This Fall I have suffered the most injuries I have ever had. While I don’t have pictures to document them all, here is a list:
piriformis syndrome in my left bum
pulled arch in my right foot
left hip popping out-of-place
GIGANTIC blister on right foot
Some VERY unfortunate chaffing! (Aren’t you glad I didn’t take a pic of this!)
Here’s the deal. Almost two years ago, I started training for my first half marathon. It was definitely exciting and I found two awesome running partners as soon as I joined the training group. Training went well but I failed to stretch after each long run. I just really didn’t think I needed to.
Training started in the middle of January. I think it was around the middle of March that my left bum really started hurting. I would feel it in the beginning of the run and then I could work it out as the run continued. The aftermath wasn’t so pretty. I would be limping around for days. Part of me just chalked it up to running long distances and of course I would be sore kind of mentality.
I thought I had pulled a muscle in my bum. Turns out I had piriformis syndrome – self/internet diagnosed of course! I was told that I HAD to start stretching or it was going to get worse. Yep, I was completely stupid. I started stretching but it really didn’t get much better. I made it through the half marathon but there was always a nagging pain.
I ended up taking some time off from running (story for another post). In May, I decided I was tired of not having a regular running routine. I missed it. I started running again and as Fall approached I had signed up for a handful of 5k’s, a 10k, a 1/2 marathon and a 10 mile race. I don’t feel the number of races were a problem but I was running long distances on the weekends but not supporting it with quality mileage during the week. The piriformis started up again, I pulled my arch and then I ran the hardest race of my life, The Headless Horseman 10 miler
Oh my gosh. This was a night race through a golf course. It was PITCH black outside with very little lighting. The entire course was just a roller coaster of hills that felt like 90* angles. By the end of the race, I thought I had taken a wrong turn and almost started crying because I thought I would never finish. To make matters worse, you had to do the course twice to make the 10 miles. It was horrifying. After this, my hip started popping out-of-place when I was running. I felt like I was 80 years old.
So, time to change my form! I started working on my form a couple of weeks back. I’m a heel striker and I am trying to change this. It takes A LOT of concentration. Last week I almost ran INTO a car! But my hip pain is definitely getting better. Today, I went out for an easy 2.5 mile run and while my bum made its presence known, my hip stayed in place the whole time. I consider this a win. Then I came home and had some quality time with Bruce.
Learn from my mistakes! I still hate stretching but I would have saved myself a lot of pain, bad runs and may not have prematurely aged my body if I had just taken the time to do it in the beginning. My other mistake was thinking “of course I can run 10 miles during the weekend even though I only ran 3 miles during the week”. This was just sheer ego talking. Again, I have learned my lesson and have reined in my training a bit. I am not that type of runner who can break out mileage without really working at it. Now back to the training drawing board!