For a long time I've been asking myself why my left hip and glutes are so incapable of keeping up with my training. Turns out I was asking the wrong question, one based on faulty assumptions. All the pain is in the left, but the problem is actually stemming from the right. My right side in that area has less range of motion and strength, so the left side has compensated heroically, but is now overwhelmed to the point of even recruiting adjacent muscles to help out in the lost cause.
This pain I have been having while running is one of the biggest reasons I'm currently taking some down time. I'm also tired and depleted, both mentally and physically. Since Rock and Ice I've been running on empty. Haliburton finally woke me up, and I realized I need to figure out my hip for real and get rested so that I can start enjoying the process again. The thought of not training was scary, but after making the wrong choice after Sulphur and starting again, I ended up in an even worse place. The whisper had become a yell; time to pay attention.
So, I've let it all go, and I'm not insisting on a timeline. I'm running a bit here and there when I feel like it, but mostly letting my body recharge and heal. I've started treatment and rehab for my hip, and already it's starting to improve. I'm finding out who I am without training, and surprisingly, as scary as that thought was to me, I'm just fine. There's a lot of peace in that for me - I'm the same shmuck with or without it!! I suspected as much, but it's good to confirm.
I used running to help discover who I authentically was. Before that, I had spent too many years trying to fit in and be like everyone else, only to realize that the key to happiness is being myself. Running helped me with that, and the discovery was actually more of a re-discovery. Today I have a lot more in common with the me I was at the age of 10 than the not-me I was trying to be at 20, or the struggling-me I didn't quite know how to be yet at 30.
It's healthy to be evolving away from my need of running and find a new relationship with it. One more balanced toward enjoyment of the process, not the end goal. Filling up more my spirit, less my ego. I know for sure that I won't run a 50 miler until I can be in that place with my running. I'm excited to have new adventures like that one open up for me when I fully get there.
Until then, it's kind of nice to have more energy to put into other areas of my life. We went to a fun wedding of a dear friend in Chicago recently, work is very busy, and I even gave our kitchen a badly-needed scouring! And I'm ridiculously excited about Derrick and I both seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time in a few weeks, together.