It’s become a pattern.

I don’t run for a week. An ache develops in my right hip. The next time I run, the ITB pain crashes back excruciatingly, no matter how carefully I maintain my form while running. 2 miles that were a pleasure a mere week before become agony. The next run finds the pain easing to almost nothing. And as long as I keep running at least once a week, my body is okay with it.

On one hand, I’m glad to know that when I have that pain, I can get past it. My body will perform, and it will readjust, and I don’t have to panic just because my knee hurts. On the other hand, I want to be able to run when I want to, and not be tied to the at-least-once-a-week schedule. I want my body to stop returning to its bad habits.

I just don’t know exactly what they are. I mean, I don’t know what I’m doing that makes my hip get stiff when I don’t run. Is it the way I walk? Sleep? Sit? Stand? A combination or all of the above?

Every time I have to re-break myself into running, I lose all the speed that I started to gain. Yesterday when I ran, I was passed by everyone who wasn’t walking. Even people that I knew I could pass if my leg would just let me move freely. But when I tried to speed up, the hip and knee protested and I slowed back down to a snail’s 12 minute mile pace.

Okay. 12 minute miles are not that bad. It’s still better than I ever did in high school. But I want that speed!

I’m planning on running a 5K in March. And while I know I will be proud simply to finish, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to show well. I want to at least beat my personal best, but I’m nowhere near that pace right now (29:31 is my personal best in a 5K).

I’m trying to hold my core tight even when I’m not running to see if that might help my issue. But the problem is that when I’m feeling good, it’s easy enough to run twice a week. When I’m feeling bad enough not to run, then it won’t be easy to work on my core.

At least I know I can always break myself in again.

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