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.

19 thoughts on “The Happiest Mile

  1. I’m so proud of you!! Take care of that hip. Consider a chiropractor or kinesiologist. I used to have hip pain too until I started seeing my kinesiologist and he did his thing and now I’m pain free. If the hip is only bothering you on one side it could be the pitch in the road – try running somewhere like a running path or trail. Keep running though. You’ll be fine at Reach the Beach – it’s not about the speed – enjoy the experience.

    • I am going to go Google kinesiologist now. I don’t even know what that is. Thank you for your RTB encouragement!!!!

  2. That is AWESOME! That you can run again I mean.
    I really love your running posts, they are very inspiring to me, and since I am signed up for a 12km also in September, this is going to be super helpful!
    I really hope the hip pain stays away.

  3. A couple thoughts come to mind –

    •make sure you are taking days off. You mentioned you ran 4 days in a row. Coming back from an injury I would recommend a day of rest after every two to three days.
    •Julie mentioned the pitch of the road. Even if there is just a slight pitch, I you run on the same side of the road constantly, you can develop a hitch in your stride. I would recommend alternating which side of the road you run on or at least providing your legs with varied pitch.
    •are you running with a phone or music? If you are carrying something in your hand you most likely are runni g with an unbalanced stride/gait. Some people can get away with this, but others can’t and develop issues (like hip or knee pain). This is because the runner will swing one arm fully while not swinging the other. If you enjoy music or must have your phone with you, I recommend an arm band or hip clip…the closer the object is to your COG, the less it will affect your balance.
    •can you have someone videotape you running so we can take a look at your running motion?

    Keep it up, but be careful! And remember that relays are all about the fun and shared experience!

    • You picked the best day to remind me to take a rest day. It is 90 billion degrees outside and I am lethargic as hell. I think I’ll take your recommendation on this one.

      Thanks for the other advice too. I’m pretty good about running without holding things, but I will have to put some thought into the pitch of the road. Maybe I’ll reverse my standard loop every other time I run. You do understand, sir, that this means that I have to run the *big* uphill if I do that, right? :)

      You rock, friend. Thank you!

  4. just did an awesome comic about running. I am on a reader on my phone so I’m not going to link it directly, but you should check it out!

  5. It warms my heart to hear of your progress, both with diet and with your hip. I’ve been… less than motivated lately to do anything other than sit in a recliner and eat cookies. I need more of your digital mojo to rub off :) You’re killing it, and setting a good example for both your family and for the rest of us!

    • Thanks so much, Delora! That cookie thing sounds like a pretty good program too. I keep imagining that I’ll get hit by a bus after eating all salads for a week or something and my last words will be, “I only wish I’d eaten more ice cream…”

  6. Pingback: Captain Clumsy and the 21K Race | Stimeyland

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