I haven’t spoken much recently – on either my blog or my Instagram – about my injury. Not because I magically healed, but because there wasn’t much to update you on. And also partly because, being the superstitious person that I am, I thought that by putting any progress in writing, it would all come undone. Paranoia aside, a few of you asked me last week how I was getting along, so I thought it would be worthwhile updating you.
A little rewind
Before getting into where I am now, I’m just going to *briefly* (because we know that nothing I do is really brief 😜) summarise the injury from start to now. It started back on the 7th April with a very painful long run for no apparent reason. My left gluteus medius basically, for some unknown reason (maybe the transition to speed-work, maybe fatigue after a long season, maybe overuse), stiffened and stopped working properly. A month or so later of spinning, swimming, gyming & rehabbing, I got the all-clear from the physio.
My easy runs were going well and I had no hip pain whatsoever. Then, lo and behold, on a walk my right knee twinged and then flared up on my next run. I took a week off running again, at which point I thought it had completely settled, so attempted another run. 5 minutes in it was incredibly inflamed and painful (around a 7.5/10 on pain scale!). Back to square one.
Rehab, run, injury, repeat?
At least, that’s how it felt to me. This was around the 20th May, when I had just finished exams and came home. I was incredibly low, made worse I think by the fact that I’d had the tease of pain-free running. Only to have it stolen away from me again. Anyway, I went to the physio back home who said that it wasn’t a serious injury, just one that flares up easily and quickly. Another month of swimming/ spinning/ gyming/ rehabbing.
When I was in Barcelona with my friends, I tried out a 10 minute jog and it went down fine. I then progressed to a 2x 10 minute jog, which felt ok. Not amazing, but not bad. This injury has just made me so conscious of everything in my body that any twinge is amplified tenfold. The next 20 minute jog was much better though, with no pain during and minimal discomfort after.
The “return-to-running” plan
Upon returning home, I had another physio appointment, who gave me a rough plan to get back running. I later corroborated with Jess (coach) and we devised a very gentle, very flexible plan to get back running. I have now been doing three easy jogs a week for the past two weeks. They started out at 20 minutes, last week I did 30 minutes and this week I’ve progressed to 40 minutes. Progress is slow but steady, and I’m not rushing into anything.
Where I’m at now
Right now, then, I’m feeling cautious but optimistic. The 40 minute runs have been fine, and I finally feel strong(ish) when running. My calves and ankles are suffering a bit though, because 10+ weeks of non-impact training has resulted in a reduction in strength. Even if I kept up my all my prehab & rehab exercises! However, I’m also aware that I’m incredibly paranoid and any tiny discomfort feels like a full-blown injury. Other than that, I feel pretty unfit even though I know that, if anything, I’m fitter than I was prior to my injury. It’s just a different type of fitness, and I’ll get my running fitness back with time (I HOPE).
To be honest, I’m just taking things day-by-day and not planning too much ahead. I’m incredibly grateful to be running at all, because slow running is better than no running! And I’m honestly so bored of spinning 😅. Again, I don’t want to jinx anything, but what I will say is that IF I don’t run into any problems (lol), then I might try a short tempo session next week to assess how my body deals with introducing a bit of speed. Fingers crossed touch wood!
I hope you’ve found this little injury update interesting, and sorry for rambling on abut myself quite a bit. This injury has made me realise that runners turn into quite self-centred people when injured 😅.