Ever since I ran the Philly half marathon, and wound up injured and unable to run, I've been sort of avoiding el-Blog-land. Partly because I didn't know what my injury was (and wanted to wait to blog until I found out how long I would be out of action) and partly because, well, writing a running blog when you can't run can be downright depressing.
But don't worry! I'm much happier now!
Ok, so first, a diagnosis. I went to the doctor with pain in the front of my hip, which was exponentially worse when hopping on that leg. I heard that pain on impact tends to be related to bone-injuries, while pain on push off tends to relate to muscle-stuff (technical term). This was definitely pain on impact. Not good.
I saw my doctor and he didn't like the sound of my symptoms at all (off topic, but funny story: apparently the good Doc has a few admirers. When I googled his name to get the office address, Google search options suggested "Dr Jordan Metzl married?"]
Dr. Metzl ordered an MRI, and the results revealed a stress reaction in the femoral neck. A stress reaction is a precursor to a stress fracture, and is an inflammation of the bone. A stress fracture in the femoral neck looks a bit like this:
It seems the reaction probably started the week before my taper week for Philly when I was running my highest mileage and did my 6x1 mile repeats. The three days before my race, I felt a little pain in my groin, that felt like a minor strain. I definitely would not have run the race, if I'd known it was a stress reaction. But in retrospect, as I said to my dad, I'm actually really glad I ran the race on it. The discomfort I felt before the race was SO minor, if I had just been training, I would've run through it and probably would've ended up with a real stress fracture. The race just aggravated it enough and pushed it to the edge that I had to stop running in the days after (and would've anyway to recover from the race) but not quite over the edge.
Anyway, now I'm in recovery/rehab/cross-training land. Week 1 after the race had no running or cross training, Week 2 consisted of two days of elliptical and some random arm-weights. Week three, I did two days of swimming/pool running, after which I saw the doctor and got the MRI.
Week 4, I would've been about to start climbing the walls, but after my diagnosis was thankfully given the go-ahead to begin consistently strength/cross-training. I'm allowed to do anything that doesn't "hurt". Its ok if its a little achey, but I have to stay away from "impact pain."
I guess the mind-numbing, wrist-slashing boredom of pool running and elliptical don't fall into that category of discomfort.
But I should be thankful. I can finally keep up my fitness, and continue to heal properly. In two weeks I will see the doctor again and hopefully will be able to very slowly begin reintroducing running to my hip. Here's how I'm hoping that will go down:
"Running? Meet Hip. Hip, meet running. Please don't spaz out. You two will be the very best of friends."
I'll keep you updated :o)