Prepping For Hood To Coast – Part One

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If you read my column once in a while, you will know that I struggle with hip injuries. 2018 started off with a lot of plans, and half-way through, I’m praying I make it through the one goal I have left – Hood to Coast. Will I be successful at the one race I am desperate to finish?

I ran in the 2016 Hood to Coast and it was by far my most memorable running experience. Words cannot describe all of the feelings that happened during the course of that race. I felt unbelievably alive and strong, and part of something so great. I was suffering from my first of many hip flare-ups but ran through the injury. I spent the next two months barely walking.

Last year I was devastated when I had to remove myself from the Hood to Coast team. Another case of tendonitis in the hip. There was no way I would be able to run. Again, I was hardly walking.

However, every time I attempt to get my miles above 20 per week, one of my hips starts screaming. I’ve tried everything – hip exercises, strength training, supplements, teas, diets, foam rollers, stretching, oils, Tens devices, massage, chiropractic, praying, and pure denial. Nothing has worked.

So here I am, 10 weeks from race day and I’m barely running 10 miles per week.

I took myself down to zero so I could build myself up correctly. Perhaps, and I’m hoping this is finally the ticket, I was pushing too hard. After every injury-induced pause in activity, be it one week or be it three, I would try to run 15 to 20 miles per week right out of the gate. Not smart, Liz!

As soon as I would lace-up I was ready to run and doing 2 miles at a time seemed a waste of time. I’m a runner. My lungs and head know how to run the distance. I don’t get tired. But my hips just can’t take the stops and starts.

The past few weeks I’ve been running 6 to 8 miles per week. Thrice a week I’m keeping myself at a 20-minute max run. Somedays it’s easier to stop at 20 than others, but I have to squelch this reckless pride. I would rather be slightly undertrained than miss out on another race. Especially Hood to Coast.

This week I will push one of my runs to 25 minutes and hope for the best. My off days will be spent doing core workouts and yoga for runners.

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Liz Ward

Liz Ward is a running fanatic, avid reader, and amateur farmer. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, three kids, and a small herd of animals.

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