Hi everyone! I want to thank all of my visitors from the blog hop on Monday – I have never had that many comments on a post! I’m really looking forward to following all of your blogs too. It was a really nice distraction for me, because as you learned in this post, things have been a bit of a mess lately when it comes to running. On Monday I went to my very first physical therapy appointment ever at the recommendation of my coworker, and I was so nervous. After all the assessments I thought they’d just tell me that I’d injured something, but instead the doctor said that I have extremely weak hips and he has no idea how I am physically able to run long distances because I have no hip strength. I immediately felt embarrassed and like I was a “fake” runner. I have no idea why, since it’s not like I faked all those half marathons – I mean, I just ran one two weeks ago and had the time of my life! But I couldn’t shake how weird it felt to see him so shocked and surprised over the state of my hips as a half marathoner. He explained how I dump into each hip when I walk and balance on one leg, and that he shouldn’t have been able to push my legs as easily as he had in the assessments. At this point he prescribed me four exercises to do over the next week and gave me higher reps than usual because of my lack of strength. He said that they should be able to help me get stronger and hopefully identify what areas are the weakest for me. He took pictures of each exercise so that I could remember them later. Here’s what I got: (and remember, these were prescribed just for me and my wacky body so don’t take this as medical advice, but they might help with general hip strengthening!)
First, we’ve got clamshells. It looks like I get to just sleep in this one, but unfortunately I need to lift my upper leg open while keeping my feet together. I get 20 on each side.
Next, I do hip extensions on my forearms, 20 on each leg.
I then do my least favorite, side plank. I need to do 5 on each side and hold for 5 seconds each.
Finally, I do bridges. I start with a neutral spine, tuck my pelvis to flatten my back, and then dig my heels in to bring myself up to a bridge position with my knees apart. I do 20 of these. At least my view doing these at PT is nice, right?
When I left I felt really frustrated about everything. I mean, I knew I needed to strength train and do more yoga, but I never did. I just ran and ran and ran, and threw in 10 minutes of yoga and foam rolling a day and thought that was fine. I knew what I was supposed to do to be strong, but I didn’t do it and now here I am, another member of the Injured Runner’s Club with unbelievably weak running hips. And my PT wasn’t even sure how extensive the damage was (apparently hip weakness leads to lots of other problems) and wants to continue seeing me once a week for the next month to see how I’m progressing and to see what areas need the most help. The good news is that I’m allowed to do spin, yoga, and the elliptical on top of my daily exercises. The bad news is that I’m not allowed to run yet – he didn’t even want me to risk it at our appointment this week, so I’m getting my gait analysis done next week. He told me that I don’t even need to worry about rolling it out or massaging it – that it wouldn’t matter anyways.
I’ve had a few days to process everything, and I’m trying not to be too upset. Sure, I have no idea when I’ll be back in my running shoes again, and how long it will take me to get back to running a few pain-free miles. But I’ve been dying for a break in training, and with no long races on the horizon I can take it easy and let my body recover. I’m also planning on trying out lots of approved classes at the gym over the next few weeks. I’m realizing that my gym has a lot more yoga classes than I thought, and I’m looking forward to checking them all out. Real talk though: I think the hardest thing about being injured is knowing that I did this to myself, and that I might struggle to get back to normal for a while. I’ve got to really listen to my body, take things slow, and not hold myself to the standards I had before I was injured. It’s going to be a tough month, but I’m hoping I can use this time to get stronger as a runner.
I’m from Philly. Obviously a Rocky quote was coming at some point.
Have you ever been injured or gone to PT? How did you deal with not being able to run? What was your favorite safe way to stay active when you couldn’t run?
44 thoughts on “Add Me To The Injured Runners Club.”
Being injured is the worst!! I’ve been off since April and am just now being able to slowly start back. It is a huge mental challenge trying not to hold yourself to the same standards as before and not expect your body to do what it can’t. I started doing Pilates while I couldn’t run. I had to tell myself that taking the time off was better than running and then having to quit permanently. Good luck to you!!
