Injury breaks my stride

Anyone who has talked to me on a regular basis since April is probably so sick of hearing about this, but for those of you who don’t know: I hurt my hip in the spring. It was a couple of weeks after the 10K Charleston Bridge Run, and I ran a tiny little 3 mile run one day at McMullen Creek in Charlotte. At the very end of the run, I felt a slight tightness in my hip. Odd, I thought.

The next day, I could barely walk. I stayed off of it for a few days, then when it was feeling better went for another run. I made it about a mile and a half before I had to stop – it was killing me. I waited again, tried again, waited again, tried again …

Finally, I went to my doctor and he sent me to physical therapy – and I most likely have tendinitis.

I have learned the importance of a few things during this bout of non-running:
– Stretching, stretching, stretching. Runners tend to get tight leg muscles, and we must stretch to keep ourselves flexible.
– Cool down. I used to go from 0 to 60 to 0. Now I walk a little to warm up if I can, but in particular I walk a little to cool down.
– Cross training. Running every day is not a good idea. The impact is so hard on our knees and joints. Run sometimes, walk sometimes, bike sometimes … (in addition, of course, to strength training.)

After a couple of months of therapy and feeling like a lazy couch potato, I am happy to report I am finally running again – slowly and short distances, but it’s a start.

My friend Jim is training for the Charlotte Marathon, and I ran with him and his running partners the other week. They were running 10 miles at an 8.5 mile pace that day. I ran the first 1.25 miles then waved goodbye and thanks as they left me in the dust. But I was out there, and I did it!

Three times this week I have run 2 miles – and without any pain. Will keep trying! No marathons for me yet, but maybe another 5 or 10K in the not-to-distant future …