Saturday, May 12, 2012

Re engage Core


      I've been injured really ever since my marathon in December of 2010. That year, up until that race was really amazing for me and my running self. Improvement just sky rocketed and even though I ran my 5k, 10k, and one mile personal records on tired legs (from work outs the day before) I knocked old times out of the ball park. For instance, in college and really throughout my 20s I couldn't ever really run a mile faster than 9 minutes. In 2010, I ran 5 in a row at 8:00 and then finished that workout with a 7:32 mile (faster than high school). In my 20s and early 30s, I would often run 5ks in around 31 minutes, or at a 10:00/mile pace. In that magical year of 2010, I ran one at 29, 27 and then 25:25 (winning my age group at a local 5k) and 8:25/mile pace. Older half marathon times hovered around 2:30, in 2010, I hit 1:59. Older marathon time was 6:45, so I was planning on around a 4:15 when I towed the line of my amazing, heady, self-confidence inducing year.

 But as English majors and tragedians will tell you: "Pride comes before a fall."

       I fell hard but I must say it was still an accomplishment. At mile 20 of that fateful marathon, my left hip gave out. I could feel it slip and then my gait just wasn't right again. And when I say again, I mean from that day until today. That would be 16 months of my gait no longer being right and my left hip aching when I try to jog (any distance). Now within 9 of those 16 months I was pregnant. The other 8 months have been spent nursing and attaching to and caring for a third child. Therefore, I have not focused on finding out why my hip wasn't working right and getting it fixed. In fact, I sort if ignored the problem as best I could - especially during the first hour in which it occurred because, "by gum it, I have a marathon to finish!". I finished my marathon in 5:04 (limping painfully to the finish), which probably didn't help my hip's timeline for healing.

      So that magical year of 2010 I must let you go! The year where I ran 7:32 in the mile, 8:25 in the 5, 8:45 in the 10k, 9:07 in the half marathon, and 11:11 in the marathon - must be let go of and instead I must now rejoice in May 12th, 2012.

       For today I ran a one mile time trial in ...drum roll...10:16 (okay I know that is a serious let down)...but....I ran it pain FREE. My hip did not give out. I did not feel any hip pain as I've been working with a Sport Medicine Doctor and Physical Therapist to rebuild my piroformis strength as well as my core. I am labeling this year the year of rebuilding. My simple if not slightly intense goal is to run a half marathon in September pain free. That is it. No time goal. Just to get to the start without pain and end it without pain. In my mind tonight I just kept reminding myself to "engage hips, engage core" over and over. I have to rebuild my gait so that I recognize the early warning signs of my hips decline before I get to mile 20 and am injured for a year an a half.

     This matches another lesson God is teaching me in my own heart about not pushing myself to the brink emotionally or physically before slowing down and asking for help. The core must be rebuilt before new heights can be reached. So I'm learning what is my core and how to rebuild it. Sounds like a task worth all my efforts and all my rest.

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