When you find something you love and you are getting better at it, it is hard to take time away from it and relax. Recently, I was forced to. I have come to love running, I have only in the last four months seen amazing progress, but now, I’m injured.
Over the last few weeks I have noticed pain in the hip/pelvis area when walking. I have had issues with the outside of my hip before but adjusted my running style and the pain went away. This time, it was in the front of my hip and caused me so much pain I could hardly walk or lift my leg more than an inch without a sharp stabbing feeling. I haven’t quite pinpointed the exact cause of the injury but I am guessing my hill running and too much dancing in heels one night may be to blame.
I reluctantly went to a see a Physiotherapist; reluctant because I didn’t want to be told I couldn’t run. My physio, Kate, confirmed I couldn’t run due to a strained hip muscle. What a crap day that Tuesday turned out to be. The hip flexor (Iliacus) is apparently important for lifting the pelvis forward; it is also critical for walking, which I never really thought about until it was extremely painful to do just that, let alone run.
I have been put off running until I am able to walk pain free (without the assistance of ibuprofen) and I have to do these ridiculous physio exercises that no one ever really likes to do. You feel like a weirdo lying on the floor lifting and lowering your leg maybe an inch one day, maybe two inches the next day until you can raise it normally with no pain. It’s lame. Boo.
To strengthen the hip flexor again, I pretty much have to train it to engage at the right time and ensure that as a result my glute engages at the right time. In other words, I am learning to walk and run all over again but using my muscles properly. Everyone else learned to walk before they were three, not this lady!
I’ve been distraught. All I can think about is going out for a run. A month ago I entered for a race on April 9th, Kate hasn’t ruled it out but it’s looking less likely that I can run it. I’m not even allowed to use a stationary bike just yet, so exercise has been on the complete back burner. Exercise is the best mental and physical therapy you can get, you become attuned with your body and how it feels and moves and even more so when you’re injured and you realise how much you really need to look after it.
It’s interesting when we are injured or when we are forced to take time away from something, we realise how much we love and enjoy it, yet, we don’t take the time out before we are forced to. With injuries, we noticeably get aches and pains and we have triggers that tell us it’s time to take a step back, but in life, sometimes the triggers aren’t as obvious.
The last couple of weeks have been tough, I have been missing out on optimum running weather; however, I have gained rest, a repaired body and a slowly recovering strained iliacus. To kill the time, I have been researching my injury and different preventative measures I can take so that I can be more cautious when get back to killing those kilometers.
So I am learning it pays to take the time out to let your body and mind recover and get stronger. You will not lose everything you have worked for, you will however, get back on the horse and be stronger and tougher than you were before! It’s tough, but I am recovering, hopefully only another week or so to go!