Posts Tagged ‘ Injuries ’

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…

On the Mend?

runstrongToday my hip flexor felt a lot better. I’m hoping that it’s not temporary, but that it’s truly on the mend. Every day I think of ways to expedite the healing process and get back on the road running. Yesterday I focused on my legs and, because it wasn’t causing me any pain, worked them to fatigue – i.e. I did exercises until my legs felt like jelly.

I researched leg exercises that might help me strength the weak areas of my legs – namely, my glutes and hip abductors and aductors. These included side squats, split squats, and hip ab/ad machine. The side squats were especially challenging, but I stuck them out because they focus on all the areas of my legs that are the weakest.

I don’t know if it’s strange or not but I feel like I’ve gotten a good leg workout if it hurts to sit down or walk down stairs the next couple of days. 🙂

I’ve also been laying off any cardio – SO, SO, SO hard to do! – until my legs get to a point where I can run without pain. I really think it’s been helping, so as hard as it is, I just keep reminding myself that it’s all for the long term benefits.

Happy running! 🙂

 

Overcoming Injury

woman-leg-injury-mdnThere’s nothing more frustrating to me than a persistent injury. I know some people who can run miles and miles without a single injury. Sadly, I’m not one of those people. My injuries have ranged from mild to painful, a strained ankle tendon to a persistent IT injury. Recovery has taken anywhere from a few days (ankle) to months (IT band). My problem is not knowing what kind of treatment to do when. Do I use RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate)? Or physical therapy? How long should I stop running? Do I have to stop running or can I run through the injury? Will that keep me from a full recovery?

I normally approach each injury head on, trying to do as much as can, pushing my limits, to try and figure out how serious my injury is. Obviously I wouldn’t do this for some super severe like a bad sprain or broken bone (neither of which I’ve had and hope never to deal with), but for the various strains and aggravations I’ve had that method is the best way I’ve found to deal with my injuries thus far.

And I’ve found that different injuries respond in different ways and recommendations I get from running experts or online running resources aren’t always the best fit for my body. For example, my IT band was injured because I did too much too fast and to get to a full recovery I had to stop running completely. Instead I focused on cross-training and found a roller. I began rolling out my IT band every day, along with my other muscles, and that was what got me to a full recovery.

Most recently I pulled my hip flexor. It’s been incredibly frustrating because I can’t run without pain and even walking has been hurting. I’ve tried different things and have found that the best exercises that work so far are strength training for the glutes and low abs (for some reason my hip flexor always feels better after I do those strengthening exercises) and using the Precor machine because it doesn’t have the same impact as running does. I would like to add water running to my recovery list as I feel like the Precor mimics that movement.

I’ll continue to work towards healing so I can run at full capacity again and try not to get frustrated at the time it takes. My ultimate goal is to run for my lifetime and if I have to stop running while I fully heal then that’s what I have to do!

Happy running! 🙂