Oh gosh, April? You are so strong for getting through that! I do agree that taking time off is better than hurting myself beyond repair. Good luck to you as well!
Wow, that’s crazy! I guess you’ve got to give yourself some credit for being able to accomplish what you have even with such weak hips? Regardless, I’m glad you’re seeing a PT and you’ve got a solid plan. Just listen to the doc and do your exercises so that you can get back out running ASAP.
Haha I guess that’s one way to look at it! And yes, I’m definitely going to do everything he says until I’m back to running again!
I’ve never gone to PT, but I have been assigned exercises by my chiro & yes, pretty much all those exercise are on my list. And then I do a lot of other stuff too.
Last year I was injured before my fall half – I finished, but it was painful. I took a few weeks off and started back with C25K. And you know what? I had a great year of running this year! Even despite struggle with my IT band AGAIN.
You can come back better & I’m sure that you will. Sometimes you need an injury, as much as it sucks, to sit up and take notice and do the stuff you really need to do.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! That gives me so much hope that I can get back into it after this break. I definitely am grateful that it opened my eyes to how much strength training I need to do!
I am the poster child for knowing I have weak hips and glutes and not doing anything about it until I injury myself. I’m glad you’re doing what you need to do to get better. If it makes you feel any better, my PT told me I do not have a biomechanics to do ANY of the races I do, and this was after racing a half Ironman and still having multiple half marathons on my docket. Do what you need to get better, take it slow, and keep doing what you love, just a little bit smarter now =)
Actually that does make me feel better! You’re such a badass that I feel like I’m in good company 🙂 And yes, I plan on doing all of that.
I feel like every single running blogger is getting injured :O No fun
Ugh I know! At least I’m part of the cool club, right?
This really sucks. Good on you for going and seeking advice and treatment though. Remember this is just a bump in what is a very, very long road of running. You are young, gaining strength now will mean running well and injury free for as long as you choose to do so.
Easy for me to say sitting behind my computer though :), so I wish you luck in recovery and hope you’re back in the running shoes ASAP!
No honestly I do need to hear that! In the back of my mind I know it’s just a small bump in the road, but it feels huge now and I’m not sure why it needs to be that way. I guess when I saw how shocked he was about my hips I was worried I wouldn’t be able to run for a long time! But I’m going to do exactly what he tells me to do and hopefully will be all better soon!
We are both chillin in the same holding cell. The good news with your injury is that by doing these exercises, you will not only prevent future injury, but you will come back a MUCH stronger runner. My ITB injury and then my hamstring injury both came from inactive glutes–now I just get freak injuries.
😀 Remember, focus on what you CAN do. Take this time to get even stronger. And cook healthy things that don’t make you feel like crap.
Ugh I know, we both are in the injured runners club right now. I really do hope this makes me stronger in the long run. I think it’s going to take a while to get my hips where they need to be so I might be really hesitant to do another long run (which sucks because I wanted to do a marathon next November!). But yes, I’m going to focus on what I can do now! And since I’m doing the Whole Life Challenge I’m only able to eat healthy foods anyways so luckily I’m not binging on cookies instead of running.
Oh no!! Being injured is the worst! I’ve been benched because of a cough that literally won’t go away. Headed to the doctor today to try and get treatment for this allergy/asthma ridiculousness. I know you’ll come back even stronger than before, but hate that you’re sitting on the sidelines for a while!
Oh no! I hope you find something that works! I really do hope this helps in the long run for both of us!
I am so sorry to hear that!!! Unfortunately, there are parts of our bodies and muscles that we tend to neglect sometimes because we just don’t think about it. Strengthen those hips girl and get back out there!!! Before you know it, you’ll be back out there and enjoying your runs again. Stay strong.
Yeah, I never thought about my hips! Thanks for your advice, I’m really hoping both me and my hips can get stronger from this.
Just getting caught up with my hopping but I enjoyed your last two posts! Hang in there with your injury…and know you aren’t alone! I don’t have a “running” injury but I fractured my left humerus in 3 places in August so I am doing the PT thing and dealing with the frustration that is “being patient”. You will be back up to speed in no time!
