Still Not Running

It has been two weeks since I injured my leg and 12 days since I last ran. Woof.

I should be in the middle of week 4 of my training cycle but instead I find myself just hanging out, resting and doing a lot of light stretching. At the time of the injury, it didn’t seem very severe and I thought no big deal, inconvenient, but no big deal. I thought I’ll take a week off and be back at it in on time. WRONG!

I am relatively pain free at this point which is different then last week.  I have attempted two test runs and both stopped within 18 seconds of starting and when I say test runs it was trying to run from the car to the grocery store the other day and to the car from home. So maybe a total of 150 feet. Those light runs told me very quickly that my leg is not ready and will not be ready anytime soon.

I am going to go see a Sports Medicine Doctor today to evaluate my options and see if we can do anything to accelerate the healing process. In the back of my mind, I kind of think the only thing that will work is time off. I am not ready to face that reality. Even though that is what it seems to be anymore.

I am hopeful that he will suggest some sort of therapy that have me running in another 10 days or so. I don’t know where that leaves me for the Carmel Marathon. In a tough spot I know that. That would leave me 10 weeks to race day and really probably only 7-8 weeks of being actually able to do some real work with a build up in running and a small taper period. If everything went perfectly from here I fully believe that I can get back into some pretty good shape and take a run at 2:52 or so…2:45 is probably gone in my book. That is definitely not optimal but that is all I can hope for right now because otherwise I don’t know what to do with myself.

We’ll see what the Dr. says today.

I feel like I am now chasing a ghost.

Have you ever dealt with an injury? What did your recovery look like? How did you handle it mentally?

*Update: I saw the doctor today and it went pretty well so I am very encouraged by that. She thought that  a pretty decent strain at the the top of my hamstring by my butt but no rupture of the muscle based on my healing to date.  She recommended PT three days a week and thought that in a couple of weeks I would be back to my marathon cycle mileage. So that is very encouraging! I start therapy on Monday so we’ll see how it goes.

Also on a side note, I am pretty sure the doctor was about my age. So apparently we are now old enough to have doctors as peers. Time to face it I guess.

Glenn

Comments

  1. I partially tore two tendons in my right knee two years ago and I’m still dealing with it to some extent because it appears one didn’t fully heal (it might still have a slight tear). I had to take about a month off running initially and again later when I reinjured it. I was able to bike all I wanted because that didn’t hurt it so I wasn’t doing nothing. That helped. Taking time off is hard, but knowing exactly what my injury was and what I needed to do to heal it helped me mentally. I had a plan and I was working the plan. Even though it started with no running, I felt like I was taking an active role in my recovery rather than just sitting around hoping for the best. I think seeing the doctor and finding out exactly what’s wrong and coming up with a recovery plan will help mentally.

    One piece of advice – don’t rush your comeback and don’t skip hamstring strengthening after you’re healed. I rushed my comeback. I still get stiffness in my knee after hard workouts and may end up doing something like PRP at the end of this season. Being smart and not rushing your comeback actually means a quicker recovery.

    Good luck. Injuries are frustrating.

    1. Thanks Mike. I definitely feel better about a way forward after seeing the doctor today. I think that was part of the problem like you said I didn’t see a way forward since I can’t really ride or anything because it is not really good for my hamstring. I tried but it wasn’t a good idea. I start PT next week and the dr is thinking I’ve got a good shot at hitting my spring race.

  2. Prior to the 2011 Chicago marathon I developed some arch pain. After extending the taper by a week and taking it easy I decided to run the race. After 13 it hurt, at 18 it was on fire, by 22 it felt as though it was being stabbed by a hot poker.
    I ended up having a strained tendon in the arch and took a couple of months off. When I started up again I worked on my form, changed shoes to a completely zero drop to strengthen the feet. Now I make sure to stretch regularly on my off days or when I feel tightness.

  3. I wouldn’t get too discouraged as there are always other races to run. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

    I was getting some dry needling done by my PT today and asked her what she would do for high hamstring strain. Here is what she said: “Hamstring strain can be needled. But mostly caused because of rotated pelvis or dysfunction lumbar spine, so I would release his psoas, manipulate the pelvis maybe do some ultrasound.”

    I’m not sure if Indiana recognizes dry needling by a PT as a form of treatment. I know there are a few states that don’t allow it. It has worked absolute wonders with me.

    Can you pool run or hop on the elliptical without discomfort? If so, get on it as soon as possible. Pool running can actually help you maintain your current running fitness for up to 6 weeks. Hope things get better.

    Vargo

    1. Very true about other races. I think the frustrating part is that I was really looking forward to this cycle. It has been a while since I raced a marathon. Coming off the Ironman and the Half in the fall I was ready to hit the full and then this happened. Hopefully I can salvage something out of it still.

      Dry needling? Never heard of it. I start PT on Monday with St. Vincent’s Sports Performance. I’ll be sure to ask about it. I’ve swim with the pull buoy but no running. I don’t have a pool deep enough to run. I am not sure about the elliptical. I’ve been so focused on resting the leg I have kind of let some of my fitness level slip…I am hoping I can get it back pretty quickly once I start stuff again. Might give the elliptical a try tomorrow after seeing the doctor today.

  4. I hurt my calf and ankle while training for Rehoboth last fall, missed two months and still beat my challenge goal. Now I just got over the flu and haven’t run for nearly two weeks, while I’m training for DC. I really think that when you’re a solid, strong runner you can miss this much time and still be fine, though I know you had a big goal for Carmel. Can you strength train?

  5. Yeah that is what I am hoping for that I can come back and still race well. No strength training yet. My hamstring is still pretty weak so I have been pretty much exclusive resting for two weeks trying to speed recovery. I have started back on the elliptical and swimming. PT starts on Monday and hopefully running a two weeks after that. We’ll see.

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