Saturday, May 9, 2015

Paris Did Me In!

     When I stood at the the start of the Paris Marathon back on April 12th, I only wanted one thing - to FINISH! And not even pain free, although I was secretly hoping for that too...

     Let me back up and tell you a little background on this story. For a while now I have been having strange pains during long runs that originate mid groin and radiate out. I also began to notice the pain occur during intense hill work. Over the last few months it progressively became worse during my long runs. It would only hurt during the run and then go away. Around March of this year, it stopped going away. The pain would last for a few hours past my run. Then on March 28th at the Savannah Women's Half the pain came on at mile 10 with a vengeance! I use Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run strategy on all of my long runs, but stopping to walk was seemingly more painful than running - and I just wanted to be DONE! So I left my friend I was running with and just ran, for as long and as fast as I could, until I reached the finish. I took a few walks at water stops and a couple when I just needed a break but otherwise those last 3 miles were my fastest of the half! I really wanted to just be done with it! But this time the pain did not go away in a few hours. It took almost two days for the pain to subside. Now when I say pain, obviously it was not debilitating - I still ran the rest of the half, wandered around Savannah, drove home and was able to still go to work the next day and beyond. But this pain was not normal, it was uncomfortable and I knew something was wrong!

     So when I say all I wanted to do in Paris was finish - that was the truth! I wasn't sure I could do 26 miles if the pain came on at mile 10 in Savannah! Thankfully, I was able to finish and even run strong in Paris. I really didn't feel any pain at all. I had a slight awareness of something in the groin area but I kept my stride short and speed steady and was able to finish all 26.2 beautiful miles of the Paris Marathon.
Paris Marathon 2015 Complete!

     Now it is a month later and I am in injured runner rehab! When I came home, I had NO desire to run, so I didn't. I started doing yoga about three times a week as a way to possibly heal my body and get stronger. One day I noticed that the pain had settled in to my right groin area and wasn't going away. The more activity I did, the worse it felt. It was time for a trip to the doctor. And then the physical therapist. I had been avoiding this because of the cost. I figured I could do it myself. I was wrong. I trust my physical therapist implicitly as he has healed me before and is a runner himself. He tested me with all kinds of pushes and pulls and movements. Definitely a hip issue, which I knew, but it would get worse (i.e.. surgery worse) if I didn't rehab it now and stay away from running for 8 weeks at least.

     Remember how I said when I came back from Paris I had no desire to run? Yea, well, have someone tell you you CAN'T run and then wake up to a Saturday morning social media feed of nothing but running and...

     So my mental therapy is to write again. Tell the world what I've been hiding and trying to fix myself. Admit that I overtrained and over raced SO much that I did myself in! And deal with the fear in the back of my head that says "Will I be able to ever run again??"

     I will be working on my PT exercises, continue with yoga as long as the pain does not prevent me, and adding in a few other workouts. When summer hits, I'll hit the pool and swim my way to healing. No one wants to be injured but when you are not smart about your training, it will happen. Cross training is essential. Core work is necessary. Yoga provides the perfect balance to a running life. Strength training from head to toe makes you a powerful runner. Oh and don't forget to listen to your body! Running every race on the planet in a year is not needed! Keep running and you'll have plenty of life to get those miles in!

     I'm gonna go do my PT exercises now...