I have some very exciting news!!!! I FINALLY have some answers as to why I have such bad hip pain while running. I recently went to Results Physical Therapy here in Sacramento for a run analysis. After testing my balance, assessing my flexibility on both sides and doing some drills the PT had me run for a few minutes on the treadmill while videotaping me. He used a program to watch my run in slow motion and examined every angle from my foot to my shoulders. The results made so…much…sense!
He discovered I have a pretty severe hip impingement on my right side and my left is insanely tight due to overcompensation. This to me, makes total sense. For the majority of my Dopey 2016 training I used my jogger stroller to train during the week. Since I’m right handed, I would always push with my right arm and slightly veered to the left. I think I have been slowly training myself to let my left leg do most of the work. Last Dopey training not only did I run religiously 4 times per week, I also took boot camp classes 4 times per week as well. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE boot camp however a lot of it has involves running on a treadmill. So ever morning I would run 4-6 miles with a stroller, and then turn around and run on the treadmill for at least 20 minutes of class. This mixed with the fact that I never took the time to foam roll and stretch properly, was just a disaster waiting to happen.
I remember getting off the plan in Orlando and feeling that “uh oh” moment. My hip was fried. I wasn’t even on Disney property yet and my body was saying “NO WAY IN HELL!” As a flood of panic took over my body, many tears came rushing down my face while sitting in Animal Kingdom after the 5k day and Ryan looked at me and said “You had an almost ten pound baby without drugs, I think you will be fine!” but what I couldn’t convey was that with every step I felt a burning, stabbing, paralyzing pain. I tried to mentally block it out as much as possible for the 10k and half and with each step I took I kept telling myself this was fine, I was fine, I will finish. The marathon day started out with nerves as I’m sure most first time marathoners can confirm, and I was pretty much ok with staying in denial and applying Biofreeze at every medic stop. When I hit ESPN zone at mile 17, that was it. Yes, I’m very aware this is also the “wall” but my steps went from a slow run to full on dragging/swinging my right leg and just praying this was over soon. I carried on like this until mile 22 when I found myself in the Hollywood Studios bathroom – LOSING MY SHIT. Tears. Snot. Sobs. Cursing. Not knowing if this was it.
After I realized I just wasted about 10 minutes in the bathroom, I just needed to finish it. I had about 10% left on my phone battery and the texts came flooding in from friends. I wasn’t doing this for me, but for my friends and family, too. Not one person told me to give up. Not one told me they thought I should slow down. All of them kept reminding me of my strength. Because of that, I finished.
So here I sit, coffee in hand and my YouTube videos playing to keep me motivated by watching other runners succeed at something I wish to do so badly again, this time with a smile. My PT has given me some great warm up, cool down, and daily exercises I need to doing to beat this. I had my first real run in the last 3 weeks, not even 3 miles, but I did it. I can’t say I didn’t feel my hip, but it was an improvement and I’m sure I’m just being hyper aware of any little feeling.
If you find yourself with some hip pain, here are some exercises that are really helping me strengthen my glutes and hips:
Single leg hip bridges
Banded clam shells
Double leg bridges
Side planks with leg lifts
Ankle band walks
Thank you to my friend, Kathleen, for demonstrating these while we were both exhausted from a 6am boot camp class!
In addition, I’m squatting a lot. LIKE A LOT. I’m dedicating three days out of my week for lower body which include squats, dead lifts, single leg dead lifts, lunges in any way imaginable and step ups. Later on this week I’m going to talk more about nutrition while marathon training and why I may or may not be breaking up with some of my macros….stay tuned!
Just keep running just keep running…
The Disneyland Half Marathon 19.3 mile challenge – 65
Ragnar Napa – 129
The Dopey challenge: 48.6 miles – 190
The Princess half marathon 22.4 mile challenge – 239
The Tinker Bell half marathon 22.4 challenge – 317