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End of the Season

Today is a bit of a quick update. For those of you who missed it, I goofed up my hip/lower back the day before Thanksgiving. I initially thought (and still do) that I managed to get my SI joint out of alignment, resulting in an extremely painful pinch on the sciatic nerve. The good news is that the SI joint is back in alignment. The bad news is that I managed to probably sprain at least one of the ligaments that bridges that joint. I might have strained the glute right at the attachment point to the pelvis, but the PT is pretty sure it’s a ligament. Either way, the treatment is pretty much the same. It’s pretty tender, but at least the nerve isn’t in the squeeze anymore.

Treatment has been going fairly well, all things considered. It doesn’t hurt to sit (which is kind of nice for a low back/SI injury) or stand, and I can use it as long as the load isn’t too high. While the pool was closed last week and didn’t reopen until Monday this week due to the Thanksgiving Break at LA Tech, I have been able to get in a couple of times this week. Swimming seems to treat it okay as long as I don’t get too greedy on flip turns, as they’re essentially a squat jump off the wall. I still have a hitch in my stride, and walking too much seems to irritate it enough that my lower back gets tight. But the SI joint is back in alignment, I don’t have any knots in the glute that have to be needled so that the ligament in question isn’t getting yanked 24/7, and I have a pretty clear idea of what I need to do to rehab it.

Rehabbing the injury is going to consist of using different methods to promote blood flow to the area without beating it up too bad or overstretching it. Just like a sprained ankle (which strains the ligaments that hold the joint together), the idea is to use it without abusing it. To that end, we’ll be making use of a soft ball to massage the area on a wall, gentle stretching, and low resistance hip hinge exercises (leg press, squat, etc.).

I’ve tried to run or jog twice since I goofed up the hip. The first was 4 days afterwards, and it didn’t end well. I ended up stopping after 20 minutes when I figured it wasn’t going to loosen up and limping home. Thankfully the super-wife found me about 2/3 of the way there and hopped me a ride the rest of the way. I was able to swim an easy 20 minutes the next two days (Monday and Tuesday), which helped a lot I think. Then on Wednesday I was able to jog a super easy mile on the track where we finished at about 9-minute pace. I’ll probably give it another day or two before I attempt a light jog again as its pretty stiff this morning (Thursday). I’m going to try to be good and not get greedy, which means some more time in the pool and maybe some time on a bike if I can handle it? I’ll also be mixing in some more time in the weight room so I can do some of the more specific work required to rehab it in a controlled environment. On the plus side, all the time in the pool is good for the left ankle goofiness that we’ve been dealing with for a while now!

So the long and the short of it is that 2019 has effectively come to a close for me in terms of running. I’m still registered for the half marathon at the Run for the Ranch in Springfield, MO on December 28th, but we’re not going to get greedy. I’ve pulled the plug on any notions of racing it after being sick for almost two weeks and then getting hurt. But I will use it as a long run if it’s a doable (i.e. not stupid) thing to do. The goal for the foreseeable future is to get running healthy. We’ll be establishing healthy training patterns, getting the injury rehabbed, and thinking about what a healthy training block for the spring will look like. I’ll be evaluating what worked well over the last year, what didn’t really get me a ton of return, and developing a big picture training plan with goals that are intimidating but still doable. Now let’s see if I can accurately identify that something should be intimidating…

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