Okay, so I haven't been wanting to admit it....but I'm hurt. Not in pain, I'm always in pain (not a surprise considering how battered this old, fluffy body is) and not that pain is a bad thing...but I'm hurt...as in injured.
It seems that the crash at Timbermen 70.3 and the impact my left hip absorbed as I hit the pavement left me with some lasting injuries. The fact that I put another 47 miles on the hip (13 of which were running in a modified gait, favoring my left side because of the injury) just threw my entire body off biomechanically. And...because I didn't address it earlier and continued to log mileage training and racing after Timberman (in all honesty I thought I just had to be careful because of the cracked rib and impact on the rib cage from running) I just injured myself more. After gritting my teeth and fighting through a great finish at the Hero Olympic a few weeks later, I spent the following day home from work because I couldn't physically stand up because the pain was so bad. What was so difficult to understand for me was that I hit the asphalt with my left hip but it was the right one that hurt so badly after a run.
Enter new friend and licensed massage therapist "pain" Lisa (I know too many Lisa's so they each get their own identifier and after her digging in my hip almost brought a tear to my eye..."pain" was apropos). She explained that I "collapsed" my left side due to the injury and therefore hyper-extended my right to compensate. I did that for 13.1 miles of the race, (you can see it in the pic above) then continued to train and race on it for the next two months. Lisa explained that I had developed a compensation pattern (due to landing on the left hip) that had created over-/miss-/dis- use of the right hip flexors and later4al rotators. Essentially, one hell of a muscle sprain. So...that meant shorter runs to "rehab" (focusing on body position, foot position and gait) lots of time warming up and cooling down/stretching after runs (something I don't often or well enough) and my new favorite...LOTS of time sitting on a tennis ball to get deep in my glutes and attachment areas of my quad. Or...as I like to call it...time spent quietly whimpering to myself while watching TV or playing video games to take my mind off the pain (All that time on the roller and ball was torture...only made worse by the fact I never use them. I will be the first to admit that I don't "recover" well. I just want to keep going and never think about the fact that this body has seen a lot of miles and a lot of abuse and NEEDS to be taken care of). But...it started to work and the hip area felt better. I was still able to still lift weights in the gym and ride with no pain but running was only slowly getting better. Then I had an epiphany! Why not get to the track and run it counter clockwise?! That way I could focus on proper foot placement (straddling the lane lines), an upright body position AND since I would be leaning right throughout, I would effectively be stretching my left hip the whole run...GENIUS!!! Three track rehab 5ks and my hip feels fantastic! Granted I'm still off my normal pace but its coming down. Tonight I'll shoot for a 5 or 6 miler on the road and then its the Army 10 Miler this weekend. I was hoping for a PR but considering the last few weeks...I'll gladly take a pain free ten miles instead.