I have given y’all the history of running in my life and what it meant to me up until the end of my college career. Now, I want to share with y’all my experiences with running up until my hip surgery to repair my labrum. Most importantly, I want to tell y’all how I rediscovered my passion for the sport that has had a special place in my heart since the day I was born.
I decided after I graduated that I was going to take some time for myself away from running. In my mind, I had decided I would not run for a year. I needed to detox in a sense. I needed a major break, because, in that moment, I hated to run and that broke my heart.
Let’s be honest though, I was insane for thinking I would make it a whole year without running. I made it from May until December. It was hard for me to stay away from running, because it had always been a stress reliever for me and was a way for me to keep my anxiety at bay. I was not training, nor was I running consistently. I’d go a few weeks between runs, and for me, that seemed to be just enough space to help me love and crave running again.
By the time I was out of grad school and working for a lower-level professional hockey team, I was running pretty consistently, well, kind of. I still wasn’t running every day, but I was running 1-2x a week. I know, that doesn’t seem like a lot, and you are right, it isn’t. At this time, I was running more out of necessity for my mental health than to keep in running shape.
Now, you may be thinking “How was she running with the torn labrum?” Let me tell you, it was hard. I was running well, don’t get me wrong, but it was painful. My final run during that hockey season was in early April, just before the season ended. I was feeling stressed and anxious about closing out the season, doing inventory, exit-physicals, etc. I decided I’d take a break from working and go for a quick 2 mile run. Well, those 2 miles turned to 20 minutes, that 20 minutes turned to 3 miles, those 3 miles turned to 4 miles, those 4 turned to 5, those 5 turned to 6, those 6 turned to 7, and those 7 miles turned to 60 minutes. I wanted to run further. I told myself I would go 8 miles once I hit the 60 minutes, but my hip decided otherwise. It gave out on me, and I ended up on the floor.
I was in so much pain for the next few days. I told my mom that when I got home, I needed to go see the orthopedic surgeon that had operated on her hip as soon as possible. I saw this doctor in early June. I had x-rays and an MRI done. I found out in early July that I needed to have surgery to repair a torn labrum, as well as a birth defect that caused my anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS) to be deformed.
My surgery date was scheduled for the beginning of August. I told myself that I should not go out for any more runs until after I was healed, considering how much pain I was in after my last run. However, I went to Chicago to visit my boyfriend mid-July and he somehow talked me into running to a rock climbing gym. An easy 2 miles, should have been no problem. Well, in the moment, it wasn’t. Afterwards though, I had an awful ache for a whole 24 hours. This was my final run before surgery.
So, I had my surgery and it went incredibly well. I began physical therapy at home for about 4 weeks before I moved out to Chicago, where I finished the remainder of my appointments. It was during this post-op time that I truly realized how much I love running.
There is a big difference between choosing to no longer run and physically being unable to run. I was going stir-crazy. The fact that I could not physically go out and run, kind of killed me inside. I struggled a bit with accepting that I had no choice in whether I would go out for a run. There was no option.
That saying, you never know what you have until it’s gone, is incredibly true. The 12 weeks that I went being unable to run, was the longest 12 weeks of my young life so far. However, it sparked that passion and love for running in me again. It fueled my drive and determination to not only run again, but to train and compete again. My goal? Run in my first half-marathon this upcoming Summer. Starting this week, I’ll be keeping you all updated on my runs and workouts at the end of each week. C’mon! Join me on my adventure!