Injuries and the Running Jinx

hip flexor run

Do you know what this is?

It’s the last time that I ran. Last Thursday, June 26. Just shy of 5 miles at an unspectacular average pace of 9:55 minutes per mile.

Why was this my last run? This running hiatus isn’t deliberate. It’s because I’m injured.

Okay, I’ll back up. Last Thursday’s run was my first run after returning home from Bend. Bend is about a 6-hour drive from home, so that meant I sat in a car for about 6 hours on Tuesday. And then I went back to work on Wednesday, which mean about 8 hours sitting in a chair at my desk. Thursday morning, I woke up very early, earlier than I had on vacation in Oregon. I basically rolled out of bed and met Aimee for a 5-miler.

Big mistake.

Something happened to my left hip flexor. I felt fine while running and even stretching afterwards, but an hour or so later at work I began to have pain on the front of my left upper thigh/lowerpelvis with getting up out of my chair. And then walking became difficult. I started receiving concerned looks in the office because of my pronounced limp.  Getting out of a car? Very painful.

I’ve never had hip flexor problems before.

Freak-out sessions briskly ensued, of course, because I’m supposed to start training for the Portland Marathon on July 1. And, well, because I’m me (as in, look up “Type-A Personality” in the dictionary and you’ll find Yours Truly).   I had to bag my easy 3- to 4-miler on Saturday.

My friend E’s neighbor, a massage therapist, gave me a helpful mini-massage on Saturday night as well as some tips (soak in epsom salts, then ice, then use some Arnica gel on the affected area) to follow over the weekend. That (and rest, lots and lots of rest) helped, because Sunday was my first pain-free day since Thursday, although I still felt a few twinges when I exited my car. I didn’t tempt fate and try to run my planned 10-miler on Sunday.

Basically, I laid around all weekend and it looked a lot like this:Photo Jun 29, 2 51 22 PM

…except I was holding an iPad to marathon-watch “Sherlock” on Netflix, and I’m not that furry. Plus I’d like to think I’m a little more modest.

Today, so far–knock wood–I’ve been pain- and twinge-free.

So, why did this happen? I’m convinced it’s due to my failure to warm up before running after sitting for extremely long periods 2 days in a row, after not having sat that much in a while. That, or I jinxed myself when I texted my coach on Wednesday night when I gave her this report:Photo Jun 30, 1 25 24 PMUmm… yeah.

I should also mention that when I was stretching out after Thursday’s run, I read this piece in the Washington Post about the health hazards of sitting. At the top of my health-hazards-of-sitting list? Muscle degeneration. Specifically, tight hips.

I’m planning to rest at least until this Thursday (at least) as long as I don’t have any pain or hints of pain in my upper thigh/lower pelvic region. I don’t want to make a borderline situation worse. Tonight I have a massage scheduled with my therapist, Heidi, so I hope that helps.

Please keep your fingers crossed.

Have you ever experienced hip flexor problems with running? Do you have to sit a lot during the day? 



12 thoughts on “Injuries and the Running Jinx

  1. Martha says:

    My thoughts are with you! Better safe than sorry. Injuries are tricky, especially if you can’t pinpoint exactly 100% what they are. Take care of yourself, and by all means go get it checked out if it doesn’t work itself out!!!

  2. I second the pigeon pose! I’ve always had really tight hips, and I love that one. I used to sit the majority of my days at my job when I was home, and I have felt so much better now that I’m not doing that anymore. It’s crazy how much sitting takes a toll on the body!

  3. sidecramps says:

    Awww…man! Injury sucks and Hip flexors are the worst! I’d take a knee or ankle injury over a hip flexor any day…I really feel for you but hang in there and give it rest. There’s not much you can do…it just has to heal. But yes…get it checked out if it persists!

  4. My wife had it once, and she doesn’t sit down (so much) at work. For her it was too soft shoes, and too steep increase in mileage. But warm up is good. It helps me to think of warm up as free mileage.

  5. I do have to sit a lot during the day and it causes me a load of problems. I hope that everything is under control with it! I’m currently sidelined myself. :-\

    • I just read your blog about your neuroma! Argh. I’m feeling better–a few days without pain and hoping to try a short, slow run on Friday. I hope your neuroma resolves quickly. Don’t get discouraged!

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