I woke up this morning with a hip that was just as painful as when I went to bed last night. Sometimes you can run through pain but, when you can't walk without hurting, that's probably as good a sign as you're going to get that the five miles you had planned is not going to happen.
So, while I had my morning cup of hot water, I had another look on-line for what might be causing my problem. There is a lot of very useful and in-depth information on the internet. This is, however, not always a Good Thing for someone with hypochondriacal tendencies and a vivid imagination, and explains why I ended up sitting in tears in front of the computer.
Not only did I come across numerous stories from runners about the 3 or 6 or 12 weeks that they needed to take off from running in order to heal their dodgy hips, but I somehow I found myself sucked into the universe of osteoarthritis and hip replacements. Cue much sadness about missing the marathon - I could see myself so clearly, standing at the finishing line with the spectators, womanfully holding back my tears of disappointment at my fate - and also cue much depression about getting old and having my joints crumble away from under me and regretting all the times that I didn't go out for a run because I was too tired or the weather wasn't quite right or I just couldn't be bothered.
Sheesh...somehow I managed to get myself out the front door, into the car (still crying), and off to the gym where I did 16km on the exercise bike and a couple of miles on the cross-trainer. My hip didn't hurt during the exercise at all, and even seemed to have loosened up a bit afterwards. I took 600mg of ibuprophen when I got to work, and again when I got home, and this seems to have made a difference too.
I'm tempted to try to run tomorrow morning, but without a specific distance in mind. If it hurts, I'll stop and go to the gym. If it feels okay, I'll carry on. Either way, I'll try to not worry about it. Much.