Do hips lie?

On our first day in London we walked about 8 miles. My left side was a wreck. My back, my hip and knee all screamed with pain. Same after days 2 and 3. Then I switched shoes and things got better.

I haven’t done any long walks since. So today, to take a break from riding in the basement, I went for a long walk. (My iPhone said it was 6.1 miles but my bike and car odometers put it at 8.)

I used a third pair of shoes, some low rise hiking shoes with no orthotic insoles. After a mile, my lower left back started to tighten. That’s pretty normal for me these days. After five miles my left hip felt a little tender.

The last half mile was Day 1 in London all over. My left hip and knee were on fire. I could barely get up the steps in to the house. My left leg wouldn’t flex.

I took some ibuprofen and got comfy on the couch. After an hour or two, I got up and did some iliotibial band stretches. They seemed to loosen things back up.

I quit stretching during my 2018 bike tour. I did get hot spots on my left hip and some lower back soreness, mostly when I was climbing for hours on end. On a number of occasions, while walking, my left hip seemed to pop out of joint for a split second.

One unexpected benefit to not stretching was the fact that I became more flexible. I could change clothes in my tent with ease. So I continued to avoid stretching even after getting home.

Looks like I’m going to have to start up again. (I might even pull out the old yoga book that I’ve used in the past, if for no other reason than to give me a routine to follow.)

My left knee has been wonky for decades but this left hip thing is relatively new. I’m going to give it a month. I will test it once a week or so with long–ish walks. I’d like to do some hiking this summer so fingers crossed….

Back Out, Day 15: A Walk in the Park

I should be better by now.

I am not better.

I am less worse.

I woke up pain free. Back stiffness set in within minutes. 

After a morning of hanging out, I drove (that alone is rather telling) to Fort Hunt Park, three miles from home. As I got out of the car, my back and legs felt fine. I walked the park circuit road, 1 1/4 miles, three times. After about 2 miles I felt like I was climbing stairs. My limp was much less pronounced today. I didn’t have pain in my hips or my lower back as long as I kept moving. Still I felt tired. Walking is exhausting when you have to fight for  a smooth gait.

I stopped to stretch out my iliotibial band. Resuming, I made it to the car at 2 1/2 miles, stopped to stretch the ITB again, then set out for lap three. A man on a bike flew past me. Envy.

I had to stop one more time to stretch but made it back to the car feeling not half bad. 

I rewarded myself with a Gary’s Lunchbox sammich at Sherwood Hall Gourmet, a deli near home.

After lunch and some more lazing about, I did 1 hour and 20 minutes of easy pedaling on Big Nellie in the basement. I felt fine the entire time. Getting off the bike, however, I felt the tightness in my left leg again. And my right foot went into a cramp, my toes curling as I stood.

Still, it was a day of some progress. I am hoping to be back to the bike commute in time for Friday Coffee Club. Unfortunately, I still have some unresolved items on my to-do list. New tires for one car, an inspection and minor repairs to another, and minor surgery on my finger. Hopefully, all of that will be behind me by mid March. 

By then I hope to be more better.