Hip Flexor Tendonitis

Injuries suck.

And I don’t really remember how much I hate them until I’m going through them.

Usually as time passes, I forget about something less and less, but with running, I think about it more and more as time goes by when I can’t run. And cross training is NOT the same. Nothing gives me the full body workout and leaves by body feeling refreshed and renewed like a good run.

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For 6 weeks now I haven’t been able to train. I’ve run here and there to test out my hip to see if it was better, I raced a half marathon, but there has been many more days of cross training than anything else.

I know one day I’ll be back out there pounding the pavement every morning, but it is going to take some time. I’m not sure how I injured the tendon in my hip flexor. I ran the marathon in June, took a week off, and then when I started running again my hip hasn’t felt the same since. I’ve gone to the physical therapist and the chiropractor. The physical therapist gave me one eccentric contraction of the hip flexor to do, the chiropractor said to stretch and ice.

I have been cross training nearly every day with the elliptical (until my feet fall asleep), the arc trainer (which doesn’t use my arms, so it is harder to get my heart rate as high), the stationary bike and my road bike (that has left my butt permanently sore), walking at an incline on the treadmill, and the stair stepper (which is the hardest workout of all of them). However, these things are not running and will never leave me feeling as fit and strong as I do with running.

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I know I reinjured my hip racing the half marathon 2 weeks ago but even since then I don’t feel like I’ve made any progress in getting better. At its worst, my hip hurts even when I walk, and I can feel it tweak when doing random things throughout the day.

I will continue to do whatever it takes to heal and get healthy again. These periods of time help me remember how much running means to me and how much I love it.

There were two other times I struggled with “injuries.” The first was in college when for 1.5 years I struggled with running. I ran, but it was not fun. I couldn’t run very far and every run left me completely winded. It turned out I was anemic. I started taking a multi-vitamin with iron and within a couple weeks I was back to new.

The second injury I had was pain in my “horizontal butt crack” as I like to say. There was one area where I would get a dull ache on my upper hamstring/low glute every time I ran. The pain was never unbearable, and I even ran a marathon with it, but I still knew something was wrong. Turned out I had a weak glute, so the two strengthening exercises from the physical therapist took care of it.

I know I have been very fortunate to have only a few (relatively minor) injuries over the years, and maybe I won’t even remember this injury 10 years from now. So for the meantime, I will do my best to keep my chin up and remember that these trials are when we grow and become stronger.

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