Hip Update (and by “Hip,” I Don’t Mean “Cool”)

This week has been a mix of high and low, happy and not-so-happy. Why? My pain has returned.

I went for an easy run on Sunday morning, planning to go about 5 miles, my second run (the first run back, last Friday, was great–no issues) since taking a week-long break for upper thigh pain. The first few miles were great–no pain, no twinges. Then, suddenly, as I started my fourth mile by running up a gradual incline, I experienced a jab of pain where my thigh and pelvis meet, again on the left side.


All that I could manage.

All that I could manage.

I stopped and gently stretched my hip flexor and adductors on that side, hoping that it was just an aberration and that the injury hadn’t flared up again. I tried walking on it and couldn’t do it without a hitch in my step. Running caused pain. I ended up calling my husband, who picked me up nearby.

I skipped the run I’d planned for Monday. This bad boy showed up in Monday’s mail:Photo Jul 07, 3 36 30 PMGreat, Runner’s World. Like vinegar in a fresh wound!

Fortunately, I also secured a spot in the Oiselle Flock on Monday, which was pretty damn cool and significantly offset the holy-crap-I-can’t-believe-I-still-can’t-run-and-I-hate-my-life-right-now feelings.

Thanks to friends in high places at a local health care behemoth, I was able to snag an appointment with a sports medicine doctor on Tuesday. I figured it was time to get a diagnosis because my issues had lasted almost 2 weeks at that point. The doctor was really patient as he listened attentively to my specific symptoms and aggravating activities–running (duh), getting up from the seated position, putting full weight on the left leg. He took x-rays to rule out a bony injury (thank God there wasn’t a stress fracture) and performed multiple tests on me before diagnosing me with a hip flexor strain.

Of course the first thing I wanted to know was, “How long before I can return to running?” His estimate: up to 6 weeks.  

Excuse me?

Shit.  6 weeks without running will prevent me from running the Portland Marathon in early October. In addition to missing out on the opportunity try to PR, which was my plan after Newport, I’m also potentially missing out on running a fall marathon (which I’ve done for the past 3 years). This also sucks because I have already paid for 4, non-refundable nights at a hotel in Portland for marathon weekend.Photo Jul 11, 12 29 15 PM

Usually advanced planning works out for me. In this case, not.

I went out to the Red Hot with a good friend on Wednesday night, which was a good distraction and prevented me from sitting at home, dwelling on my inability to run.

red hot collage

Friends, beer, and junk food have a way of cheering up a gal.

I’m trying to be cool about this whole situation and think positively. Although the doc said it could be about 6 weeks before I can run again, my findings on examination were so mild that I think (hope?) the grade of my hip flexor strain is low, which means it could take only a few weeks to heal:

physioadvisor snip

At any rate, I am going to my first physical therapy appointment today (TGIF, y’all–that’s how I party!) and faithfully perform my exercises and/or stretches so that I can hopefully return to running by the end of July.  Even if returning to running at the beginning of August means a short training cycle for Portland, at least I can take a stab at just running it for fun.

Let’s hear it for the power of positive thinking, folks!

4 thoughts on “Hip Update (and by “Hip,” I Don’t Mean “Cool”)

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