A quick stint on the DL (I hope)

I recently became the proud owner of a brand new mountain bike, thanks to the fantastically generous (and flat!) Dunellen 5k Race for Education. I’m really excited to incorporate biking into my weekly routine and start some real cross-training. (Wait, you mean running in Vibrams doesn’t count?!)

Problem is, I haven’t owned a bike since my days of tying a rope to the back of a Huffy and whipping my brother around the cul-de-sac on rollerblades. Or maybe I was the one on rollerblades.

Doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I’m relatively new to biking (side question: should I be saying “cycling?” That sounds so intense), but it’s already become an invaluable part of my routine, unfortunately due to some nasty hip pain that’s had me on the DL since I ran my train wreck of a PR at the Liberty Half Marathon.

This ongoing pain in my right hip has forced me to reevaluate my goal for the Runner’s World Half Marathon. Instead of going for a PR, I’m going to enjoy the experience with my dad, while we reminisce about all the fun things we’ll have talked about with our new BFF Shalane Flanagan at the expo. (“Remember when I asked her if she’d want to train together for Boston, and she moved on to the next person in line?”)

I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to bust out a fast half on what sounds like a really fun course, but recognizing that I shouldn’t is pretty major for me. Let’s just say that I’m not particularly skilled at being injured. (I can hear my mom laughing at that understatement.)

My injury routine normally consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Notice pain

Step 2: Keep running

Step 3: Notice pain worsen

Step 4: Run several races

Step 5: Cry

Step 6: Get cortisone shot

Cue the obligatory physical therapy, more tears, and excessive time off. It’s usually because I blew out an irritated (insert body part here) when I pushed through training to run the oh-so-important (insert name of now-forgotten race here). But not this day!

It’s taken me a little while to break the “wait for the off-season” mindset I developed in school, but I’ve finally realized that there is no off-season. If I want to grow old gracefully (like Ed Whitlock) then I need to back up and take a look at the big picture. Biking and foam rolling as the remaining evenings of sun disappear kills me a little bit inside, but let’s weigh my immediate goals: Runner’s World Half, or enjoying some pain-free fall runs before winter hits? Runner’s World Half, or Boston Marathon 2013?

Enough said.

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6 thoughts on “A quick stint on the DL (I hope)

  1. I’m so sorry you’re on the DL but it’s so important to ask yourself what’s the “real” goal, the Big One, and put yourself in a good position for that. That was a very timely winning of a bike, you know!

  2. Ugh, it’s the worst. I feel so sad for you, BUT, I am also very proud of you!! Looks like we’re finally learning how to deal with injuries the right way and reading about others being smart makes it all that much easier for the next time (maybe there won’t be a next time??).

    The amazing bright side – you get to enjoy the experience with your Dad!! The race hasn’t even happened and the fact that you’ll be running with him has already made it much more memorable than the [insert forgotten race here]. I’m actually jealous, now I want to go run a race with my Dad 🙂

    Have so much fun, can’t wait to read the race report!!

  3. Some thoughts about the hipster: try to run on soft surfaces whenever possible, really ease into all of your runs, include gentle dynamic stretches into the mix to help loosen up the area, schedule complete days of rest as well as XT in btw your more stressful runs, maybe visit some doctors to get a clear diagnosis (I know, easier said than done), add in gentle speed work to your weekly routine like striders (on grass/turf)..also to help open up the problem area. As long as you aren’t constantly re-aggravating the area it should heal up in time. Have you had this exact problem before? Maybe it’s a shoe issue? Most likely it’s a flare up from the HM that still hasn’t completely healed. After RW try to really pull back before you start back up with your normal routine. I’m confident that you will be fine soon enough, Cya at the race!

  4. Use that bike and have the goal to come out of your DL more aerobically fit than you went into it. That is possible. Get that thing on the towpath for some hours every day! Too bad it is getting dark early, and light late….

  5. If you give your body the chance, it will heal. After tomorrow, you can back down, rest up, and try to get in some more simple stretching. Maybe it’s time to check out yoga again, the gentle kind…pool time would REALLY be great!
    Forget the cortisone shots, anyway. That’s no good.

  6. Pingback: You caught me. « Run like a girl

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