So one thing I neglected to mention was after the run that possibly put me into crazy territory, I started to experience some soreness behind my knee. It was weird because I’m very good about listening to my body, and it didn’t hurt AT ALL during the run itself. But right when I stopped, it felt kind of tight and strange, so I stretched it out and then walked around a bit.
As Sunday went on, the pain got worse and worse. I took a little Advil and told myself to just go to sleep, nothing was wrong, I’d wake up in the morning and everything would be fine.
After going to bed, I woke up a few times in the night if I moved a certain way with a sharp pain on the back of my knee. I woke up on Monday and it was REALLY sore. I could still walk, but it was really stiff and sore and there was no way I could run. When I was at my desk at work, I kept trying to convince myself it was fine because while sitting I could barely feel a thing, but as soon as I stood up, I would practically hunch over in pain. I called the sports medicine doctor to make an appointment, and it turned out they could see me the next day, which was two weeks ago today.
When I woke up on Tuesday, the pain was a LOT better than it had been the day before when I called the doc. If it was an 8 on Monday on a scale of 1 – 10, it was more like a 3 on Tuesday. I still decided to go to the doctor to see what he had to say and make sure I hadn’t done anything major, though the amount of relief I felt made me know nothing serious was wrong.
After seeing and talking to the doc, and having him poke around for some diagnostic testing, he told me I had strained my hamstring. He said it’s not a major injury, but more of nagging one and that I would need physical therapy. I let him know that I am training for a half marathon (which is just two weeks from Sunday – argh) and he said to just play it by ear and see how my body responds to the PT.
I was told I could run a few 3-4 mile runs that week but to stop if it hurt at all, and I was able to knock out a 3.5 miler the next day and feel good. I felt back in the game.
When I was in San Francisco, I ran only once and did 5 miles on the treadmill, which I thought would be more forgiving than running outside, and though I was told to only do 3-4, I was supposed to do 10 so I felt like I was being agreeable. Well, turns out, 5 was too much. The next day I was in a lot of pain again, and once I got back from San Francisco, I had my first few PT appointments.
I’d never been to PT before, and the first appointment was basically just a diagnostic one where I spoke to the doctor, she asked a ton of questions, testing the strength of many different muscles, and came up with a plan of action. She gave me some stretches to do twice a day, and then I went back the next day and she gave me some exercises to do (single leg presses, balancing on one leg, foam rolling, and then two things using a band).
My prescription for PT is to go twice a week for the next 3 weeks, and to play the half by ear. I’ve been able to run up to 4 miles without pain, but haven’t done a longer run since the 9 miler that caused this, and the pain flares up a lot if I run more than 2 days in a row, even shorter ones. So annoying.
At first, I was realllllllllllly pissed. I started running almost 60 pounds ago and have never had an injury of any sort. I’ve trained for several half marathons half-assed where I haven’t done any cross training, stretching, or strengthening, and this time, I had been doing everything right. I honestly was feeling on top of the world with training, and so good about where I was with running and fitness in general! But now that it’s been a few weeks and I’ve had time to process it, you know what I realized?
It’s not the end of the world.
Sure, it sucks. I was 3/4 of the way into training, and I may not be able to run the half. Even if I can run it, I won’t be as prepared as I was going to be and likely won’t “kill it” because I’ve had to step down my training so much. That said, it’s much, much, much more important that I listen to my body right now and take it as easy as I need to. Being injured is frustrating, and sometimes I look at people running and am a little envious, but I’ll get back there. I just need to focus on PT, listening to the doctor, and getting healed.