Monday, September 10, 2012

When Mysterious Aches/Pains Strike

For the past two weeks I have been having all sorts of mysterious aches and pains. First it was this weird pain in my left hamstring/hip/glute. I don't really know what or where it was but it disappeared as quickly as it showed up. For the time that the pain was there, though, it was pretty intense. It started on a Saturday morning and by bed time it was so bad I could barely walk. I skipped my scheduled run the next day and went for a bike ride instead. By Monday it was gone. The only problem was that a new pain had showed up in my right upper inner thigh. I get this strong discomfort when I first start running or when I walk down the stairs. It has been going on for a week now so I set up an appointment to get it checked out.

This is the worst time for me to have any kind of injury or pains though. I am just getting to the part of marathon training with the 16-20 mile long runs. I had been feeling really good about where I was with my training and was coming off a really great race. Now I feel defeated and am questioning whether I will even be able to complete my training. I don't have the kind of running background that allows for 1-2 weeks of rest or cross training. I need to be building my mileage and increasing my long runs. Hopefully I am just being dramatic and everything will be fine.

Besides cutting out lifting I have really altered a few aspects of my training. Of course I am doing the usual stretch, ice, foam roll deal but I am taking them to the next level. Since it is the beginning of runs when my leg is bothering me I am starting each run off with a dynamic warm up. Not only does this get the body warmed up but it also stretches out the body in a safe way before starting my run. If I am doing a harder run I end it with a dramatically longer warm down followed by stretching. I am also stretching after easy runs since it is best to stretch after all runs.

If I finish my run at my apartment I foam roll my entire lower body after I am finished stretching. I'm sure it means something, although I am not sure what, but I can replicate the pain in my leg when I roll my hamstring. Since it hurts I don't do that though. My quads and hip flexors are what really seem to be needing the most foam roll love lately. After I am done rolling I then ice my leg. Icing seems to eliminate the pain for at least a little while. If I run at school I still stretch after running but I foam roll and ice later in the day when I get back to my place.

I took it generally easy last week, even cutting out my long run when the pain started to increase. I am also doing a fair amount of cross training in the forms of yoga, swimming, and biking. Although a few people have suggested it, I haven't taken any anti-inflammatory medicines yet, nor do I think I will. I don't like to take any kind of medicine unless it is necessary and right now I want to track my progress to see what is or isn't working. I am also taking the elevator whenever possible since stairs produce the pain as well.

Any suggestions?

1 comment :

  1. Interesting, I'm going through discouraging pains right now, too, in a similar mileage spot in my training. In my case I hadn't done much strength training thus far, so I'm finding that pushing my pace on longer runs and doing speed work intervals close to 100% can really, really hurt and linger for days. I think this is compounded by the fact that I'm not quite fully recovering after every run and always carrying legs that are a little tired.
    I think core strengthening, weight training, maybe hills, maybe more trails, and of course cross training might all be good, possibly necessary for me at this point.
    Either that or I forget the whole thing and eat cheese burgers and feel sorry for myself because my hip hurts when I push the pace.