The Best 5.5 Miles

If you’re not a runner or don’t care about running, feel free to skip this post.

Photo of me in the dark after a run.

Me after tonight’s run. Hey, did you know it gets dark at 8pm these days? I didn’t.

I haven’t told you how bad it had gotten.

I think I told you that I was having a lot of hip pain and I was going to a physical therapist and an orthopod, but I didn’t tell you how much it hurt or how depressed I was about it or how I was worried that I was never going to run again.

I’ve had to defer a race until next year. I had to switch my upcoming 20-mile race to the 10-mile option. I was starting to worry about whether I’d be able to run any of the races I’d registered for this fall.

I’ve barely run for such a long time. I could practically feel my fitness draining away.

I had two cortisone shots a week apart and I didn’t run at all for many days, as instructed. I even waited a couple of extra days before running because I was scared that I would try and not be able to. See, even after the shots and even with complete rest, it still hurt just walking around. It’s not even that I cared about the pain—except when I was running.

I finally went out this past Monday. The hip didn’t really hurt, but it was weak. And felt…off. Running was really tiring. I just did a couple of miles and those were run/walk intervals. I was trying to be smart, so I took a day off, then did a slightly longer interval run on Wednesday. Same deal with the hip.

Both of those runs were haaaard. I don’t know if it was that I was out of practice or that my hip was weak or that it was ninety fucking degrees, but I was discouraged. I knew that I could get back, but I figured that it would take a really long time. I started to worry that I’d be doing three-mile runs for months.

I rested another day and today I went on a longer run. I was trying to decide if I could run my ten-mile race in two weeks or if I should defer that one too. I figured if I could run five or six miles after being out of practice then I could get to ten for a race.

You guys. I knew as soon as I set out that it was good. I ran. Without pain. Without weakness. Without walking. I almost started laughing around mile four because I was so relieved.

I ended up running 5.5 miles and could have gone farther. I’m working very hard at not doing too much too fast though so I didn’t push farther.

I’m so happy though. I think I didn’t realize how fully depressed about it I had been until that really started to lift today. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders (or my hip, as it were).

I have a long road ahead of me to get back to where I was and and an even longer one to get to my January marathon. But for the first time in more than a month, I feel like I can run there.

13 thoughts on “The Best 5.5 Miles

  1. Apologies I may have missed earlier posts, have you had an MRI? I did and I have three tears in my hip labrem :( One shot of cortisone last April and found the procedure to be very very uncomfortable but it did help I must say. Any word on what your injury is ?

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your hip. How long was your recovery? I had an xray but no MRI. The ortho seemed to think it was bursitis in the greater trocantis. Cortisone shots are super unpleasant, but sooooo worth it.

  2. Exactly & right on Sister runner !! Realizing our limitations & fears …. Breaking free & proving to our selves that we have not lost it all ….. And recognizing that it does take time to physically & mentally recover from injury or health issues/problems …. Hurray& cheers to you for your recovery ….

  3. What if you’re not a runner and don’t care about running but care about you and like to read happy things about you not being in pain and say huzzah? Am I allowed to read this post then?

    • Hmmmm. That’s a gray area. I’m going to have reread the bylaws and get back to you.

      (Thanks. :) )

  4. Congrats❕🎉🎉🎉 Injury and pain suck, I’m so glad you’re on the mend. Also note, I’m not a runner, never have been, and never will be. However, I still read all of your posts. 😉

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