Well, I’m one week out from my appointment with my orthopedist. And I feel great! I’m totally healed!
Okay, not really. That would be miraculous.
But I am feeling pretty darn good.
Let me step back and explain how I got here. For years, I’ve been having issue with tight hips and glutes, and they end up pulling at my lower back. Finally, I decided enough was enough, so I started going to a physical therapist to work on getting those muscles loosened up.
Then all of a sudden, the issues shifted. By mid-November, the pain was no longer in my glutes, but my left leg was just constantly tight. No, I don’t think the PT caused the labral tear. But I think the reason that my hips were all so locked up was to protect this old injury. A labral tear means that my hip isn’t as tight in the socket as it should be, and my muscles know that’s not how this is supposed to work, so they were doing their best to keep everything in place. So in loosening everything up, the labral tear reappeared.
Now that the inflammation has been reduced, I can feel where the tear is, and it’s not a new sensation. I can’t tell you when I first felt it, but it’s certainly not a new thing, so I’d say this tear has been around for a while. The goal now is to strengthen my muscles so that they are properly supporting my hip, rather than just locking up to hold everything in place.
A big part of the reason that I’m feeling as good as I am right now is because of all the rest that I put in. When things started to hurt, I stepped back. I knew it was something in my hip, likely a labral tear or a stress fracture. So I stopped all activities that could cause issues for either (running and anything jumping related). I was also working with my PT to continue to loosen up the tight muscles. If anything hurt, we avoided it. So by the time I saw the second doctor, I was already in less pain than I had been throughout.
I still have another week off until I can try running again, and I’ve got high hopes. It’s not going to be pretty, I’m sure. But I’ll get back to it.
The big lesson here for me is rest. I didn’t push through an injury. Would I have done more damage? Probably not. But I also wouldn’t be as pain free as I am now, and who knows where the rest of my season would be.
So what’s next? Well, one more week of healing before I start running. Lots and lots of PT. And then easing back in to a normal training routine. I’ve talked with my coach and we’re going to take it very slow. She’s confident in my fitness base that she thinks I should be okay for my March half marathon and May 70.3. Will these be my fastest races? Probably not, but that’s perfectly okay.
I did have to back out of the Donna Half Marathon in a few weeks, to no one’s surprise. I’m certainly not going to be able to run 13.1 miles quite that soon. I am sad to not be racing, as it’s one of my favorite races, and I’m sad to not be there cheering (but it just didn’t make sense to spend the money on the hotel and meals when I will be paying copays like crazy for the next few weeks). But this is just one blip on the plan. Here’s to things looking up!