I was all set to write a blog entitled “The Mental Effects of Not Running” to describe the neurotic mindset I had at the beginning of the week. The athletic trainer called Tuesday morning to follow up on my progress since last week, of which there wasn’t much. The long lasting dull ache seemed to have subsided, but I still felt twinges in my hamstring especially bending certain ways. The rehab exercises I was prescribed seemed to make my hips ache and piriformis muscle sore more than help my hamstring. It was decided that I should see the sports medicine doctor and an appointment was scheduled for tomorrow.
I stewed in my misery Sunday through Wednesday, the rain at the beginning of the week serving only to dampen my mood further. My apologies to Jason for my constant crankiness seemed to stop having meaning. Fortunately Wednesday afternoon I went for a haircut and my hair dresser, Steph, is also a runner. I lamented over what my hamstring issue could be, and she told me how six weeks out from a planned half marathon in Las Vegas she had an acute glute injury. She visited the doctor I will be seeing, and while she didn’t detail her treatment, she was able to run the half marathon pain free and has been fine since the event.
Steph’s story reminded me that I am doing the right thing in backing off from running until I know what’s wrong. Yesterday marked two weeks since I last ran, at the Turkey Hill 10k, and it’s the longest non-running streak I’ve had in close to two years. I know that while I am losing some speed (not that I’ve had much with limited training during track season) I am not losing my total fitness.
I took two walks this week. One I spent on the phone catching up with my mom, and the other I used to enjoy the nice weather. While I logged the times on my workout sheet, I didn’t dwell on the slowness of walking compared to running. I completed a few more sessions of rehab exercises. Yesterday I spent nearly two hours cleaning out the flower bed and planting new flowers. This morning I did an upper body workout as well as a short mobility one. I am reminded that I’m not immobile and that any movement is good movement.
I am reminded that I once believed I would never run more than 2-3 miles without knee pain ever again. I have since gone on to run several races of varying distances and have only experienced the pain when I haven’t warmed up thoroughly enough. I have known runners who have recovered from major injury setbacks (talking about you Run Eat Ralph!) and I know this is not a major injury.
I will listen to the doctor. I will do the rehab even when it nearly bores me to tears. I will strengthen my muscular imbalances. I will not think about signing up for races until I am healed. I will take each day one at a time. I will be grateful that I can complete any workout, even if it’s not the type I prefer.
I will come back stronger, physically and mentally.