Sunday, August 29, 2010

The War: A Review of My Injury

The only thing worse than being injured is not knowing whether you're injured. Each day you wake up and you don't know what to expect. The last few days have been like that.

On Friday I ran on the Amazon/Adidas Trail in Eugene. I had run with Gabe the night before and I was nervous that the next morning things would be wicked. It sort of was. I moved along at sub 6:30s and the dozens of joggers and runners probably thought there was nothing wrong with me. My stride was fine and I was moving fine. Was I fine? No, at the end of the run my hip/upper leg were in their usual nagging pain.

I traveled on Saturday and took the day off. On Sunday I met Karl and a newbie named Jerry Greenlaw (ran with him for part of Cherry Blossom this year). We ran 10 miles and although the pace wasn't necessarily fast, it wasn't a jog. I felt okay but by the end was feeling the same old thing.

Here is a brief history of the injury:

On 7/11 I finished up a week of 86 miles and was ready for more, but I had a nagging and troublesome pain in the groin. I had experienced this pain for at least a month although there is no mention of this in my running log nor this online blog.

On 7/13 I had had enough, I took 5 days completely off from running and any other exercise. I came back and got back up to 55 mpw.

On 7/26 I decided to take 10 days off. I began to water run on 8/9 and have been doing that intermittently since.

CONCLUSION: I feel better now than I did a month ago, but I am still not doing what I need to do to be where I want to be. I can't continue running joe jogger mileage sans workouts and think that I'll get through this. I need to shit or get off the pot. Some reading this blog would say I should rest...more. I keep coming back because that is all I know how to do; run. I am guilty of that, I know, but I am also successful at beating injuries by knowing my body and running when it is appropriate. This time I seem to be beat. I am being drawn into a quagmire that I've never been in before. This is now my longest war. Like the First World War (PR and Towpath will make fun of me for this reference, but I think it holds true), I am sending my men over the trenches every day and they're being slaughtered. It's all I know how to do. Eventually, I'll regain the high ground. I just need more bodies. Besides, I know no other way. I took time off, but maybe I need to take even more? My hunch is that it will not work. I keep thinking that the injury will dissipate some day when I put on my other injuries I've had...but it hasn't. The on/off schedule doesn't seem to be working so perhaps more is better than less? I am going to return to my normal schedule and see if that does the trick. Now, I have nothing to lose...

I am nixing the remaining races from my fall season. That includes the Philly Distance Run and the Chicago Marathon. A month ago this was a tough decision. Now it is the right decision. I am an athlete and I don't intend to do something, especially a marathon, half assed. In the end, I must defer to the old Red Fox motto of "Stand Down and then Attack". I hope to be able to come back for the USATF Club XC Champs in December and kick the shit out of a bunch of kitten killer guys who had good fall seasons. In addition, Karl is trying to get me into the Houston Half in December. Then there is the spring. I heart the spring.

After a month of being abused by Sarah the Stretcher*, she notes the following:

Your core muscles are weak and your hamstrings are tight. The combination of the two is causing your pelvis to be very unstable and place stress on your groin muscle. This isn't something that happened overnight and it can't be fixed overnight. But it can be fixed!

You've mentioned that you feel the pain "moving around" - the pelvic instability you have can stress any muscle that is attached to it, so you could feel discomfort anywhere from your waist to your knees.

The days of living by the caveman approach to running (just going out to run) are over....sorry... stretching and core are part of your new vocabulary.

The war begins.

*in all honesty I truly appreciate all the work Sarah Collins Buckheit has been doing. She is more optimistic than me most of the time.


PR said...

That's a tough decision...but ultimately the right one unfortunately. Hang in there and get healthy, and you'll be ready to roll in December.

Steve J. said...

Have you considered setting up a doctors appointment as well? I know at one point you mentioned looking for one. Sounds like Sarah has identified your problem, but might not be a bad idea to go to a doctor as well just to make sure there's nothing else going on.

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Towpath said...

By nixing your fall races, you've bought yourself some time to properly explore this problem. Targeted strengthening is key. 3 times per week, preferably under the watchful eye of an ATC. (I realize this may not be logistically possible.)

I'm going to suggest something that you will not like. Try a little barefoot running. I've seen enough video of you running to know you are a big heel striker. It would be really interesting to know if the groin pain is better or worse when you forefoot strike (as a result of barefoot running.) You live right next to Gtown prep and their manicured soccer fields. You have nothing to lose right now. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

KLIM said...

Steve - good idea. See newest post.

Anony - I will ask about that.

Towpath - I might try this, but only in a controlled space (a la the soccer field...or beach which I did last week). I am a little hesitant for fear this might lead to NEW problems and I am very fearful of stepping on a rock, stick, glass or old condom.