My last two posts referenced my hip issue that arose on Thursday after a run on the treadmill. Usually my hips crack when I stand up (if I do mountain pose with my legs spread to release the tension) or when I wake up in the morning. My right hip felt like it needed to crack but wouldn’t. It just felt kind of “off” and tight. At work on Friday, I borrowed a co-worker’s Knobble; she has IT Band syndrome that shows up in her hip and the knobble massage helps relieve pain and tightness. The knobble seemed to help loosen my right hip up quite a bit although it did still feel “sticky,” like it needed to crack.
When I got home, I stretched a lot and foam rolled quite a bit. I was still unsure what the underlying issue was with my hip. I fully planned on doing yoga on Saturday morning to help my hips stretch out. So on Friday, I didn’t pay any attention to what I ate or drank. I had spinach, milk, cheese, sugar, seltzer and beer on Friday… all food/drinks that typically bother my stomach when I run the next day. I had no intention of running. It was going to be chilly, rainy and my hip felt off.
Saturday I woke up with my right hip feeling pretty good. I did some stretches to see what the flexibility was like. In downward dog, I felt a crack kind of at the base of my spine on my right side and that relieved some of the pressure. My right hip felt almost the same as the left. The weird feeling was mainly, I think, soreness due to the deep massaging with the knobble the day before. I did want to run. The 18 miler felt like a long time ago and I was really craving a long run. I didn’t want to further aggravate my hip but since it was feeling better, I decided I’d try to run for a few miles. I even took my Smartrip metro card to allow for the option of metro’ing home at any point. I also thought that the motion of running might help loosen up my hip; it felt almost a little misaligned and the running movement may help get it into alignment. I was also okay with taking the following week off of running to focus on yoga, stretching and strength training.
Because it was raining, I wore a free running hat I got for an Annapolis 10 Mile race. I NEVER wear hats or visors when I run. I really dislike the feeling. But it’s worth putting up with to keep the rain out of your eyes! It made a huge difference during the run.
I felt pretty good running! I kept thinking about my hip/glute because it felt a little weird. Not painful but kind of sore (maybe due to the Knobble massage). It also could have felt like a pinched nerve but a very isolated feeling. I noticed that if I focused on my form by tucking my hips and putting my shoulders back, that my hip felt significantly better. I’ve had problems in the past with my hips getting out of alignment due to sitting for long periods and not paying attention to my running form. When I get tired, I tend to let my hips roll out from the tucked position.
Some noteworthy run moments:
– A little after mile 4, Mike and I were on the Mt Vernon Trail along the Potomac heading onto a wooden bridge portion of the trail when a park ranger pulled up on the highway beside the trail and yelled that the bridge was broken and closed (we planned to just go around the broken plank area). He came down to fix it but we had no choice but to walk alongside the highway for at least 1/4 mile until we could merge back on the trail again. Pretty wet and muddy walking in the grass…
– We ran along M Street in Georgetown which was nice for a change! It was a good distraction to look at all the stores and restaurants.
– We ran up Rock Creek Park trail but had to do a little detouring due to trail construction, turning the run into a partial trail run through mud and jumping over puddles.
-We turned around after running past the back entrance of the (now closed) Zoo. My stomach, not surprisingly, started to really bother me at this point, around mile 9.5. My hip/glute also felt weird. It wasn’t impacting my running; it was just a pinched and sore annoying feeling. I thought about getting on the metro at Woodley Park and heading home. I couldn’t decide what to do. I stopped and stretched. I knew it’d take me a long time to get home on a Saturday (long metro waits) from Woodley Park since I’d have to change train lines. Then Mike said “well it’s only 8 miles to run back”. It’s so funny how your perspective changes so quickly. 8 miles just didn’t seem that far. I was enjoying the run so far. There wasn’t a sharp, shooting pain. My running wasn’t affected. I kept going.
– The new song Timber by Pit Bull and Ke$ha is awesome! It’s no Roar but still excellent. I admit I listened to it on repeat for about 4 miles.
– It’s convenient running through Georgetown because I was able to stop at the Nike store to use the bathroom (and check out their new gear) and at Georgetown Running Company to fill up our water bottles and check out the sales.
Since we had the bridge closure issue along the Mt Vernon Trail, we decided to take a different route home. Mike led the way through Rosslyn (another bathroom stop at Chipotle for me – major stomach pains but to be expected since I didn’t plan my food the day before as if I’d be running) up through the Iwo Jima memorial park and back up to Arlington National Cemetery. I felt so close to home at this point.
The last couple of miles were pretty tough. I was tired, my stomach hurt, my hip hurt and I was really hoping I made the right decision to run, and it was raining again. But I made it! 19 miles!!! The farthest yet. Yeah it didn’t go as perfectly as my 18 mile run went but I felt pretty okay. I’m glad I did it.
Back at home, I needed to lay down immediately because my stomach really started to hurt. I knew I needed food so had some pretzels and chocolate milk (this was a 2 chocolate milk day). My hip/glute actually felt fine too. But an ice bath was needed even though that was the last thing I wanted to do after a damp and rainy 19-mile run. A hot bath sounded much more appealing.
This month CitySports is offering 20% rather than the usual 10% off to students! I got a new pair of compression sleeves by CEP (CitySports only had black in stock). I love my recovery socks by CEP and really wanted to try out their sleeves for running. I actually prefer these to my Zensah hot pink tie dye ones. The CEP are significantly tighter (although not as stylish) than the Zensah. It’s pretty tough to get them on and take them off! Here you can see the lines left from the CEP compression sleeves on my legs:
Our sneakers were pretty wet and muddy. Mike had read some articles the day before on tips for running in the rain, in preparation for the long run. One of the tips was to bunch of newspaper and stick in sneakers to help them dry out.
And since I always crave french fries after a long run, we went to Chick-fil-a for lunch. Delicious!
My hip felt much better after the run. The next day I did yoga and got my right hip to crack when I did the tree pose. I could feel that my hips were very tight. I think my hip is pretty much back in alignment. I never thought I’d miss my hips cracking. My right hip is cracking again like usual. Good news. I hope everything is fine and it was just an alignment issue. I plan to rest Monday, strength train Tuesday and do yoga on Wednesday. It’s good that my hip actually felt better after the run, confirming I made the right decision.