A Month Off From Running

This morning, I went to the gym and got on the treadmill to run the 3 miles on my plan for the week. But about 3/4 of a mile into the run, my hip started hurting quite a lot. Rather than tough it out and potentially injure myself further, I immediately got off and finished my episode of Alice in Wonderland (season/ show finale! yes, I’m watching it late) on the stairmaster instead.

If my hip was on the mend, 3 miles should have been really manageable today. I took a few weeks off in early June to let my hip heal, but even though I’ve been adding mileage very slowly and keeping all my runs very easy, my pace has gotten slower and slower and each run has felt incredibly hard. So Body, I get the message – you’re not ready. And I’m listening. I’ve decided to take the whole month of July off from running and stick to cross-training instead. I’ll slowly add running back into the mix in August, and if my hip still hurts, I’ll make an appointment with my orthopedist to get it checked out.

This will be the longest break I’ve taken from running since I started two and half years ago. So how do I feel about it? Honestly, I’m completely fine. I wouldn’t have been able to handle a break like this last year without going crazy and getting depressed, but I have a much longer term perspective now. It’s just a month, and I have (hopefully) years and years of running ahead of me. What’s most important is my body’s recovery, and while I know I’ll lose a lot of running fitness, I also know that I can make it all up and be breaking PRs again in the winter. I want running to FEEL GOOD again instead of the torture fest it’s been lately.

You won’t be seeing any running on my weekly workout logs for a while, just lots of spin and other CT, which is fine by me. I think I might start going to the rock-climbing gym again and check out some of the other classes my gym offers (Aqua Zumba, anyone?). And just maybe it’s time for a pair of cycling shoes…I’ve been using my old Pumas because the soles are stiff and narrow, perfect for the shoe cages, but Mike loves his cycling shoes and says that clipping in really helps with efficient energy transfer and he feels he works harder.
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I have a fall half marathon I’m supposed to start training for next week, but that’s not going to happen right now. If I’m able to run in August, I’ll still have 2 months to train, which should be fine. If August rolls around and I’m still injured, I’ll either sell my bib or transfer it to next year – I’m not risking my long-term fitness for one race.

I’m pretty certain I’ll recover from this injury and be able to run soon, but I’ve also thought about what I would do if running never felt right again. And you know what? It would hurt to lose that piece of myself, but I would move on and be okay. Because I’m so much more than just a runner – I’m a cat lover, food lover, a partially Paleo-ite, a Korean, a nerd, a reader, a government contractor, a Battlestar Galactica fan, an aggressive driver, a bad housekeeper, a gym rat, a half-hearted scrapbooker – the list goes on! And above all that, I’m a daughter of God – the immutable bedrock of my identity. Yes, “runner” has been a big part of who I am the last couple of years and it’s changed me and taught me so much, but it’s just one of the things that makes me me, and the lessons I’ve learned/ strength I’ve gained/ passion I’ve found will stay even if I never run again.
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That was really deep for a Monday post – I do think I’ll be okay! It’s just that I’ve realized that I’m better mentally equipped this time around to handle my injury and I know I won’t be driving Mike bonkers with constant injury/ running talk over the next month :)

Quick Weekend Recap – Hit and Run 5K

I had a fun weekend starting with the Hit and Run 5K on Saturday! Mel picked me and a couple of other friends up around 7 AM and we drove over to Waldorf, Maryland to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs stadium (minor league baseball team, apparently). Our heat started at 9, and we had a blast going through the obstacles on the course and cheering each other on! Some were so fun that we went through them twice :) I wish I had pictures to share, but I didn’t want my camera or phone to get wet; we had a friend taking pictures of us on the course and I’ll post them later when I get them.

I loved the non-competitive nature of this “race”; it was completely un-timed and lots of people walked the course or took shortcuts to reduce the running. I probably should have done that as well; my hip was giving me some serious trouble on the runs and I only barely kept up with the group’s easy pace. Thankfully, the way the obstacles were spaced out, I didn’t have to run more than about half a mile between each.  These were the obstacles on the course:

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We all changed into dry clothes afterwards (the last obstacle got us all soaked!) and grabbed brunch nearby at Mimi’s Cafe (link). It was my first time eating at this chain, and I loved my omelet and roasted potatoes! I would definitely go back – this was a solid choice for breakfast. The rest of the weekend was filled with the usual chores and lots of studying (my stats class just started, and I have a programming exam this week). Our summer church small group also started up on Saturday, and I can tell we’re going to have a great time with the group the rest of the summer!

Would you be able to handle never being able to run again?

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4 thoughts on “A Month Off From Running

    1. Dawn H.

      Yea, I’m thinking maybe I should see the doctor and get a PT prescription sooner rather than later…thanks for the good wishes!

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