Cross post from my running blog at http://runkimmyrun.wordpress.com/
It was almost too good to be true. 9 months of training with no significant injury other than a little ache and stiffness here and there. Now, 2 weeks before the WDW half-marathon, I suffer an injury. Gah!
The past several weeks have been challenging to say the least! The lack of daylight and my work schedule being incompatible is frustrating. I prefer to run early in the am but it's been too dark, too cold and I've simply not had enough time to do it and get to work on time. The weather has been awful! Bitter cold, ice, snow, and wind all making for variable and challenging road running conditions. Especially for long runs. Not to mention misery for this girl who HATES to be cold! I do not have access to a treadmill or indoor running arena nor do I have time to even join a gym for the winter. Life and work are simply too busy. The holidays certainly didn't help!
I've been tweaking my schedule to run when I can but it has not always been the 3x/week I want or need to train at. The weather is not helping, especially this last week of training with bitter, bitter cold and a major snowstorm predicted! Again! At this critical time for training, it's been the most difficult to maintain even the simple 3 mi runs during the week. It's frustrating. Now, this.
Last Saturday I did my last long run. I was scheduled for 14 miles. I've done 13.2 multiple times in training now. The weather was actually decent, in the upper 30's when I started and low 40's when I finished. (I can't believe I just said those temperatures were decent, but after the past few weeks, it was glorious!) I was feeling good and had slept well. I'd even eaten fairly well the day before and forced myself to have some carbs for breakfast. I was doing fantastic for the first 5 miles or so, then, with one step, I felt my sacroiliac joint (in the middle of my low back, where the pelvis meets the spine) slip. I winced and said a few expletives. I think the uneven terrain and the camber of the road have taken it's toll on my body. My left knee and right ankle were also feeling at odds. It happened before, less severely, the last long run I did, too. Short runs don't bother it. Something about my biomechanics at about mile 5 seems to trigger it. And only since the roads became snow and ice covered.
This has happened before, though not from running, and is actually an old injury (full term pregnancy with twins and then a fall down the stairs while holding both of them, landing on my butt were the initial injuries and it's never quite been the same since) but for whatever reason, that one step re-injured it. I kept running, but at a slower pace, as I was doing intervals. I tried to fix it (the PT in me has a few tricks, but they are difficult to do on yourself and while on the side of the road). I paid crazy attention to the biomechanics of my running. I found that it actually hurt more to start and stop than it did to run. The last 4 miles were really tough. I was sore and tired and cranky. I dropped my intervals to 30:30 from 90:30, shortened my stride, and my pace slowed by 2 min/mile! My goal was just to finish the mileage at that point.
In hindsight, I should have stopped when I felt the initial pain. If it wasn't my last long run, I would have. About an hour after I was finished, I was in a fair amount of discomfort. My husband tried to help with some guidance from me on more 'tricks' and I stretched. I eventually took some ibuprofen. The next day it was a little better, but still unstable. Yesterday, better still, but still unstable. I tried to run. Failed in less than 30 seconds. Instead did a slow shuffle 'run' with about 1/4 of my usual stride length and I ran in the middle of the road (neighborhood). I shortened my intervals and walked a lot more than usual. It felt good to move, and more comfortable on level terrain (although still hilly) but I was clearly still not able to run right.
Time to call in reinforcements! My chiropractor was generous in squeezing me in early this am and she got me back into alignment. I am resting today. I want to walk/shuffle tomorrow but should probably take the day off and rest. Especially since I am feeling a bit under the weather and seem to have a cold! Snow Thurs/Fri so no running then. I have 5 miles scheduled for Saturday. And a massage! :=) I also scheduled another visit with the chiropractor Tuesday, after my last short run and before I leave for Florida.
So frustrated! Which surprises me, since I really never thought I'd run more than a mile not that long ago or feel badly about missing a training run. Now, here I am having to talk myself out of running or to back off my training to heal an injury! Does this mean I like running? Does this mean I miss not being able to run? Who am I?!
The good news is that I am a PT, so I know what I did and how to fix it and I have an amazing chiropractor and massage therapist helping me recover and prepare. I know I can do the distance and the fact it will not be snowing, icy or freezing (assuming accuweather is not totally off base) on Jan 11th in Florida and the course is flat (yes, I know about the 'hill' of an on ramp and it's nothing compared to what I run around here regularly so I'm not worried), I know those things will be in my favor. The most encouraging part? I'M RUNNING AT DISNEY! While I'd prefer to run it at race pace, even if I have to shuffle run, drop my intervals or slow my pace due to pain, I'll run, I'll finish and I'll have a blast doing it.
And you know what I'll do to celebrate? I'm going to Disney World!!!