Monday, September 22, 2008

Audacity of Mope

I am injured. I can't run. And I will not be racing in the marathon anymore.

And here's the long story:

Since mid-July, I've had issues with my left leg. I was in denial then and didn't make a big deal about it. I ran through the pain, finished a race, banked some long runs, but kept my weekly mileage steady. My runs were fine and I was feeling good overall, but the knee area hurt when I'm not running and that pain was sharp.

In late August, I got an appointment with my sports doctor, who figured out that I pulled hamstring. I then spent two weeks doing stretching exercises at home, avoiding any fast running and staying off the trails. That didn't help enough. Even though my legs did hurt less, my stride was still uneven from not really bending my left knee, and I couldn't kick back without some pain.

So, not wanting to risk permanent injury by pushing through, I decided to take a week off running. I thought I would heal up if I just stop running for a week, and I could then return with two months to get back on track for the marathon. Shutting down made my knees less stiff in the morning, but one leg was still weaker, and I could feel the difference even when biking. And I felt like a blob and was miserable.

Last Monday, I went back to the doctor, who advised that I start physical therapy to rehab the hamstring. However, PT appointments were full for 4 weeks at this place. I called around and got an appointment sooner at a different location near campus. Still have to wait two weeks. I decided to go back to running, but only a few miles here and there, all flat, all slow.

I have no idea when this will heal. The beautiful Fall season is passing by me, and I miss running around all morning in this weather. I also miss the feeling of being a good shape, the feeling of being ready for anything.

At this point, I'm pretty sure I won't get to run in the marathon in November. Even if I run, I definitely won't make my goal of average 7 minute miles. Let's hope I regroup in time for Boston.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through The Wanderer's site and occasionally stop in to check it out. After many years of being told by doctors to stretch through an injury I've found that what works best for me is a combination of ice (every night) and deep borderline-painful massage several times daily. This promotes blood flow into the injured muscle and quickens healing. Do not stretch the area though until the injury is healed. Over-extending the muscle is probably what injured it in the first place and further stretching only exasperates the situation. Also, when you're ready to get active again, wrap it up tightly, at least initially, for added support. Good luck through this frustrating time.