Next Step to Recovery

HealingDespite how difficult it is, I’m continuing to rest and take it easy while I figure out what’s going on with my injured hip. I have an MRI scheduled for Saturday then a follow-up with my sports medicine doc the following week. I’m a little nervous as I’ve never had an MRI before. From what I understand, you lay on a board that then slides into a long metal tube. There are closed MRIs and open MRIs when the tube is above and below you, but open on the sides. I’m having a closed MRI because my doctor says they’re more accurate. Once inside the tube, you lay there for about 45 minutes while they scan whichever area needs scanning.

I’m going to bring a PlayAway, a small portable device that contains one book and is about the size of a pack of gum, to listen to while I’m getting scanned if I’m allowed to. I borrowed The Hunchback of Notre Dame from the library and have been listening to it whenever I get a chance. Since it’s over 14 hours, it’s taking me a while!

Here’s hoping it all goes well and that the MRI shows what’s going on. I’m excited and nervous about what they will find as it will make it more real but then I can hopefully figure out a plan of action to work toward my recovery.

 

The Next Step

doctorQuick update on my injury. Visited a sports medicine doctor yesterday. He was one of those old-school, no BS doctors, which I really appreciate. After asking me a series of questions about when and how the injury happened and what causes it to hurt more, everything, or less, nothing. Then he had me do a series of leg lifts, pushes, pulls and presses so he could try to pinpoint what the injury might be. After those he took X-rays to rule out any injury to my bone. Fortunately, the slides came back clean with no evidence of any bone damage. So he sat me down to discuss a plan of action. It pretty much boiled down to this – REST. Then rest some more. And after that I should REST. I’m not sure which hurts more, my injury or the command to rest. What he said made sense, but was hard to hear for someone who loves being active and, even more, loves to run. But I’m going to take his advice and the advice of other runners in both resting and also thinking positively about healing.

What’s next? I’m going to go in for an MRI then a follow-up with my doctor. Hopefully the MRI will be able to pinpoint what exactly is going on and I’ll be able to discuss a more specific plan of action, or a timetable, to help facilitate my healing and get me back to running faster.

Until then…happy running! 🙂

Going Long

hillrunningMy goal is to run a half-marathon this fall. After my injury heals, and I’m sure it will, I plan on tackling a training plan that will get me back on the road and on my way to running a successful half. Tomorrow is my visit with the sports medicine doc where I’m hopeful that I can get the tools needed to run again. It’s not going to be an easy road, but I’m a runner. I’m strong. I’m motivated. I’ll tackle each hill one at a time until I’ve conquered them all.

Next up: finding the perfect plan to promote healthy running! 🙂

The Doctor is In

doctor-02I’ve finally come to the realization that my injury isn’t going to get any better without some professional help. After weeks and months of trying to fix my injury on my own I wasn’t getting any better. I read about running injuries, talked to people at my local running store, asked advice from friends, but nothing seemed to be working. I’ve tried strength training, cross training, walking, stretching, and icing.

But to no avail.

Last week I made an appointment with a sports medicine physician to see if I could finally get a handle on this injury. And to figure out what’s really wrong with me, since I really don’t know what’s injured. I was just being stubborn about needing to get expert advice. I’ve learned my lesson! So this Thursday I’ll be hopefully getting some expert advice on how to heal properly so I can finally get back to running.

Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later!

Happy running! 🙂

Jumping Right In Part II

Once I’d reached the pool, I walked over, towel and goggles in hand, probably looking every bit as lost as I felt, to tell the lifeguard, a college-age looking guy, that it was my first time swimming laps and could he tell me how it worked and if there was any helpful info I should know. He was very helpful and it worked out well because a father and son were swimming next to each other and offered to join up in a lane together so I could have a lane to myself. They probably just didn’t want me to kick them in the head, but it worked for me!

I successfully swam from one end to the other, but as I looked around I noticed that the experienced swimmers were using a totally different form from the one I used (ie. no form at all). Wanting to at least try to swim a lap the “correct way” I plowed back toward the other end. Head down, arms flailing, turning every so often to breathe while trying not to suck in water. I managed to reach the end, more exhausted from my feeble attempts, and stood to rest a minute. I blinked. Hmmm…something seemed off. I blinked again. Everything looked kind of fuzzy. It took me a minute to realize that one of my contacts had floated out of my eye during my lap!

The lifeguard saw me standing there, probably looking like a confused drowned rat, and walked over. He asked nicely if I wanted a pair of goggles to wear. I blinked up at him and held up my pair of goggles. “I couldn’t get these to fit,” I said. He took them and adjusted them perfectly. He also gave me a tiny yellow kickboard and explained an easier way to swim laps correctly. I thanked him and began to swim again.

My efforts went, well, swimmingly, after that. I managed to complete 26 laps, which I was very proud of. I’m alreay looking forward to my next swimming endeavor! 🙂

Jumping Right In Part I

It’s amazing how time just slips away and before you know it three weeks have passed since my last blog post. Yikes!

In my last post I mentioned trying to pick up swimming to help facilitate the healing of my hip flexor injury. So this past Sunday I decided I would head over to my gym and try swimming some laps. The problem is I’ve never actually swam (swimmed? swumded?) laps before. I knew I could get from one end to the other without drowning – hopefully – but I knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

After throwing on my bathing suit, one I felt fairly confident wouldn’t slide, droop, or otherwise cause me embarassment while I was swimming, I packed a gym bag complete with goggles, towel and a change of clothes. I arrived at the gym eager, and slightly nervous, about swimming. How would I find the pool? How many laps would I be able to swim without inhaling water? Would I have to share a lane with some stellar swimmer who would, quite literally, blow me out of the water?

I told the woman at the front desk that I was looking to swim some laps, but hadn’t done this before and wasn’t sure what the protocol was. She pointed me in the direction of the locker rooms and said I could ask the lifeguard on duty how the “lane etiquette” worked. Who knew there was lane etiquette??

After finding the locker room and putting my stuff away. I somehow managed to find the entrance to the pool, a feat that seems like it should have been simple yet realized it wasn’t after winding my way through the locker room several minutes and having to double back more than once. Finally I reached the pool.

To be continued…

Just Keep Swimming

train-for-swim  I recently talked with someone at my local running store about my hip flexor injury, lamenting the fact that I haven’t been able to run without exacerbating it. She gave me the contact info of a local sports physical therapist that she said was excellent and went on to say that she tore her hip flexor so she knows what I’m going through. It was great to talk with someone who actually went through what I’m going through now. She recommended swimming, saying that it not only kept her from going crazy while she couldn’t run, but that it kept her in good cardio shape and brought her back to running in three months.

While three months seems like a long time, my goal is to be a life-long runner so I want to recovery the right way and if that means taking more time to strengthen my muscles and prevent future injuries then so be it. The woman went on to say that her therapist recommended one-leg bridges (a favorite pilates move of mine actually). She said to do three sets with ten leg-lifts on each side every day. A pain in the butt (ha!), but strengthening the glutes, strengthens the hips, both of which are common weak areas for women so it’s good to focus on those muscles anyway.

I’ve been in the gym a lot, doing pilates and lifting weights, working on my core and legs especially. My body has definitely grown tighter and stronger, although I haven’t seen much, if any, improvement in my hip flexor. So my new goal is to contact a sports therapist and jump in the pool as much as I can. I’m not going to give up. I will run again. Like Dory says – Just keep swimming! 🙂

Happy running!