Injured, Take 2

Well, hello there! It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been busy with life and biding my time, hoping to pop back in with better news, but here it is:

I’m injured again.

When I trained for my first marathon last year, I was plagued with ITBS—my hips and knees weren’t happy, but dedication, determination and $1000+ of PT helped me get across the finish line. I was SO happy to get there, but I didn’t feel 100% fulfilled. I knew I could have done better had I not been injured. So I signed up for my second marathon.

THIS time it would be different. I knew the PT exercises to do to stave off the ITBS. I would be smart! I would be experienced! I would run this race MY way!

I made it to my 18-mile training run a few weeks ago.

18 mile long run for Green Bay Marathon

I ran it alone, and it was a glorious run—relaxing, enjoyable, sunny. About 15 miles in, I started getting some tightness in [what I thought was] my left hip flexor. I had been having tightness on-and-off in my hip flexors so I took note and kept stretching, but I figured it’d pass. I made it through the 18 miles and was all smiles when I finished.

18 mile long run for Green Bay Marathon

I even did a little dance up the driveway when I finished, and pretty sure my neighbor who drove by at the time prob thinks I’m a nut. Ah, well.

That night, my hip flexor-ish area started to hurt while I was walking around. Then it ached all night and all the next day. Proceed with icing, ibuprofen and rest. The next couple weeks my long runs consisted of 9 miles (supposed to be 19) on April 12; the next weekend off to rest; and 10 miles (supposed to be 20 miles) on April 26.

The doomed 20-miler was the most frustrating, because after taking off almost the entire previous week from running, I thought I would be doing much better. But just 6 miles into the run, I could tell something didn’t feel right…and I couldn’t get my hip to stretch out. I got back home at around 10 miles and I was starting to limp-run, so I called it quits before I did more damage.

After a few tears out of pure frustration (UGH), I pulled it together and thought about where the pain and tightness were happening. It seemed like the achiness would be at the top inside of my thigh where it meets the pubic bone, then go straight up. This is why I thought the problem was my hip flexor, but after doing some research, I am now wondering if I might be dealing with a strained groin? It explains the pain/dull ache at the very top of my thigh/pubic bone, but not the tightness that radiates up, does it?

So there we are. Green Bay Marathon training: Only two weeks left, and I’m injured again. [Cue sad trombone noise.]

At this point, I can’t decide—still try for the full marathon (I’ve already sworn up and down this will be my last)…or just downgrade to the half marathon so I don’t risk hurting myself more? After all, I don’t want to hurt myself to the point of being unable to run when spring & summer weather is just around the corner…

Advice? What would you do—full or half marathon?

P.S. Icing the groin region = weirdly uncomfortable. Glad I am not a dude.


6 thoughts on “Injured, Take 2

  1. Oh Amanda, I’m so sorry you’re injured! How disappointing, so close to your marathon 😦

    From what you wrote, it sounds like you already know what you should do. I would switch to the half, for sure. I wouldn’t want to after I spent the money on a full and did all that training for it….but no race is worth injuring myself and, like you said, not being able to run during the lovely spring/summer months. I also wouldn’t want to run a marathon I didn’t feel absolutely prepared for, injured or not.

    Best of luck whatever you decide, I’ll be rooting for you!

  2. Ah that sucks! Being injured is the worst, especially for running. As hard as it will be, i would decide on going down to the half as well. I would rather run safe. You’ll still get to run in the race and have a great time with hopefully no pain! Good Luck in whatever you decide and I hope your injury gets better soon for the good weather!

  3. Uggg! An injured runner is a frustrated runner for sure! Keep Running MKE just interviewed Calvin Deutsch and did a nice blog on IT Band issues. He was also the guest speaker last week after our group at Performance Running Outfitters. He knows his stuff and takes a different approach than I have experienced with other physical therapists. IT Band issues are usually a result of a weakness somewhere in your running mechanics (weak glutes, foot problems, weak hips or a weak core). Personally, I am not at your mileage, but I would not even run the half if you are at 10 miles and are limp, running unless you are ok being off of running for an extended amount of time. Here is my story. I Crossfit 2x’s a week and run 3 days a week (1 run is a long run, and the other 2 are speed workout runs or recovery runs). Last year I decided to do a 15k, my longest distance ever (Lakefront Disco run in October). Knowing this was my plan I was slowly building my mileage over the summer and in mid September was at 7.5 or 8 miles, pain free. At the end of September I ran 2 races in one weekend (Brewer’s 10k and All for a Cure 4 miler) and after the 4 miler race I noticed my knee didn’t feel quiet right but not terribly painful. I paid a visit to my chiropractor and the Aurora Sports Wellness institute. I rested for a week and was ready to hit my 8 mile run the following weekend to gear up for the Disco run, halfway into it I had to walk/run (ok walk/limp) because of the pain. I decided to go through with the 15k Disco Run anyway. I got 6 miles in and I when I started limp running I ended up walk limping the rest of the way. I was hurt and the only running I could do was with the PRO 5k group that I was mentoring, so really short distances once a week. I ran short runs sporadically through the winter, mostly 5k, and just recently got back into my regular training schedule and my long runs are back to 6.5 miles with no pain. Something to consider trying is changing your stride. Go from heel to midfoot or vice versa, this takes time though and is something that could help you over the long run. Good luck with whatever you decide and I hope you have a speedy recovery 🙂

  4. Tough choice because you want to do the full and your body is saying no. I’d say just do the half now and plan to do the full sometime in the future.

    • And of course, take it easy and don’t sweat if you can’t do either at this time. You’re a runner, not a racer. Your overall health comes first.

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