Training for the All American Marathon (March 9-15)

This week, while so close to the important races, I experienced my first training setback in awhile.

A few weeks ago, my right hip started hurting a bit. It wasn’t unbearable, and I religiously rolled it with a tennis ball, tried various stretches from YouTube, and incorporated more yoga. I also opted for easier mileage and decided not to run a local 5K.

My hip isn’t painful when running, but it hurt to get out of cars and chairs and if I start running without a walk or jog warmup. The pain got worse after the LifePoint 10K + 5K– to the point where I felt like I was limping through my cooldown.

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Being proactive, I visited the ortho on Monday for x-rays. I didn’t want to run Catch the Leprechaun or Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K on a potential fracture. I won’t run on an injury or if the doctor says not to. Nothing is broken or injured; the ortho told me I needed to stretch and strengthen my glutes, cleared me to run, and told me good luck in my races. I asked for a PT referral and visited the PT on Friday.

I am so grateful I asked for the PT referral and went. The PT, who is also a runner, worked on my tight tensor fascia latae(TFL), piriformis, and gluteus medius. She showed me multiple stretches and exercises (who knew there were so many variations of pigeon pose?), and printed them out for me to take home. She also demonstrated how to properly foam roll and target my piriformis.

I’ve been doing the exercises since Friday, and I can already see improvement. It’s still not 100%. It’s frustrating to train hard, run a race, and not get the results you want due to a backfiring body, but at least I am able to run, even if it’s not as fast as I’d like. Any run beats being injured.

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All my training and racing plans are day by day. I don’t want this setback, or “niggle” as I’ve been calling it, to turn into an injury. I want to be that little old lady still running in local road races when I’m in my 70s, so if I have to miss a few races or runs now, that’s how it goes.


This week, I ran 34 miles and did a BodyPump class and a yoga class.

Monday: BodyPump + Ortho Appointment.

Tuesday: 6.25 miles total, including bridge repeats.

Wednesday: 6 miles easy + Yoga.

Thursday: 7.1 miles. 2 mile warmup, Catch the Leprechaun 5K (22:37), 2 mile cooldown.

Friday: No workout (PT appointment)

Saturday: 8.2 miles. 2 mile warmup, Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K (26:49), 3.1 mile run/walk cooldown. I did the race course again with some ultra runners.

Sunday: 6.6 miles. 1.5 mile warmup, OnShore Shamrock Skyline 5K (includes 2 parking garages), 2 mile cooldown.


At Tuesday speedwork, we ran four bridge repeats. It was my first time doing bridge repeats, and the bridge was packed because it was a sunny day and the Cooper River Bridge Run is in two weeks. It really wasn’t as bad as thought; bridge repeats sound a lot more intimidating than they are.

Thursday night was Catch the Leprechaun 5K, which went okay after stretching my hip all day. Little did I know that the stretching wasn’t giving me much bang for my buck, but I lived and I learned a lot the next day at the PT. I had fun and caught the leprechaun.

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On Saturday, I ran Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K. It rained on Friday and again on Saturday morning, and this was a trail race, so it was pretty much a mud run. The race was in memory of Peyton Moore and benefited some great charities. Noah and Jennifer Moore (Peyton’s parents) are some of the kindest and strongest people I know, and it meant a lot to them to see 300+ runners and volunteers honoring their son’s life.

The organizers put lots of love into this race and it showed- even the age group awards were rocks painted by Peyton’s classmates and friends.

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Sunday morning, instead of our usual 8 mile route, the OnShore Racing organizers held a free run-at-your-own-risk Shamrock Skyline 5K downtown that featured two parking garages and ended with a party at the top deck of a parking garage. Even with two parking garages and a wrong turn, my time for the garage 5K was about the same as the pancake-flat and fast Catch the Leprechaun. I was just happy for a pain-free TFL, piriformis, and glutes after Sunday’s run.

Funny how I can run three 5Ks in four days, yet the biggest victory is getting out of my car or computer chair pain free. Here’s to nipping the pain in the butt!

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31 Responses to Training for the All American Marathon (March 9-15)

  1. Hollie says:

    Sorry to hear about our pain as well. I know how frustrating it is. I hope it clears up for you as well.

  2. Pam says:

    Amy I am sorry you are dealing with pain. It stinks to be in a good place with running and have something happen suddenly. Hopefully the PT will help alot. Unfortunately I am also going through a little setback with my foot injury from last fall flaring up during/after yesterdays long run. I’m scheduling an appointment today with the ortho. I will crawl across the finish line at Boston if I have to.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I hope all will be okay at the ortho. I’m sure it’s really tough with Boston on the horizon. Hopefully your issue will be a quick fix and not require lots of time off.

