Appreciate the Now

November 19, 2016

I am beyond bummed that it will be months, many months until I am able to train and race competitively again.

This hip labral tear has definitely put a wrench in my training, but as much as I hate these periods of injury and time away from running, they really make me appreciate the days when training is going well. Those days when I’m nailing my workouts, and I can tell I am getting fitter and faster. Those runs when everything clicks, and I am on cloud nine when I finish. Those days that leave me exhausted but make everything worth it. Even though these days come with a lot of sore muscles, exhaustion from the beginning of the day, little sleep, and not a lot of time to do much of anything else, I wouldn’t trade them for anything else.

I vividly remember telling my friend Erin–in the midst of running 90 miles one week this past spring, that yes, I would love to be able to sleep in every day, have more time to “live life,” and not have to go to bed at 9 p.m. on a Friday night in order to get up for a long run before work at 8 a.m. on Saturday, but I was loving every minute of it. I was so thankful things were going well in training, and I was honestly enjoying every minute of it.

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Now the reality is that I have an injury I need to address, and after talking to several different people, it seems I have two options for healing this labral tear:

1.) I can go through with the surgery and have my torn labrum repaired, and then spend the following 6-9 months rehabbing, regaining strength, fitness, and endurance. I probably wouldn’t be able to get in for surgery for at least a couple more months, and if I want to see a highly sought-after doctor who is very reputable and has had a lot of exercise performing a hip arthroscopy, I could wait several months.

2.) I find a really good physical therapist who has worked with people in my same situation and rehab the heck out of my hips, glutes, and any other stabilizer muscles. However, this could take several months as well. I know a few other runners who have been able to avoid the surgery by doing PT work. My friend’s doctor even told her that if you had an MRI done on 100 runners, 50 of them would show up with a labral tear, which means labral tears are more common than we probably realize.

So either I could spend next year recovering from a surgery, or I could spend the next year rehabbing and working on strengthening exercises. Sadly I will not be dreaming of a sub-3 hour marathon next year or making new running goals for 2017. Instead I will be sitting on the sideline for most of the year.

I have passed my MRI results and medical records along to four doctors, so I am waiting to hear back from each of them on what their diagnosis is and what they recommend. After I hear back from each one of them, then I will decide what I want to do.

My message to those of you who are able to run, and aren’t injured: appreciate the ‘now.’ Appreciate that you are able to run, train, and run pain-free. Even if you have a tough run every once in a while, at least you know those are few and far between. Even if you’re training isn’t going perfect, appreciate that you are making progress towards your big goal. Appreciate the now and enjoy the journey.

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A few other recent highlights. . . . .

Even with the labral tear, I have been able to run a little bit here and there. I usually run 3-5 miles every other day. I was out one morning pushing Cullen in the stroller on a run, and we ran into a moose, who wasn’t too happy when I was Snapchatting him. I’m pretty sure he then tracked me down at work a few hours later.

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The only substantial snowfall we had melted. It has been cold though with temps in the 20s, low 30s. There have been a lot of boots, warm beverages, down jackets, and fleece pullovers worn to keep me warm.

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I know this doesn’t look all that appetizing, but I promise it was really good. This Sweet Potato and Lentil Buddha Bowl was a great combination of flavors with sweet potatoes, broccoli, rice, and lentils in a curry sauce, with a homemade pesto sauce for topping. I highly recommend it!

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I love it when Cullen wants to dress like me. He saw me put my vest on and wanted to wear his vest as well. He’s my little sidekick.

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Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat (therunnersplate) as well! I have updates on them almost every day.

5 Comments
    1. Sorry to hear about your hip! I wonder if even when runners choose option B, rehabbing the heck out of the other muscles, does that give enough time for the labral tear to heal itself, or will you have stronger glutes etc but still an irritated hip socket? Not trying to sway you either way, that was just a thought I had. Also, I was diagnosed with viral myocarditis just over a year ago, and even though things are much better now, I’m still not able to train up to my regular intensity and will be a few more months until I’m there. It happens to the best of us. Find something purposeful to fill your time, a new project at home or a hobby that you’ve been letting fall to the wayside while running was on top of the list. Good luck!

      1. I don’t believe the labrum would ever be able to repair itself. I think the idea is to build the muscles surrounding it, so the labrum wouldn’t need to be engaged as much, but I see what you are saying. I am the queen of “creating work” as my husband likes to say, so I know I’ll have no problem keeping busy!

    1. First a thought- since it would take months to get in for surgery (aggravating!) go ahead and schedule it. In the meantime start the aggressive PT. Maybe you can reassess the situation in a couple months (or use the time to gain more and more information) and then decide whether or not to go through with the surgery. But go ahead and schedule it so you won’t have a further delay, if you do decide to do it.
      Since my daughter was born (seven years ago) I’ve had a very frustrating string of injuries. The result being that when I am able to run (like now!!!) I never take a single step for granted. Every time I start my run I feel a surge of gratitude and joy run through me- even if I have a headache, didn’t sleep well, it’s raining, etc. I’m just so happy to be out there, I’ll never take it for granted again! So there’s something to be said for injuries.

      1. I did that with the doctor here! Well, I made an appointment to go to the initial consultation, and they said I would make the appointment for surgery at that time. I didn’t want to schedule surgery out of state yet since the logistics are a little more tricky.

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