Sunday, September 22, 2013

The 26.2 that wasn't...the injury story

2013 was going to be my year.  My goal was three half marathons in three months.  Check.  Then my plan was finally tackling the 26.2 in September in Sioux Falls.  I questioned whether or not my body would hold up through training.  I've dealt with overuse injuries in the past.  Of course the good ol shin splints, foot issues, random muscle aches that leave me immobile.  But I found a novice plan online and went for it...

I signed up for the race in the middle of June.  Race day September 8th...  I was coming off a half marathon in Norfolk in the middle of June.  Distance wise, I had a base.  I felt recovered and ready to start the long runs.  In reality, it was a pretty crammed and condensed plan.  I obsessed over every weekend, ensuring that I had the ability to get the long run in.  Luckily, I was able to, for the most part.  

Setback number one came in July.  Second week, my scheduled vacation days from work, I got sick... I went to the doctor and finally get some antibiotics and the confirmation that I had strep throat.  Lovely.  I missed a 5K I had registered for just for fun, and also missed a longer run that week. 

August approached and I reached cloud nine!  My second 18 mile run my average pace was in the high 8s!  I was so thrilled, this felt EASY!  My marathon goal pace was a 9 minute mile.  I was holding this pace consistently in all of my long runs.  Then 20!  It felt amazing to say I'd ran 20 miles!  My pace was on point, everything felt great.  Then it all ended...

The week following my 20, I took my usual two days off running and got back into mileage on Tuesday.  The Saturday following was a scheduled 18.  I took off just like usual, but something didn't feel right.  My right hip starting nagging early.  Like mile 2 early... Instead of stopping, I kept going.  I went all the way down to my turnaround point, which was mile 7, and by this time I was in serious pain.  I kept stopping for walking and stretching breaks, thinking my hip would loosen up.  It didn't.  Ever.  I kept running with the intention now of just getting home.  I knew I wouldn't make my loop for 18, JUST GET HOME.  I made it back into town which was about 11 miles.  It was all over.  I started walking, phoneless, limping in extreme pain by this point... gimped roughly 3 miles back home, cutting through every side street and alley I could find to shorten the route.  I remember crying a couple different times out of pain and frustration.  By the time I made it home, I bawled...sobbed.. for a solid 20 minutes.  I knew whatever I had done to my hip, that was it.

I finally went to the doctor the following Friday, and fortunately did not have a fracture.  The pain continued to worsen throughout the week, especially sitting in my office chair at work.  He diagnosed it as a hip flexor strain.  Based on my recovery time, I would safely say there was no tear, just strain.  At the time, he said no running for two weeks.  And don't run a marathon.... I went back to work, bawled my eyes out to my co-workers, and tried to mentally cope with it all.

Hands down worst day ever...