Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Running Hiatus

I can practically count on one hand the number of days I've taken off from running this year.  One day off during Boston training; one day off after.  "Rest days" mean 2-3 easy miles.  Running is a part of my day and a day without running just isn't right.  

So imagine my dismay when my physical therapist delivered the crushing news that I would need to take 2 weeks off from running.  TWO WEEKS?  NO running?!  Not short runs.  Not easy runs.  NO RUNNING.  

Let me back up because you're probably wondering where this all came from.  I've been a bit delinquent with blogging lately, so I apologize.  I noticed pain in my right glute the day after I ran the Novi 1/2 Marathon. I wasn't sure if it was hamstring or piriformis.  I wasn't sure what caused it - poor form exacerbated by fatigue, tweaked something on a pothole?  In any event, it hurt when I ran but instead of taking a break I just kept running.  Because that was definitely going to help it get better, right?  Ha!

I did some stretches, bought new shoes (yay, Newtons!), and got an awesome deep-tissue massage.  And kept running every day.  It wasn't getting worse but it wasn't exactly getting better.  Then I ran the Back to the Beach 1/2 Marathon, which I shouldn't have done.  First of all, I could barely run before the race even started.  I wanted to stop at mile 4.  Then there were the trails and hills.  Finally I "had" to kick it into high gear after going the wrong way.  If it wasn't worse before that race it definitely was after!  So I took a break after, right?  haha.  I wish.

Finally I called my doctor and got a prescription for PT, which I was able to start the following week.  I was diagnosed with Piriformis Syndrome - which I refer to as my pain in the butt.  My hamstrings are very tight as well but the pain mainly is piriformis and glute.

My prescription was for 9 sessions.  After the initial evaluation, most sessions followed a similar format:
  • Bike (10 min)
  • Treadmill - walking backwards at 8% incline for glutes (10 min)
  • Strength - squats with weights on Bosu, 1-legged stand on Bosu
  • Stretching
Jerry, my PT, also used sports tape on me a few times to provide compression to the muscles over a few days.  The tape was sort of a last resort before what Jerry referred to as "the nuclear option" - a.k.a. 2 weeks off.  It gave me time to process what was coming and gave me a chance to get in a few last runs before the long break.

I am now on day 5 of not running.  I miss it so much!  Thankfully Jerry said I can bike, so that's something.  Brian got our bikes out on Friday and we went for rides over the weekend.  I'm still learning about my gears and trying not to fall over while stopped at a light (so clumsy!) but overall riding outside isn't as scary as I thought it would be.  The stationary bike at the gym is also becoming my new 5:30am friend.  45 minutes is about all I can stand so far, during which time I can get in 12 miles.  I have no idea if that's a good pace or not but it's what I'm doing.

I'm also doing stretching (glutes, hamstrings, hips), strength training, core work, and yoga.  That all takes time so it helps keep me busy.  And those are all things I should be doing anyway.  Things that I've neglected and ultimately may have led to this problem in the first place.  

In the grand scheme of things, 2 weeks off isn't so bad.  I just hope and pray that 2 weeks will be enough.  Enough to let me come back strong to start training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon (and the half marathons and 10ks that I love to race in the fall before that).  I already dropped my 50k in August and declined a few offers to join teams for the Great Lakes Relay in July.  

I also went for a running form evaluation with video analysis a couple of weeks ago.  That was very comprehensive and provided me with a lot of information.  I'll save that for a later post.  

I have one more PT session before reevaluation.  And 9 more days without running. Hopefully not a day longer!  Fingers crossed!  I'll keep you posted.

And until then at least I can bike! 

Has an injury kept you from running for an extended period of time?  What did you do to instead of running?

Read about the last time I was injured here.

1 comment:

  1. I had to take 6ish weeks off for an angry achilles and really amped up my swimming throughout. It took awhile to even start to enjoy it (and to work up to any significant amount of time) but it is a great workout and made my body feel overall really strong. Dunno if it's an option or not for you, but good luck!