Oh no! I do think the hardest part is being patient. I don’t want to be like everyone else who tries to come back too fast. Hopefully we’re both better soon!
Imagine how amazing you will be at running with strong hips!! PS I never know hips were supposed to be strong??
Haha me neither! But apparently they have to do with everything! Like your legs, knees, low back, everything that you use to run. It’s kind of scary it got to this point – I probably should hurt in way more places!
Aw, man! Just as I am recovering from MY dumb injury and getting ready for some winter running! Give me a shout out when you get the all clear! Hope it’s soon!
Noooooooo!!!!! Well I will let you know the second I’m cleared for a run! I’m signed up for the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis already so if you’re interested in potentially walking or running really slowly through the snow with me let me know 🙂
Despite a sucky situation, it sounds like your PT is great! (Side note: why don’t doctors send their active patients to PT’s FIRST when there’s pain or potential injuries??) The best thing about my PT experience was that I had a detailed course of action and specific goals. It’s so much easier to recover when you have things to DO, not just “rest.” In a lifetime of running ahead of you, a month or so or recovery and strengthening will just make you that much better.
Oh that is so true about the to-do list. And I do hope that this time off will make me stronger over time. It’s hard to see that this is just a small road block, but I’m really hoping that’s what this is!
Sorry to hear that you’re injured, Kristen. Being injured is never any fun, but it sounds like your PT has a good handle on how to help you recover and to get you back out there ASAP. Keep up with your exercises!
Thanks! Yeah he’s definitely taking this seriously and trying to help which I really appreciate after my last experience with doctors back in January.
I spent a MONTH before my October marathon rehabbing a hip injury due to “weak hips”. I get you!!! This is what my chiropractor gave me to do in addition to my ART work with him and it SAVED. MY. LIFE.
I still do that after every run! Good luck!
Thank you! That looks super easy for me to learn but I can tell that will give my hips lots of work. I’ll have to see what my PT says about it and hopefully I can try it out!
Injuries suck and unfortunately something most all of us deal with at some point. You can fix yours. Sick with your exercises, make them a habit and you’ll come out even stronger. It won’t happen over night or even next week but you will see a difference. Take it as a challenge and when you come back to that Dr. strive to hear something along the lines of Wow, I can’t believe how strong you have gotten! 😉
I love this! I’m hoping my doctor will say something like that. I’m definitely bummed I can’t run right now but I love the idea of taking this as a challenge!
I’ve seen so many PTs and spent so much money on them with little progress. I had the same weird butt pain that spread into my hip joint. I finally went and saw a chiropractor (I was so scared of having my bones cracked lol). Turned out I had one leg sitting about an inch shorter than the other and that’s what was causing all my pain from all the running I was doing. After a few chiro appointments to lengthen the one leg I’ve had zero pain since. Have you seen a chiro? It might really help!
Oh wow! I had no idea that could even happen! I think if I’m still having pain after my next 4 PT appointments I’ll have to check that out. How did they lengthen it? Did it hurt? I’m kind of scared of the chiro too!
Sorry, just saw this!
No it didn’t hurt. He bent me in a weird way… It was a bit awkward lol. He basically had me lay on my back and pull one bent leg up into my chest. Then he used his body weight to push my bent leg right into my chest while supporting my hips/lower back area. There were several pops and the lengthening of the leg and tightness/pain lessening in the hip and butt was noticeable immediately. Did you end up seeing a chiro? The awkwardness was totally worth it!
Just think about how awesome you will be when you strengthen your hips! I know it’s not easy to be on the injured list but it will be worth it to put in the work now and come out stronger on the other side. Hang in there!
Thanks! I’m feeling better already and hope that the exercises are behind it!
Sorry about your injury! It looks like you’re on the right path to recovery. You are going to have a strong comeback!
Being injured is the pits 😦 I spent most of this past year on the injured list with my hamstring and then hurt my foot a week before a race. Clam shells and bridges are on my list too!
OH MAN!!!! this bums me out to hear! Hopefully you’ll get those hips working at super strength so you can get those running shoes back on again!