Hi everyone! Huge news on the blog today! Since last Monday, I’ve actually made a ton of progress with my December goals – mainly, my goal to run 10 miles in December. I’m currently at 4.2 miles! Yes, the return to running is officially happening! Here’s how it all went down this week:
After running last Friday for 10 minutes and not experiencing any pain during the run (which I wrote about last week), I tried another short run on the treadmill on Monday morning. I once again felt no pain while running and was much less sore afterwards! I didn’t even feel sore until much later in the day, and most of it was in my upper hips/lower back and not in the same area as my former pain. I was optimistic enough that I made plans with a friend to do the Ugly Sweater Pub Run with the local running store on Tuesday night. It was on my bucket list for the end of the year, so I knew I wanted to do it no matter if I had to walk it or not. I was excited when I managed to run 20 (the max my PT told me to do) minutes pain-free! I hadn’t run outside or with a friend since September, so I was so incredibly happy about getting to do it after such a long wait! Sadly I didn’t win the ugly sweater contest, but I did have a blast catching up with my friend and spending time outdoors.
Busting out the studded shoes again!
After that run, I felt sore for a day or two. I think my muscles are adjusting to running again, and I wouldn’t exactly call anything I’ve experienced so far “pain”. But I do want to feel less sore, so I’m thinking that the 20 minute run was my max and that I need to work my way back up to that level slowly and not make it a regular thing. I didn’t run again until Saturday, which was the day of the Jingle Bell Run For Arthritis 5k here in Anchorage. I had signed up for it before my injury, so I decided to make the most of the situation and have as much fun as possible without running the whole thing. I ran it with a pregnant coworker so we both had to walk a lot and take it slow, and we had a blast rocking our ugly sweaters!
Both of these are homemade, and yes this is the same shirt I wore last weekend. Shout out to the Walmart Christmas aisle and hot glue guns!
It snowed for most of the race, and we had a fun Christmas playlist on my phone to keep us entertained. We walked most of it, and only really ran for 5 minutes near the halfway point and then 5 minutes at the end. I didn’t actually feel sore afterwards so i think that was the winning combo of running and walking! I’ll have a race recap up on BibRave sometime soon, but overall it was one of my favorite race courses in Anchorage (it didn’t end on a hill!), it was walker, stroller, and dog friendly, and the shirts were really cute so I highly recommend it!
The race course was gorgeous with all the falling snow! It was empty at this point because we were in between the runners and the walkers.
Rocking my jingle bells and basically all the red and green I could find
Probably the biggest news from this week is that I was discharged from PT on Thursday! My physical therapist has been absolutely amazing in teaching me how my body works when I run and how to make it stronger. If I hadn’t gotten injured now, I know it would have happened sometime soon and the results could have been a lot worse. After my 45 minute workout with him, we discussed how much progress I’ve made and how to keep making it in the future. He has given me about 15 to 20 exercises throughout our time together, and he asked that I mix and match them into workouts that I can do at home and ones that I can do using gym equipment to continue to get stronger. He has me doing higher reps than most people because I’m running long distances, and he gave me modifications to some exercises in case I need to make them harder in the future. He said that I can come back at any time for a checkup or if I have the same pain again, but I’m hoping that I won’t have to do that.
I’m beyond excited to be running again, but if I can be honest I’m also beyond terrified that I’m going to mess it up. I’m still doing my PT exercises daily, and I’m still spending time doing spin class. I’m totally pain free during all activity. But I’m really worried that if I do too much running too soon it will put me right back where I was, and that’s not what I want at all. And after talking to lots of people about it, and having many discussions with one person in particular, I’ve decided to hire a running coach to get me back to running in a responsible and safe way! And you probably know her: it’s Susie from SuzLyfe! She offers online coaching services and has quite a bit of time to help other runners due to her own injury (not caused by doing stupid stuff like me, but because of a stress fracture – you can read all about it on her blog and send her some positive vibes) and I’m beyond excited to be working with her! I mean, Kara Goucher tweeted her some recovery advice this week, so she’s totally famous and legit 🙂 Anyways, I’m looking forward to getting back to running and doing it with lots more support than when I first started 3 years ago! Let’s hope that this means that 2016 will be filled with lots of races, PRs, and absolutely no hip pain!
Have you ever hired a running coach? What tips do you have for someone who is coming back from a running injury? And are you planning on doing an ugly sweater race this month?