      • Pam says:

        I had a great visit to the doc and she thinks I am fine, but should take a few or more days off until my foot feels better. Unfortunately, I have arthritis in that foot, so some pain may be normal because I that ongoing problem. Being cautious is key!

  3. Injured? What? Never!!!!! I hope it is a short recovery. I have had hip issues for awhile now, and think I have finally got the better part of it resolved finally! I need you to recover to help me with some of these back to back weekend runs I have coming up for the back to back halfs in May! Happy recovery!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m not injured- that has been determined by the ortho and the PT :). I wouldn’t be running or racing if I were injured- and I’m being proactive instead of reactive so that I *don’t* get injured!

      • That is good to hear….. setback better than injured! Yay!!! hip pain sucks!

      • Amy Lauren says:

        Yes it does- but I’m glad to know which muscles to stretch and strengthen to resolve it. I didn’t want to wait until it was unbearable and I couldn’t run to go to the doctor, so once he could get me in, I went.

  4. runner1313 says:

    So? The big questions is…. Will we be seeing you this Sunday for the All American?

  5. Isn’t PT awesome!!? Good for you for being proactive. I think I finally learned my lesson on that one! Hope all is well and you can run your race the way you want to!

  6. I’m being serious right now: I want to visit a PT just to visit a PT. I don’t mean to say that I’m going to make up an injury, but I seriously love all of the exercises PTs come up with and how much they love their patients. I’m happy you were proactive, rather than putting it on the back burner and not listening to your body. I hope you continue to get stronger and heal ASAP!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Honestly, it’s a good idea if you’ve had any aches or pains (and what runner hasn’t had some niggles along the way in training?). Then you’ll know where to go if you do get injured and need a PT. I was injured last summer and trying to find an ortho to see was stressful, along with the stress that you’re injured and you can’t relieve that stress by running. It never hurts to have a PT in your corner, so to speak.

  7. lizlicorish says:

    I absolutely love the “running faces” cartoon! The hip can be a tricky area to stretch and release so I’m glad you got some targeted exercises from your PT. I’m not sure how cold your winter has been but my chiropractor said running through winter takes an extra toll on your body. Hopefully spring brings speedy healing!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I bet cold weather running does take a toll on people. I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about how they fall running on ice, and falling definitely takes a toll- even if it just shakes you up a little.

      As far as my winter, it has been cold enough to run in pants. Once.

      July and August will be ugly though.

  8. harveylisam says:

    Aw man, that’s no fun. Be careful with your hip! (Though I know you are.)

  9. Jennifer says:

    Sorry to hear about your hip pain Amy. Glad you were able to get the PT referral.

  10. Elizabeth C. says:

    Injuries suck, but you are being proactive about yours so hopefully you will be back to 100% in no time. Kudos to going to the doctor and backing off the training.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I hope so. I’m glad I’m able to run and nothing is broken. Very thankful for that! The stretches, strengthening exercises, and rolling only take a few minutes a day and are worth it for the relief.

  11. Ooh look after that niggle. I recall having a similar issue many years ago – hurt worst after long periods of sitting. Weak hips and glutes were the culprit, but I didn’t work that out for a long time and spent years with IT band syndrome as a result! Good thing you went to the PT early.

  12. Amanda I Chasing My Sunshine says:

    The Running Faces picture is completely accurate! It seems like my piriformis, glutes, hamstrings, etc etc are ALWAYS tight all of the time. It’s always such a balancing act to not walk away from a run injured! I am glad you’re on the way to hopefully fixing it!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You know, it really is. It takes so many runs to get into shape, and doing something really stupid in one or two runs can really blow it. It’s a balancing act because every time I have had any sort of injury or niggle, I felt like I was on the verge of a running breakthrough (more like another kind of BREAK when I had the stress reaction).

  13. Love your attitude about all of this and that you are so devoted in making sure to AVOID injury. It’s so smart and something we runners don’t always do! Good call on the PT referral!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- the PT I saw was great. She is also a distance runner and pretty speedy, so it was nice to go to someone who “gets” being a distance runner. My ortho was a runner in his younger years too, I think they appreciate it when people are proactive.

  14. So glad you have been cleared to run.
    If you need one I have the best active release therapist/chiro in West Ashley.
    He is amazing.
    I go every two weeks.
    You know, prevention and all.

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