Monday, July 15, 2013

The Happiest Mile

I haven’t been running lately. Remember my hip problem from way back last spring? Well, it came back at the end of May and I’ve been trying everything I can think of to fix it. Every time I tried to run on it or even if I did something like fooling around with Quinn on a tennis court or the day I ripped up all the carpet in one of my rooms, the pain would flare back up.

The great thing about it was that with every step of my left foot, my body was all, “Loser!” [right step] “Loser!” [right step]… It sucked.

I would have been sad about this no matter what, but because I am scheduled to run in a 12-person relay race in mid-September, I have been downright panicked. Wait. Not panicked, rather I’ve been PANICKED.

Seriously. Realistically, we all know that I am going to be the slowest and chubbiest person at this race, even if I were able to train straight through. Having to take time off ensures that I will be even slower.

I knew that even if I couldn’t get faster, however, I could get less chubby. I made it my mission to dedicate my hip recovery time to getting my diet in order. Twentyish pounds later, I am more motivated than I have been in years.I’ve been logging my food intake and doing non-running workouts almost every day.

Still, I can lose all the weight I want to, but it’s not going to help me run three legs of a relay race unless I train.

I had taken time off running to let the hip rest and I had stretched it and foam rolled it and iced it and heated it and finally after three weeks, I had realized it wasn’t getting better.

I went to a doctor and had my hip checked out. It’s fine. Then I got a cortisone shot. Then, a week and a half later, I had a second cortisone shot. And oral anti-inflammatories. It’s a long story, and one I don’t much feel like dwelling on, because it kinda sucked, but at some point after all of that, I realized that I didn’t feel the hip pain anymore.

Last Friday I went for a run. I was nervous. I was scared that I’d get a half mile in and start twinging again. I had been fantasizing about running, imagining routes, and planning where and for how long I would run. It felt amazing to actually do it. I couldn’t stop smiling. I probably looked like a lunatic.
It was the happiest mile I’ve ever run.

The happiest mile was followed three days later by the unhappiest three miles, which I ran today in 90-something degree weather. July is hot.

I’m cautiously optimistic. I’ve run four days in a row without pain, but the hip has been twinge-y in the evenings. At this point, I’m just running through it. My current plan is to will the hip into submission. That’ll probably work, right?

As far as I’m concerned, it has to work. Because I have a lot more happy miles in me and I want to run them.

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