Lately, my running has been more of a stressor than an enjoyable experience for me. I have a half marathon coming up in 10 days…and I have a hip/SI joint who are not team players.
Every time I run my hip and back hurt and I need to take 2-3 days to recover from it before I am able to train again. So, needless to say, my training schedule is basically not happening. I am lucky if I run twice a week.
It is definitely a morale killer when something like this happens. Here is what I have been doing to help with this injury and hopefully (fingers crossed) get this half marathon done.
Before we get into the list of things that I have done to help with my injury…let me give you a little background.
This past summer I injured my back. I have a history of back issues, but this one took the cake for being the worst! If you follow my Instagram you probably saw these pictures.
I was super broke…and spent most of the week in a recliner trying to avoid my back from spasming. And when I finally could walk around comfortably, I still had a lean. Luckily, I was able to bounce back from it pretty quickly – I would say it took about 2 weeks.
After that, I slowly got back into running. I did the Across the Bay 10K and everything was fine.
I did the Turkey Trot 5K and everything was fine.
Then, I started to get serious about training for the 10-miler and half marathon. This is where everything changed. I think between the longer and more frequent runs my back injury from the summer decided to pop up again. Every time I run there is some kind of pain. That 10-miler = pain, especially toward the end. And every training run since that = some sort of pain.
So, to help alleviate that pain and not hurt myself any further, here is what I have been doing to help my back and make it to this half marathon.
1- Going to the chiropractor. Some people like them, some people don’t. I am a huge proponent of this alternative therapy. It has always helped me with my back pain in the past and I have been able to avoid pain killers and muscle relaxers.
2- Going to the acupuncturist. This was recommended to me by my chiropractor over the summer. The needle thing freaked me out at first, but I was in so much pain I would have done anything. Acupuncture really seemed to help and I still go occasionally.
3 – Sports massage. I just added this in recently and it has helped a lot! Come to find out my hips are really, really tight and this is causing the majority of my issues. No matter how much stretching I do on my own I can never quite get in there to get the muscle to relax…however, the massage therapist definitely can! This is 100% a hurts so good situation.
4 – Stretching, rolling, and yoga. Both stretching and yoga are great ways to cross-train while you run. I go to yoga 1-2 times per week and stretch at home all the time. Stretching and watching TV is a great combo 🙂 Also, using a foam roller has helped too.
5- Epsom Salt Baths. This is some hardcore self-care right here. I find taking baths hard because you just have to sit there. I could be doing so many things during that 20-30 minutes. But, I have had to step back and just accept that my body needs that time. I usually listen to an audiobook or put on some YouTube videos to pass the time. Ultimately, this practice has really helped.
6- Heat. I put heat on my back and hip as often as possible. I have a heating pad at my desk, I put the heated seats on in my car, I have another heating pad on when I am sitting on my couch. The heat keeps everything loose and the massage therapist highly recommended I keep this up.
7- Walking. Some days I can’t even fathom running…or if I did run I wouldn’t get very far. So, instead, I walk. This allows me to keep moving but at a much lower impact then the run would be. I feel like I will be doing a lot of walking during this half marathon.
So, those are the main things that I am doing to try and deal with this injury. I really just want to get this half marathon done and revel in my accomplishment.
Mentally, this injury has been hard. I have been stress eating (this is something I suggest NOT doing!) I have been really hard on myself. And, I have thought about backing out of this half marathon about a million times. However, the chiropractor and the massage therapist assure me that I will be able to get through it.
I am really trying hard to frame this whole situation in a positive light…I will accomplish what I set out to do…I will achieve the goal I have set for myself…I would have never been able to do this 100 pounds ago…it doesn’t matter how long it takes, I will get that half marathon done.
Things can only go up from here, right?