Thursday, 11 April 2013

Adam is right. Again.

Last Friday's two mile run felt good enough that I tried five miles on Sunday.  That too felt okay, following the usual pattern of stiff and sore for the first 10 minutes or so and then settling down into vague stiffness for the rest of the run.  My calves were quite tight and it made me laugh to realise that, just as Adam had predicted, focusing on something else made me forget about my hip.  I felt more optimistic than I had done in while, and headed off for my work in Shetland with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Not actual size.  But close.
And then I sat all scrunched up in a teeny tiny seat on a teeny tiny plane for an hour and a half.  By the time that I got off the plane at Sumburgh, my hip and quad had seized up and I couldn't walk without a limp.  The next morning saw me limping around the flat, limping to work, limping through the corridors at work, and whingeing to anyone who wasn't quick enough to avoid me about my distress at not being able to run. 

The pain didn't get any better over the next couple of days.  I started obsessing about stress fractures again and worked myself into a tearful tizz.  I decided to withdraw from the marathon, give my leg the time that it needs to get better, and target another marathon in the autumn.  As part of this plan, I thought that it would be a good idea to make an appointment with a physio for a different (but complementary) perspective to Adam's on rehabbing this injury (and to get a second - no, make that third - opinion about whether this is a stress fracture). 

And that's where I went tonight.  Michelle the Physio was just like every other physio that I've ever seen - calm, down to earth, and knowledgeable.  She heard my story (and I'm pleased to say that I didn't cry once), made me walk around the room and do some stretches, and (just like every other physio that I've ever seen) snickered at how inflexible I am.  Then she plonked me on the table and proceeded to move my hip through various contortions in an attempt to reproduce the pain that I get when I walk.  No reproduction of pain happened.  Then she moved my good hip through various contortions which, to my surprise, felt just as stiff and occasionally uncomfortable as the bad hip.

Her verdict?  Man up and run the race. 

Like Adam, she couldn't find anything seriously wrong.  Like Adam, she thinks that tight muscles are the cause of most of the pain - tightness because there was/is a slight injury and my body is trying to protect it and tightness because I keep obsessing about and focusing on the area and expecting it to hurt.  Like Adam, she thinks that this is not a stress fracture because it would have hurt A LOT during the contortions.  And like Adam, she thinks that running the race will not cause any further damage (although it will probably hurt and I'll probably have to walk a lot). 

Her recommendations?  Get out there and run tomorrow.  Take my iPod and listen to music or to my audiobook or to anything that is going to distract me from thinking about my leg.  Run because I enjoy running.  If my leg hurts, reframe this as 'tightness' rather than 'discomfort.'  And before, during, and after the run...RELAX. 

So, it's all back on.  Time to move away from the Cupcakes of Commiseration and get myself into proper taper mode - I'm going to be running a marathon!

Farewell, my friends! 


  1. A very relieved "hurrah" from us too!! See you soon, marathon runner!! x

  2. I had planned to email you today to say that I wasn't going to be running. Now...well, see you in London! x

  3. Hooray! Look to the champagne cupcakes of celebration! And we can have them too!

  4. Celebration or desolation, cupcakes are always the perfect food!