Since starting about four years ago, while not particularly fast, I have been a fairly consistent runner. With two injury exceptions, I have been running somewhere between two and three times a week. I love running; I love the peacefulness, the exercise and most of all, the time to myself.
Unfortunately, I have recently sustained a third injury which is keeping me off the running paths. I don't think it's a serious thing and like a typical man, I have not gone to see a doctor or physiotherapist. It's actually the strangest injury I have every had to deal with because it only hurts when I run. I'm reminded of that old joke:
Man walks into a doctor's office: "Doc, it hurts when I do this. What should I do?
Doctor: "Don't do that. My bill is in the mail."
In all seriousness though, it's some sort of minor hip injury that I sustained about two weeks ago. I was trying to push pace and about halfway through a 5km run, I felt something, but instead of being smart, I decided to continue. It got increasingly worse as I ran, but I pushed through the pain and finished up because once you reach a certain point, it's closer to just finish than turn back. It was pretty sore for about a day afterwards, but less so the following days.
I tried taking a few days off to let it heal and then went out for a short test run last week. It seemed to feel a bit tight, although not bad for the first kilometer and then something tweaked. Each step caused sharp shooting pains in my hip. I was able to walk it off and ran/walked my way home, but it was sore for the rest of that day.
Based on my astute self diagnosis and hoping that I hadn't aggravated anything further, I decided an entire week off should do the trick. While I was busy with a bathroom renovation, I thought the hip had been feeling much better in the past couple of days and decided that another test run was in order.
I had been itching to get out all week and had come up with a plan. I was going to stretch it out, start with a bit of walking, run slower than normal and try to keep my usual bouncing to a minimum. If I felt any pain, I'd stop, stretch a bit more and then continue on. If that didn't work, I was committed to pulling the shoot.
It was a beautiful, sunny morning when I set out. That time of the day in the summer, just before the humidity that make running uncomfortable. I followed my plan and spent some additional time stretching it out before taking off at an excruciatingly slow jogging pace.
It felt okay for about the first half a kilometer and then I started to feel a slow burning in my hip. It wasn't exactly hurting, but it didn't feel good either. I took a short walk break and then tried again. It just got worse. With a huge sigh, I turned around and headed home.
I felt like I needed to write this post while it was fresh; I'm actually still sitting in my running clothes. After two trail runs and failure both times, I'm pretty devastated. I know I should go to the doctor and get it checked out, but I just don't think I'm quite there yet.
It doesn't hurt if I don't run and I still believe rest and time will do the trick, but it's obviously not going happen on my schedule. I have resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to take some time away from the running paths and have started formulating alternate forms of exercise to substitute like yoga, strength and abs. While these might keep help with the body, it's just not the same as a good run. What would you do?