Well…it finally happened. As most of you who read my blog know…just after the New Year…heading into the Disneyland Light Side Rebel Challenge…my left hip…the *OTHER* hip from my hip labrum tear that basically took me out of commission for a year, began acting up. I repeat…this is THE OTHER hip. I did the smart thing for the most part. The instant it started to bother me, I didn’t run. In fact, I didn’t even continue the dynamic warmups and plyometrics I have been doing for an entire year for the right hip. I wasn’t going to mess around. It was the week leading into my trip to California, so I called my orthopedic doctor.
And he was booked. So, I was told he would call me before I left on my trip. I called 2 times in that week…and never got my call back. When I was on my way to Los Angeles, I called from the Phoenix airport and they pulled him out of an appointment to talk to me.
He said from what I was describing, it sounded like a hip flexor strain. He said to take a cocktail of Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Two pills of each…three times a day as needed. This began immediately…
So the two days leading up to the first race (the Light Side 10K)…I was starting to feel a little less sore and slightly better about the situation. My previous physical therapist sent me a wrap I could do with two ACE Bandages as well to help the hip flexor while I raced as well…to at least get me through. The 10K went okay. I actually felt good through the entire thing…but as the day went on and I walked around Disneyland, walking turned to limping and my over-the-counter drug cocktail was not helping me at all. When you wake up on the morning of a half marathon with a limp…you freak out. Or at least I do.
The positive side is…I finished…and I didn’t totally crash and burn. In fact, my finish times for both races were respectable. Although, I wasn’t running these for time due to the hip. It just came down to the fact that once I got going, I was afraid to stop. Stopping might mean I wouldn’t start again. I was *VERY* sore for the rest of the day after the half marathon. I limped pretty much through the rest of my Disneyland adventure. But, I didn’t complain. I just went and enjoyed myself.
The following Monday, I called my orthopedic doctor’s office to get an appointment. And…the earliest one they had was 3 weeks out. February 1. I took it. And for three weeks, I went to spin class (spinning doesn’t anger the hip) and worked on a few machines unless they bothered me. But I had to stop going to Body Pump. Too many squats and lunges and the last thing I wanted to do was do something to further damage/injure myself.
February 1 rolled around…and into the doctor’s office I went. I knew X-Rays were happening, but I wasn’t sure if there was going to be more after that. I was prepared to hear the word, “MRI” from my doctor, but after examining the X-Rays and noting that there were no fractures, and the ball/socket and hip labrum looked good in that hip…(to which here was much rejoicing)…
Seriously…when he said the labrum looked good, I started crying out of relief. That was what I had it built up in my head to be. And, while I understand that X-Rays are not perfect…and it could be this and just not showing up…I needed to hear those words. I was diagnosed with a hip flexor strain and given a prescription anti-inflammatory and told to go to physical therapy…again. I was sent back to the place I went to for my other hip, but my therapist had left to go back to school. So, I was put with the guy who took her spot, and he is also a running coach…so that’s awesome yes? At least he’ll understand that runner mentality. That started on Friday.
Of course…for starters…it was all about initial assessment. He asked me about the problem I was having…and had me run through a bunch of different drills just to assess where I was having difficulty. This is always interesting. I swear…I confuse the hell out of every single one of my therapists. I do nothing normal. He initially thought it was a stress fracture, but immediately ruled that out. After a lot of moving me around, bending me, and twisting me…and a lot of confused looks…and even having to go and consult the Human Anatomy Atlas…(NO JOKE!)…I was pretty much feeling like…
But after a little reading and looking over hip issues and why when he turned my leg outward I was in pain…he narrowed it down to the hip flexor being an issue, but it was being caused by my tensor fasciae latae (TFL). It’s a helper muscle. It activates hip flexors and glutes and all that stuff…but mine, it seems, doesn’t want to help. I guess it’s on strike. Who knows. Either way…it makes me walk with a limp and not be able to do anything high impact. Sometimes…walking up stairs hurts…so…there is that. I have a stretch I now get to do for 6 minutes a day. Next week…we’ll add some strengthening exercises and eventually…he’ll get me on the Alter-G treadmill (which I have used before)…progressing from all runs on that to some outside and some on the Alter-G…to easing back into just being outside.
Needless to say…I’m optimistic…but a bit…concerned. I can’t do anything normally and the last time I puzzled my physical therapist, I was being treated for the wrong thing. So…yeah…part of me is ready to get this show on the road, and the other part is just…not loving this at all. I don’t have time to muck around and test this and that. I simply just do not want to go through that again.
That being said, I’m making the most of all this and doing my best to stay positive. Which means, I have a meltdown at least 3 times a week. Mostly on Friday night and on Saturday. As a #KDFMarathon Ambassador, I have been turning up to the training runs and just walking for a little while. I don’t do the mileage…I just walk until I feel like I’ve done enough. This past week I was on my own…and my mind was left to focus on the hip and I cried a few times. My fellow ambassadors have been so uplifting though and have kept me laughing. In fact, my biggest joy this past Saturday happened during the initial warmup before we all took off to run/walk. Dynamic stretches that included jumping jacks were going on. As I am not allowed to jump, I simply waved my hands up and down.
Paul, one of the ambassadors, said, “For all of you beginners out there, follow Karen for a lower-impact version of these exercises.” I laughed so hard at that. The hugs, the blankets, the words of encouragement, when they check on me…I am so lucky to be a part of this group…even if they are all doing jumping jacks and I’m simply flapping my arms like a flightless bird.
So…yeah…this sucks. It does. And I’m mad. And disappointed. And afraid of making other people mad and disappointed. There are times that I don’t feel like I’m worth of wearing that KDF Marathon Ambassador shirt…but then…I have people around me who remind me…that I really am one of them. And my struggle…is their struggle too.
…if you see me on the street…walking by myself…talking to myself…maybe even trying not to cry…have pity…(sort of quoting Hamilton there, HA!)…I’m just working through all this stuff again.
Hugs are always welcome. Keep me smiling friends…I’m going through this all over again…
♪♫…But no, I’m not leaving, even though I’m bleeding
Even though this nightmare makes me wish I was dreaming
Even though I hate it, I’m gonna take it
Until I win
‘Cause I’m a comeback, I’m a comeback kid
Don’t know why bad things happened, but they did
I don’t think I deserve the hurt I get, but I’m made for it
It’s not the end, no, it’s not the end
I’m a comeback kid
Down for a minute, I’ll get up again
Looks like I’m breaking, but it’s just a bend; it’s not over yet
‘Cause in the end
I’m a comeback, I’m a comeback kid…♫♪