2 weeks ago, I ran a great tempo run which was preceded by a great 10 miler, which was preceded by a great 16 miler. I was on a roll. That Thursday of my tempo run, I had my usual stiffness, aches, etc. However, by the end of the day I was hurting - in my hip, my glute and lower back. I had trouble putting weight on it, but then again, I still considered it the usual aches and pains after a run compounded by a long day at work on my feet. Friday, it was better, and I had no worries about it being ok for Saturday's 18. The first 18. I was stiff Saturday, but again, I wasn't overly worried. I won't lie that it wasn't in the back of my mind, but then again, what isn't when you're headed out for 18. Sadly, as many of you know, the situation became a bigger situation. At mile 2.2, I realized it wasn't going to get easier as it was only getting worse. I made the always difficult decision to stop. I decided to walk back and call it a day, remembering the 3 day or 3 week rule. It was a nice 30 degree morning, and my thin long sleeve shirt and capri tights only did so much for my super slow walk back. It took me a little over an hour to make it the 2.2 miles back to my car, and by that time, I was completely frozen and limping significantly. The next three days were a simple wash, rinse and repeat. Sunday, felt better, but didn't run. Monday, the same. Tuesday, decided to go for it. This time, at .75, I shut it down. Also, this time the pain didn't get better the next day. I limped horribly for the rest of the week. I wasn't able to do anything in my Wednesday spin class, except ride along easily while I led the class.
Thanks to a couple of good friends, I had access to an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers. I became close with my foam roller and ice pack. All sounds good right? Wrong. None of it was helping. I scheduled a massage for Friday and anxiously hoped it would do the trick. It was a painful hour, but the massage therapist seemed to think the areas loosened up some. I limped out much like I limped in. And the limping continued. The first of my canceled race plans came Sunday when I wasn't able to run the Ole Man River Half Marathon in New Orleans. It was then that I realized the dream of Houston was over. Using my friend's heated seats on the trip to New Orleans and back, I figured out that heat was helping more than anything, and I found some much needed relief that day. Monday, I was able to spin a little better, and I felt better throughout the day than previous days. I was feeling daring so I decided to take Molly for a short walk after walk. I had planned to give a mile a shot, but it was a little tougher than I thought so I decided to cut it short. That was a good idea because soon after, I was limping horribly and in some pretty bad pain. As soon as I made it back home, I immediately went to Walgreens and bought a heating pad! I have been best friends with it all week, and I see more relief from that than anything else. I'm slightly encouraged that I'm better and walking better, however, it's by no means all the way better. I've lost fitness, gained weight and haven't been able to do much cross training during this time, and while the end is closer sight, I'm still probably another week or more from anything close to running.
So, Houston is over, and now I will be looking to other races or options for the spring. I had high hopes for Houston, mainly a PR and the elusive 4 hour/sub 4 hour marathon. It would have been my 12th, and after 2 years of lots of ups and downs (including some significant personal/emotional issues), I felt back on track and ready to really move forward. That will have to wait! My coach told me that it would come down to acceptance, and he was right. I've accepted it and have been focusing on getting better and healthy. He also said that it is not the end of the world. And it's not, but lately it has felt really bad. Working so hard for something to have it pulled away so quickly is very hard to manage, but this is part of marathoning. I'm lucky to have just now had an injury of any kind. I will get better, I will get my fitness back and before long, I'll be running again. I'm so excited for that day!!!