January 9, 2011

Wendy: Running After a Stress Fracture

I'm very excited to say I am truely back to running. Maybe not back to my usual mileage or speed, but definitely back in the game. Starting with test runs that lasted only a minute or two and working my way up from there, I ran 16 miles last week including, a 5K (race report here), a road run of 4 miles, and treadmill runs of 5 miles. The only bummer in the mix is that it is really cold here in South Korea, it is all of 5F as I type this morning!

About a week ago I had a bit of a nasty turn. I slipped on some ice and, although I did not fall all the way down, the process of catching myself strained my hip and RA quickly attacked. Fortunately, it bears weight fine, but it is tender when I start my runs and like breaking loose a rusty hinge if I have been seated for more than a few minutes.

Injuries and RA can feel very much the same at times, but what really makes it possible to differentiate them is that arthritis (RA or OA) improves the more you move. This is a great incentive! When you know that pusing through the pain and discomfort will bring relief, it makes it possible to get out of the chair. You have a light at the end of the tunnel and the more you move, the faster you will get there.

Strength and flexibility are incredibly important with arthritis. In order to deal with not being able to run, I have spent a lot of time in the gym for the last few months and recently highered a personal trainer. Normally, and expense like that is out of reach for me, but I used my birthday money because I knew it woudl be a worth while investment. So far we have met for the initial consultation (which was free) and she gave me a few exercises to get started improving hip strength. This week we will do our first full workout session together, I can't wait!!!

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