I haven't had much luck in the staying-injury-free arena as of late. I don't think I did anything seriously wrong from a marathon training perspective, but I do think pushing myself harder and longer on trails may have played a role.
After the ankle sprain everything seemed to be fine for a month or so. I ran Berkeley Half and CIM without any problems and even had a great race and PR at CIM. Unfortunately, when I went back to running following my 10 day post-CIM break I found myself with a strange new hip pain that I couldn't shake. I didn't run much, took strings of days off, and used the elliptical without any real healing progress. And then for my big dumb move, I did a couple of tough trail runs that resulted in more pain. I'm not really sure why I did that; denial maybe, or just the fact that I love it and wanted to run with friends. I thought it would all go away on its own. Wrong.
I got to a point where it would hurt really bad after any runs involving hills, so much that I couldn't actually pick up my left leg to go up stairs. No matter how much I didn't want to admit it, I was in pretty bad shape after the SFM Ambassador run. I finally realized this wasn't going away easily.
Today I finally saw my doctor about this, and her diagnosis is a tendon strain in the hip/groin area. On the bright side, my X-rays were normal so it's not caused by any weird structural defect in my hips. The healing plan is Ibuprofen for 10 days to get the inflammation down, rest especially from anything involving climbing, elliptical for exercise, and Physical Therapy. She said I might be able to add in some flat run courses to keep my sanity, but be careful doing it when I'm on the Ibuprofen because it'll mask pain.
I know this isn't the worst thing ever, and I'm allowed to do activity so that's awesome. The hard part is knowing my big goal for the year was to ramp up on trail running and to run the Big Basin 50K in early June. I wanted to start base building on trails now, and just thinking about it stresses me out. We'll see how the healing process goes, but I'm letting myself be open to the idea of pushing the 50K goal out farther until I truly know things are in better shape for a big distance + hard terrain training cycle. I have to be honest and admit to myself that I might not be back to trail running for a while. It's hard to let the immediate goal, not to mention my love of trail running, go.
As for the Tinkerbell Half, I'm not sure yet. Doctor's take is that she understands if I want to try it since it's a flat road course, but be aware that running a half near the beginning of my healing period could make healing take longer. Oh, and it might hurt a lot so there's that.
That's where I am. Have you had to give up big goals for an injury? How do you stay positive and motivated?