So Monday night, I went to the gym and I was on the elliptical–the one without the moving handles that lets you crank up the incline. It has this handy little digital read out that shows with little glowing green dots which muscles you are working as you crank it up. So, being the overachiever that I am, I cranked. Oh, nice, I’m working my quads. Not good enough. Crank. Oh still working my quads, ok. Crank. Crank. Finally. My hamstring, nice, but not good enough. Crank. Crank. Crank. YAY! All lights are now lit up and I am also working my calves. The stride was pretty long to make it all the way up the incline each step with my short legs, but I pushed myself through a somewhat challenging work-out and left feeling great. No biggie.
Tuesday morning, I woke up, rolled out of bed and stepped. Oh.my.gosh. I could not put any weight on my left leg because up around my hip, but in the front, so like where upper quad meets hip area? (description is v. vague as this is kind of an odd place) hurt. YEOWEE. I limped around the bedroom. It actually kind of felt like if I could just pop it somehow (I know, gross, eh?) it would feel better. I just couldn’t figure out how to do that. (Why is it whenever I’m at work or in a social setting and I only have to stand or move differently to sound like a bowl of rice crispies, but when I’m in my bedroom trying to alleviate some pain, I can’t get anything to pop?!) I tried a few different stretches, but nothing seemed to really stretch that area. So, I got ready. As I moved around yesterday, the pain went away. It wasn’t until late afternoon when I had been sitting for a long period of time and I stood up that I experienced a lesser degree of the pain.
By the time I left to go home, I was facing a dilemma. To run or not to run. Last year, it would have been an easy choice: don’t run. I was playing it REALLY safe so I wouldn’t be injured for my marathon. (bwahahahahaha, that worked well.) But this year my goal (for whatever I am or am not training for) is to train completely different. More cross-training and more aggressive with my runs. (Not being afraid to push myself as opposed to backing off to prevent injury) I figure that if I get injured, it’s no big thing because I’m not training for anything, right? (I know, weird mental game, but stick with me, ok?)
So I made a compromise. I would run two miles instead of four and see how it felt and I could either skip the other two miles or catch-up as part of my cardio cross-training at the gym on Wednesday.
I started slow and at first, the hip area (whatever it is, I’m just calling it my hip b/c that’s easier than a lengthy description each time) was a little tender. But as I ran, it went away and I finished nicely. No pain at all last night up until bedtime.
Then, this morning? Repeat of yesterday, but pain times two. Not good. I’m not panicked yet. There is no need to be. If I’m injured, oh well. It won’t be the end of my running, but I may have to rethink some fall activities. And maybe it’s just a pulled tendon or something. We’ll see. Anyhow, the gym is still on for tonight. I may or may not run that extra two miles.
I think the point is that I’m just not putting the pressure on myself like last year. It about killed me obsessing about every little ache, pain, decision etc… I’m a runner and injuries are going to happen. This may or may not be one, but whatever the case, I’m not done running. Stay tuned…