and pulling up my big girl pants and getting to work.

Step 1: Get Better

My first PT appointment isn't until Saturday. Until then I will be rolling and stretching like a boss. I was using just a regular foam roller but have since upgraded to the Trigger Point roller after many recommendations. I bought a lacrosse ball to get the oh-so-hard to reach piriformis. (I had to look up YouTube videos on exactly how to do this. I don't recommend that. It was kind of creepy.) The stick comes with me to work, much to the chagrin of my office-mate who asked why running is my hobby when I need to use torture devices to do it. Some people just don't understand.

Step 2: Cross train

Running alone just isn't going to cut it anymore, especially if I want to run longer distances or improve my speed. Definitely going to put more emphasis on core work and strength training.

Did you know that "Go For It" by the Hot Sundaes is
not available on iTunes? WTH?

Step 3: Nutrition

While I am working on the bigger picture I can not ignore the vital role of nutrition. If I can focus this rebuilding period on cleaner eating and perhaps even some weight loss, all the better.

Overall, I am surprised at how quickly I have come to accept my current situation. I mean, crying and self pity is not going to change anything. It turns out I already had a back-up plan. Last week I found out I was accepted into the Marine Corps Marathon. I couldn't be more excited. It will be my biggest race by far. I'm ready to do the work because in 7 months I am more determined than ever to make it to this start line!


  1. Rose: oh no! I am SO sorry to hear this. Trust me, you are doing the right thing. You do NOT want to have to DNF a race -- you know I'm speaking from experience. Ugh. Injuries suck and are so frustrating but you are right -- you'll be back at it in no time. I actually had to start doing PT while training for my first full and the whole "only running" thing always bites us in the butt. I know you will rock Marine Corps and I'm so excited that I will get to be there to cheer you on :) Head up, woman -- you are amazing!

    1. Thank you so much Courtney! We are planning on spending a long weekend in DC for MCM, we will definitely have to try to meet up while I am there!

  2. Hi Rose -- I've been very disconnected from social medial for a few days now, but was catching up on Tweets, IGs, etc., and saw this. Really sorry you have to miss the marathon. I know it sucks. But, if you look at me like Jacob Marley's ghost in A Christmas Carol, learn from my mistakes! I ran the 2010 MCM basically on one working knee/leg. I just kind of trotted it (with an unfortunate pit stop at mile 15ish due to some REALLY inadvisable all bran wheat thins the night before). But still, it basically cost me all of 2011, and part of 2012. Rest, do your PT exercises, do your core/foam stuff, and you'll be tearing up MCM for your first marathon!

    1. Thanks, man. I really took this comment to heart and am trying to be pretty smart about my recovery!

  3. I've been following your journey and it was sad to see this. I admire your attitude so much! I also appreciate that you are sharing what you've learned. I am rather lazy about strength exercises and even stretching. I will follow your lead to make myself a stronger runner and to decrease my chances of injury!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Good luck with your strength training!