The Hi’s and Lo’s of Running

I owe a special thanks to Jennifer Adams-Hater from Kentucky.  We’ve had an exchange over fb and she has so kindly agreed to share her story.  Enjoy!

IMG_2273In 2015, I made a personal decision to get healthy. I realized that at the age of 43 that I had very little strength and simple tasks like walking up steps and carry groceries were wearing me out. So, I went gung-ho and the first 11 months were amazing. I started a workout group for myself and co-workers, I started eating healthier and I began running.

As much as I enjoyed working out with my friends, I was amazed at how much I fell in love with running and in 8 weeks I completed my first 5K. The runner’s high hit me and I have been hooked since then. Over the next 8 months I completed 9 more races including several more 5K’s, a 6K, several 10K’s, a 14K, and two half marathons. I clocked nearly 700 miles and my pace was getting faster and faster. I completed both half marathons right at the two hour mark.

I was simply amazed at my ability to run and I was really feeling like I was good at something beyond the normal things such as work, family, parenting, etc. This was something that I completely controlled and the success solely depended on me! But, on January 9, 2016, it came to a screeching halt. I got injured.

We were two weeks into our spring training for a full marathon and after an 8 mile run I could barely walk or stand because the pain in my right hip was so bad that I was in tears. The TFL and Piriformis muscles were so tight and sore that I started seeing my chiropractor twice a week and started getting deep tissue massages. I did this for 8 weeks while still doing “modified” high impact workouts.

I had been feeling tight in my hips for quite some time and really noticed it when I couldn’t sit on the floor with my legs crossed to wrap Christmas presents. I admit that I was not great about stretching—after running I’d spend about 5 minutes doing a few stretches, and even skipped it all together once winter came.

I started looking for Yoga DVD’s and Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners was at the top of the list. I decided to order it after reading that Christine has been a long time runner and had been doing yoga geared for runners for many years. I actually ordered the DVD just two days before the injury. When it arrived I started using the DVD right away, and yes, it was painful in the right hip but I would get some relief and I was noticing that I was getting more flexible.IMG_2274

After 8 weeks the pain was getting better but not completely and the pain was still intense if I tried to run. It was decided that I should see an orthopedic specialist. After x-rays and two MRI’s it was determined that I had a stress fracture in the neck of the femur so that was the reason that the hip pain would not go away. Doc told me that this type of injury happens in runners and could potentially require surgery if I did not go on crutches for at least 4 weeks.

I was devastated, thinking I not only wouldn’t get to do the full marathon but what if I could never run again! Doc assured me that if I did what he recommended I would get back on the road soon enough. So, he puts me on crutches and then tells me that I can still exercise by swimming and cycling but no yoga or any other weight bearing activities.

After 6 weeks I was finally released from crutches but for two more weeks I was still not allowed to run or even doing a walking program, but I was allowed to do yoga again!! I started that very day and have been doing yoga at least twice a week.

In early May I started over again with running and signed up for the Couch to 5K program. I completed my first 5k, post injury, on July 4th, and have moved into the ½ marathon training group. It’s now August and I just completed a 10K race, and the fall half training is going well, which I contribute to doing yoga.

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If I can provide one suggestion for new runners it would be to do yoga after every run (I spend about 20 minutes after every run—I do this after I get home) and do longer yoga practices on non-running days. I highly recommend Christine’s Yoga for Runners because it really does help build strength and flexibility. Yoga really helps to keep your muscles balanced and free from tightness. I know this because I can now sit crossed legged!!

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