After the agony of my last Fun Run and the seemingly epic two week running ban, I finally got to get back out on the track on Monday.
I was a little apprehensive. After working so hard over the last 6 months to build up my running fitness would it all be gone? Would I be relegated back to Couch to 5K to build it up again? I realised that since I started this whole running caper I had not gone more than three days without getting out there so I honestly had no clue what to expect.
If I was being completely honest with myself I think my podiatrist would have told me to give it a bit longer before getting out there. And my foot was feeling a little bit twitchy in the morning but I put that down to the fact that the impending run had made my hyper-aware of every little twinge I was having.
My plan was to be as kind to myself as possible. I had taken all of the hills out of my normal route, both the ups and downs and I had worked out a shorter course that would leave me running about 4km tops. I promised myself that if my foot felt any kind of discomfort I would stop to walk and not beat myself up over it.
I pressed the start button on Garmy and I was off...
I felt AWESOME!
I could still run! Hallelujah!!
My foot felt fine and the orthotics weren't bothering me at all. There was a lingering humidity in the air from the two previous days of scorching temperatures and it was working we to keep me cool. The track was quiet with no other people around and my brand new iPod playlist had some fantastic songs on it. At 1km I couldn't wipe the smile off my face!! Lap 1 time? 5:47/km!!
Aware that I might be getting a little too excited and going too hard, I reigned the pace in a bit. Lap 2 time? 6:11/km. During that second kilometre I could feel that my foot wasn't 100%... I wasn't expecting it to be after two weeks but it certainly wasn't painful, just tender. What was more worrying was a dull ache that was developing in my right hip. I pushed my luck... I kept pushing until, right before the 3km mark, a sharp pain shot through the hip and I knew I had to stop. I continued to walk and the pain returned to the dull ache and continued to reduce until I couldn't really feel it again. I started to run again and the pain came back. The amount of swearing I was doing inside my head would have earned me an M15+ rating. This wasn't supposed to be happening! I walked a little longer and tried again... Same result.
In hindsight, I should have just walked and not pushed it. After all, I had proven to myself that my running fitness hadn't disappeared but eventually I was able to run with only slight discomfort (stupid, stupid) all the while trying to work out what was going on. Wasn't the problem supposed to be on the left!? Then I realised that, yes, the podiatrist has given me orthotics in my left shoe but there was also one in my right so maybe, just maybe, my feet, legs, hips, would all take time to re-align!!
My Rollercoaster Run!
I decided to not panic when I got home and my hip had started to get more and more painful. I iced, I hoped, I Googled. I was comforted in the fact that temporary hip pain with new orthotics seems to be relatively common. Despite this, by the time last night rolled around and my left foot had decided to join in on the pain-party, I was distraught. I could see my half marathon hopes flying out the window, holding hands with any notion of a marathon attempt. I felt old and broken. I moaned to Danny 'I just want it to be tomorrow morning so I can see how bad this is!'
This morning my left foot was tender but not overly so. It was manageable but I certainly wouldn't have been running on it.
My hip was still touchy but it was noticeably improved. My day was looking up! And it felt even better once I put my shoes on, so I am taking that as a good sign. As I sit here at my desk I can twist and stretch at the hips without any discomfort. I wouldn't be game to go out for a run right now, and not even tomorrow (Wednesday's are normally run days) I will reluctantly but sensibly stay on the bike until Saturday when I will reassess and if everything is feeling good, I will try another short run. I think that will be how my runs look for at least the first couple of weeks of March - One or two short runs a week until everything is where it should be and feeling good. Slow and steady my friends...
In the meantime, I want to send some virtual hugs out to some of the bloggers I follow that are also currently dealing with pain-in-the-butt injuries; AliMc and Meredith. Good luck and crossed fingers ladies, not that you will need it because I know how super strong you both are :)