This is the most I’ve ever run. The longest distances I’ve ever run. The most miles per week I’ve ever run. And I think, week over week, the longest stretch of time I’ve consistently run. And it hurrrrrrrts.
My pain has moved along my body throughout the training. And it has elevated in its level at each new spot. And I’m not talking about blisters on my feet. I’m talking about real aches and pains. First, it was my right knee. This knee was dislocated twice and even though I had load of PT- running downhill or walking downstairs always is iffy. And I used to have to tape it into place because my knee cap would kind of slip out of it’s groove and send pangs of pain down my knee.
Naturally, my knee was my first area of pain. Pretty much right in the beginning of training- December. I scheduled some PT (physical therapy- not personal trainer) immediately. In Scotland- PT is affordable. I think about £30 for 30 mins. Unlike the $100+ it is in the states. And you don’t need a doctor recommendation or anything like that. My physio (what they call PT’s in Scotland) friend recommended James- and he was great. Gave me some exercises that take about 10 minutes to do before EVERY run. It’s kind of a pain in the ass, but if I do these exercises, my glutes are activated, and they pull me kneecap tight into place when I run so it doesn’t slip. #winning
Next, I had a massive cramp or tightness in my hamstring. Right above the back of the knee. A big bulge of pain. And I was running on it and all, but I couldn’t work it out on my own. So I scheduled a sports massage. This was the 2nd week of February. And he (Greg) worked my legs. He focused on the left leg and the bulge- but did both my legs all over and it was so necessary and so good. And after a couple days of being sore…I was feeling great.
Now here I am laid up on my 2nd day of rest day when I should be running. For the past week or so, my hip area- or more like where my thigh goes into my pelvic/hip area was sore. The first few miles of every run was rough, but once I got loosened up it was fine. It didn’t hurt during the run. And then would hurt again right after. Then last weekend it was a scaled back long run- just 12 miles (just! Ha!) and I warmed up after a few miles. But when I finished, I was in pretty severe pain. I tired to stretch it out, but it just wasn’t working. And started to adopt a limp. On Monday (off day) I was still limping. On Tuesday, I had to run 9 miles. So I set off to do it. The first 3 were really bad. I stopped a few times and kept thinking, when do I bag it and take a rest day instead. But I pushed through. Might have been a bad idea.
After my 9 I was limping hard. Wednesday I already had a massage scheduled, and I limped all Wednesday morning. Decided to abandon the 3 miler I was going to do pre-massage. At this point, its that top of the thigh area that hurts, the glute, and the outside of the knee. A very hard to describe pain, that sends shots of pain up my leg every now and then when I put weight on it. I went into the massage convinced I had a stress fracture. Too much googling. Greg (and now I) thinks it’s just muscular. He spent the entire hour just on my left leg from knee to glute. It hurt. I woke up looking like a human Dalmatian:
I felt better immediately getting off the table- limp gone! But now this morning, some of the pain has returned. Not the limp, but it definitely hurts when I pivot off that leg or start a start a stride off that leg. And of course- the bruises hurt and when I walk my big legs jiggle and they are all sore.
So I have decided to abandon my run tonight too. It’s a hard choice. I feel like I’m being a baby and a failure. But I am just hoping to nip this in the bud. I have an 18 miler on Sunday. And it has to get done. It needs to get done. I will do it. And do it well. I currently have a PT appointment tomorrow but I might cancel it because I’m not sure how useful it will be. Greg (massage therapist) has given me some new ways to use a ball and foam roller – which I will try tonight but am worried about how painful it will be with these bruises. I am also headed to the whirlpool at the gym in the next couple hours.
I am not in the stage where I can say, “I love running!” but I’m definitely committed to this marathon. So straying from my training plan is killing me. Especially my psyche. But I’m trying to focus on taking care of this now before it becomes worse. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow (Friday) and I might do an easy 3 miles on a treadmill with no incline. But I might just hop on a bike for a little bit. I’ll do SOMETHING tomorrow, and be off again Saturday before the long run Sunday.
Would you push through the pain? Or take off in hopes to treat it early and move post it? How does an injury affect your psyche?