Im now back to running, but wanted to fill in the gaps of what I've done in the last 10 weeks by way of cross-training and rehab.
Bullet points work best when you have tons of thoughts and are a shitty blogger. So here is the run (HAR HAR) down of my injury.
- SYMPTOMS: very very minor groin pain, prior to racing a half marathon. During race, I experienced no pain, but could not warm down afterwards. Pain was in the front of the hip and was at about an 8-9 on the pain scale (with weight bearing). I could not hop or climb stairs and hip had a "giving out" feeling. No aches at night, like a traditional stress fracture, however.
- DIAGNOSIS: stress reaction, precursor to a stress fracture in the femoral neck. Via MRI.
- CAUSE: Diet, mostly. Low to moderate bone density due to too low calorie intake and not enough calcium/Vitamin D, coupled with high mileage (55+ pw).
- TREATMENT PLAN: 8 weeks no running. 3 weeks completely off, with only 2 short elliptical and 3 swim sessions, when I was still undiagnosed.
- CROSS-TRAINING: 5 weeks of cross training and LIGHT leg strength. I cross-trained mostly on the ProCore ellipticals; the ones where you can crank up the incline so you're only using your gluts. It took all the impact off my hip and I experienced no pain using them.
- STRENGTH: I managed about one leg strength (pain/discomfort dependent) session per week, with either light weights or body weight. I also did about one core session (plus random planks) and one upper body session per week.
- REHAB: Stretching, lots of hip flexor, glut and ITB stretches. Foam rolling, especially ITB and quads.
- DIET CHANGES: in addition to more overall calories, I added, daily, a cup of greek yogurt, a chocolate milk, a cup of plain almond milk and a Vitamin D/Calcium supplement at night.
- RETURN TO RUNNING:I am using this plan, by Pfizinger, for returning to running after a stress fracture. I am presently on week 3, and am running every second or third day, depending entirely on how my hip feels. If Im feeling any discomfort (which only ever is about a 1 on the pain scale) or weakness in the injured area, Im NOT running.
Anyway, enough of that preachyness. I'll be back in a day or two to give you a much more important life update!