Today was a huge relief for me — finally, a successful training run after more than a month of injury!
Most runners have to contend with a nagging injury from time to time, and sometimes an injury flat out shuts you down. I missed most of my training in August due to a badly inflamed SI joint. It got to the point where I just could not run, and walking was even painful after too much exertion.
It took many chiropractic visits, an intense massage session, and two consecutive dose packs of prednisone to finally get me to the point where I could complete a 10+ mile run without major pain. Last Saturday — after the first dose pack — I managed to do 7 painful miles, but it was very uncomfortable and I was still in pain afterwards. I started the second dose pack this past Monday, and by Tuesday I felt like going outside to walk — just a half an hour, but it was a brisk walk that made me feel like I was doing something. Still, I was sore afterward. The next day, though, I was able to walk an hour and felt a little better after icing following the walk. Thursday, I repeated the walk and icing and felt even better so I planned to try running this morning.
My goal for today was to get time on my feet — hopefully 2 hours — and do some running between extended walk intervals. The first two miles went much better than expected, and I was able to start with 30 second intervals of run/walk that I extended to 60 seconds running and 30 seconds walking. The next 2 miles, however, started to feel uncomfortable and I figured I’d just turn around at the 4 mile mark and mostly walk back — fortunately walking felt fine. As I headed back, one of my running club friends asked if I was OK. My answer was, “No.” At that point I was starting to wonder if I would need to consider a cortisone shot in my hip.
As I walked, however, I jammed my thumb into the back of my hip to where the inflammation was. As I walked, the pressure seemed to help massage the problem area and I could feel it heat up a bit. Before I knew it, I felt like doing a little running, and I wasn’t in pain. I took it easy and still took some walking breaks, and when I did, I jammed my thumb and fingers into the joint. Soon I was running again.
By the time I got to mile 6 I was running far more than walking, and it felt good! I ran almost all of the last two miles — just two very short walk breaks in mile 7 and none in mile 8 — and I began planning to tack on two additional miles when I got back to the starting point. Amazingly, I was able to do that and still felt like I could have continued running!
I didn’t, though, because I had more than achieved my goal of getting more than 2 hours on my feet. The bonus was that most of it was running and the last 4 miles was almost continuous running without pain. On the way home, I sat on ice packs I had with me in a small cooler, and when I got home, I worked the SI joint with a tennis ball to keep it loose.
After a short nap and a shower, everything still feels good! I feel like I’ve finally turned a corner on this nagging injury, and I can start really looking forward to my Appalachian Series adventure in October.