I can't think of a better way of describing my life right now other than the words and definition above. Every day this past week on my Facebook "On this Day" post and in my Timehop app, I have seen reminders of what I was going through a year ago today. For my newer followers, on March 31, 2014, during a tempo run I suffered what I know now was a severe calf muscle tear with a simultaneous stress reaction/fracture just under four weeks before my marathon was to be ran. I spent 10 days getting different doctors' opinions, going to physical therapy several times and running on an anti-gravity treadmill, getting crazy things like "dry needling" done to my leg... all for naught. I realized on April 9, 2014 (yes, one year ago today) that I was not going to be able to run the Glass City marathon at an 8:20/mile pace and get my Boston Qualifying time. I finally gave in, and just let my body rest. I didn't run for 49 very long days.
|Definitely how I felt during my 7 weeks off from running...|
Fast forward to the present. Just one week ago today, I ran my second 20-miler and was only 3 weeks away from finally running in my third marathon. I didn't have any pain at all during that run... I think I remember my groin area was feeling a bit tight once we stopped, but that's it. I came home, and realized that my groin was actually hurting when I got out of the car. I had trouble lifting up my leg to get out. I stretched quite a bit after I got inside, put on my CWX compression tights, and iced throughout the day. I grew more and more nervous as the day went on, as I realized that I couldn't really lift up my leg when I was seated or laying down. Flexing my hip HURT. I figured maybe I pulled my groin or something. I've never had pain in that area before. I had a lot of trouble sleeping on Saturday night, as rolling over was very painful (like a 7 or an 8 on a scale of 1-10), but I was still pretty surprised on Sunday morning that the discomfort hadn't alleviated at all. I iced more, stretched more, went to a yoga for runners class, and tried to be positive. That night I took an Epsom salt bath, which did nothing to help.
When I woke up on Monday morning, I actually felt pretty good, overall. My friend Allison said if I wanted to wait one more day before I ran, she'd run with me Tuesday, but I knew that I couldn't run on Tuesday because I have Hunter. I decided to go ahead and run. I planned on 5 miles but our loop ended up being a bit short, so we stopped at 4.2. The run itself didnt feel awful. In fact, my hip/groin area really didn't hurt at all... til we stopped. I felt it immediately upon getting into my car, when I had to lift up my leg. I didn't know what to think at this point. I had a rough day on Monday at work; getting up after sitting for more than 10 seconds was very painful, and I would limp for the first 3-4 steps that I took. On Tuesday I decided to call my sports med doctor, as I was concerned about running again the next day. The pain was definitely less than it was on Monday, but I barely slept at all on Monday evening and I hoped I'd be given a strong pain reliever, at least to help me sleep or something.
Unfortunately, my normal doctor wasn't in till Thursday, so I took the first available appointment that day, which was with my former doctor, Dr. Bright. I don't have a super-great opinion of him, but he is a doctor and I knew that he would at least be able to tell me whether or not I had a stress fracture. His opinion was that it was a hip flexor strain. I was pretty sure he'd say this, as typically with runners who have hip pain, the hip flexor is the culprit. However, most of my research online had me convinced that this wasn't a hip flexor issue. Even though I didn't agree with him, I decided to go ahead and rest one more day, and I was glad that I did, as things felt better as time went on. I saw my chiropractor on Wednesday afternoon, and he agreed that it was a psoas muscle problem (the psoas is one of the hip flexor muscles).
|This is the psoas muscle (and exactly where my issue seems to be)|
He did a rather painful adjustment, but afterwards I felt pretty good, and I felt fine during my dynamic stretching pre-run on Thursday morning. I met up with Tamara for an easy 4 miles to test things out. I felt okay for the first mile, but as the run went on, I felt a dull ache deep in my hip. It radiated down my inner thigh. This was new... the first time that I actually felt my injury during a run. I tried hard to stay chatty with Tamara to keep my mind off of the run, but all the while a voice resonated in my head... "You're running an easy 4 miler... this feels crappy... how on earth can you run a marathon in a few weeks like this???" Stupid voice. After Tamara dropped me off at my car so she could do a couple more miles, I started to sob. Why me? WHY ME?
This is where the "internal temper tantrums" started. I came up with this term, and it totally fits what I have been going through mentally over the past few days. I've been smart. I did it right this time. I ran slower. I followed a plan. I took a yoga class. I did my physical therapy exercises 2-3 times every week. I cross-trained a couple of times a week, but never too hard of an effort. I took extra rest days when I felt tired. So, again I ask, why me? Why am I the one who continues to get injured?
Back to what's going on, though... I had the same deep pain every time I tried to get up from a seated position all day on Thursday after my run. On Thursday night my friend Lynn evaluated me at Fleet Feet. She's a physical therapist, and her opinion was that I actually have a movement disorder called femoral anterior glide syndrome. In layman's terms, this is when the ball of the hip joint isn't moving correctly, and puts pressure on the tissues at the front of the hip. Everything I read about this syndrome sounded accurate. Lynn gave me four exercises to do 3-4 times a day to help correct the movement issue.
I decided to go ahead and call my doctor on Friday, since Dr. Bright said to do so if anything changed. Since it actually had ached during the run on Thursday, I thought it warranted a visit to Dr. Dimitris, as I still wasn't sure that I didn't have a stress fracture. A couple of friends who have had hip stress fractures had similar symptoms to mine, and this scared me. I saw Dr. Dimitris on Friday afternoon, and she said that she agreed with Dr. Bright and my chiropractor, that it was a hip flexor strain. So at this point, I had conflicting opinions to deal with... three doctors who felt that I was dealing with a hip flexor strain, and a very good PT who felt that it wasn't exactly that. Fortunately, all four of them recommended the exact same thing, which was rest. Lynn and Dr. Dimitris both suggested 6-7 days off, and so that is my current plan. I skipped today's long run (14 miles planned), and I won't run on Monday either. I hope to be able to run on Wednesday. Right now I am definitely feeling better, as far as my hip goes. I am doing the exercises/stretches that Lynn prescribed, and doing my best to just rest. Dr. Dimitris said no swimming or biking, so I'm feeling pretty crappy as I really can't do anything at all. If resting works, though, I'll do it. I'll do anything to make it to the starting line this time. I'm okay with throwing a BQ attempt out the window, but I won't make that decision until the day of the race.
|The start of Glass City in 2012|