|Tools of recovery|
Whenever I go out for a run, I think about the things I should capture in that day's post. This blog has served as my running journal since November 2008 and it's been a handy resource for looking back throughout the years. Today I thought about how two people wished me happy Easter as I ran through the neighborhood (hey, what about Passover?!), how I could smell the the salty ocean air and how annoying it was to get gravel in my shoes from all the recent pothole repairs. Little did I know that the key item of this post would happen during the last second of my run.
Things started out okay. My nagging piriformis injury felt a bit more pronounced this morning than yesterday, but not by much. I had used both my massage stick and a tennis ball earlier to loosen up my sore muscles. I was hoping for more improvement. To understand how I felt, imagine how it would feel to have a skilled rolfer jam their index finger knuckle deeply into your left glute every time you took a step. It wasn't too comfortable, but it was tolerable.
After about ten minutes, the discomfort began to diminish and I started to feel more like my old self. My goal was to increase my distance 10% beyond yesterday's run and I knew that would not be a problem. I was less than a quarter mile from my house when I turned onto a road I'd literally run a thousand times and made my way over to the sidewalk. I typically end my runs by following this sidewalk that wraps up and around a couple of short roads before delivering me to my street.
Just when I was feeling encouraged by having completed two decent neighborhood runs this weekend, my toe caught a raised section of the sidewalk and I began falling toward the concrete. I know what it's like to take that fall and did everything I could to stay upright. My instinct was to pull up on my hamstring. When I did that, I felt the pain of a million bee stings along in my lower glute.
My first reaction was frustration that I was back to square one with this injury. I tried to take a couple of walking steps, but was warned off by the pain. Although I was only a minute's walk away from my house, I didn't feel like I could do it without making the injury worse. I called my wife and asked her to pick me up. It was not the way I'd imagined this run would end.
After the very brief ride home, I was able to walk more comfortably. That gave me hope that I hadn't done further damage today. I immediately began icing the sore area and I've continually rotated cold packs since then. It's uncomfortable, but I'm not getting the searing pain I expected when I move around. It's more of a heightened version of my previous sciatic pain.
I've taken a few "running" steps in the meantime and it's actually not that bad. I'm guessing that all the icing has helped reduce painful inflammation. What I don't know is how it will feel under non-iced conditions. I'm on vacation a few days next week and was hoping to get in some additional running. With today's setback, I may need to hold off. I will test the waters with an elliptical session tomorrow and see how it goes from there.
Oh, and you can bet I'm remaking that orthopedist appointment.