February 7, 2012

See Anna Mope

This little blog started as See Anna Run, but if I had been posting regularly the last few weeks, it would be more like See Anna Mope. I'm still injured, with no end in sight.

I'm not going to the Little Rock Marathon. 

I still can't run. My hip is better than it was in early January when I stopped running, but running is still painful. I took a solid 4 weeks off -- thinking that lots of rest, stretching and massage would do the trick. But nope. I tried running last weekend, and it was awful. All 1.75 miles of it. It hurt from the first step, but by the time I got back to my car, I was miserable and limping. I could barely walk the next day. So I decided to see another doctor -- someone who specializes in sports injuries and hips and who isn't a chiropractor or a massage therapist.

It took a while to get an appointment, so I just saw the doctor this morning. They took x-rays, which were normal and showed nothing. So he recommended an MRI. But because of where the pain is and because of how long it's been going on (years, but with a recent debilitating flare-up), I have to get a special MRI where they will inject dye into my hip joint. He said it's possible that the cartilage in the socket of my hip could be torn, and that wouldn't show up on a regular MRI. But he has no idea whether that's actually the issue or not. No way to know until I get the scan. Hopefully this will tell us whether anything is torn, or if things are just inflamed. And the kicker?

I can't get an appointment for my radioactive MRI until February 27! Three weeks from now! (It's done at a local hospital, not the clinic I went to, so there's nothing they can do to speed things up.) And I won't find out the results until March 1 when I meet with the doctor again. So the only diagnosis I received today is that I get to spend another month not running. Also not biking. Also no exercise that puts any impact on my hip -- which is basically ALL of it. He says I can swim, but I don't really know how. I've been trying to learn, and the only thing I know so far is the breaststroke.

BUT he said I specifically can't do the breaststroke because the frog-leggish kick will aggravate my hip. So...I'm not sure where that leaves me. Attempting freestyle and gasping for air, I suppose. I'm also allowed to use the recumbent bike at the gym. Not a regular bike and not the elliptical. A recumbent bike, with all the grandmothers.

So after all that, I spent 45 minutes crying in the parking lot of the doctor's office, feeling sorry for myself. I have worked so hard, only to have an injury shut it all down. No Little Rock Marathon. I won't even be able to run the Bentonville Half Marathon at the end of March. After the first two weeks of rest, I knew that when I wasn't better at that point, that I wouldn't have time to train for Little Rock. I accepted that a while ago. But this whole time, I've believed I could run Bentonville. But I can't. I won't even have a recovery plan until 4 weeks before the race. Something that I thought would be a setback for a couple of weeks has turned into an injury that's ruining my entire spring season. When (if?) I'm able to run again, I'll be completely starting over. Learning to run 1 mile at a time. 13.1 is going to seem outrageous by March.

I realize that in comparison to basically anything else, this isn't an actual problem. My gait has pretty much returned to normal. The pain has gone away enough that I can sleep through the night. I'm not on crutches or in a cast. I just can't run. For normal people, this doesn't matter. When I've been sad, most responses have been, "That sucks. Oh, well. Just go to the pool or go for a walk and you can do those races next year."

But it's about more than just these races.

It's what I've worked for. It's about watching celebration over running 6 miles for the first time, 10 miles, 20 miles, fly right out the window. It's about facing how hard it will be to start at 0. AGAIN. Yes, folks, I'm mourning my fitness. I know, I know, it's ridiculous. People have actual illnesses that prevent them from living normal lives, and I'm whining because I can do a million things, but I can't run. But I LOVE to run.

So tomorrow, I will deal with it. Tomorrow, I will go to the pool, try not to drown, and I will figure out a new plan to stay active and get me to March 1. But today? Today I'm just really sad.


  1. Hey Anna. So sorry to hear that you are still sidelined with your hip. I would love to help you with your swimming if you want. Just let me know if you are interested. I usually swim at the WLFC during lunch a few days a week but I also go on the weekends.

  2. Hang in there. Good thing you are having the MRI because that will tell them what's going on. I just had one and found out that I tore my hamstring so I can't run either! The only way to get better is to rest and listen to the doctor. Hoping for the best for you!!

  3. Yuck. I am so sorry you are still hurting and cannot run or bike. Swimming can be fun but it def isn't the same for sure. I can imagine your disappointment at missing all of your spring races. And it's okay to mope some and totally okay to cry too! Perfectly normal to mourn the loss of your plans. And it's frustrating - that will make anyone cry.
    I'm glad you are seeing a doctor since it isn't getting any better. Ultimately you have to take care of YOU. once you find the source you can work to get better and come back stronger. It will happen - it will!
    Hang in there!

  4. I'm so sorry and sad for you. :(
    I'll flail around in the pool with you if you ever need some company. Tri-athlete I am not! ;)

  5. You'll resond well. Though you may have to start back at lower mileage, your experiences and 'muscle memory' will allow for a much quicker return to form. Good luck!

  6. Anna,

    I'm so sorry to hear this. I know how much you love running. That love is contagious and I've caught it. Injury is just a bump in the road. You'll recover and will be back in training before you know it. Listen to your body. You'll know when it's time to start again or move on. You've been such an inspiration to me and others, whether you think so or not. We will be there cheering you on, whether it is running, walking, swimming, biking, or skipping!

  7. It's so nice to see another NWA running blogger! I'm out of the Little Rock Half as well and hoping to still get to do Bentonville. If not....there is always the Hogeye in April. Who doesn't want to run up a continuous steep hill for 13 miles?



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