The other side of the groin

I’ve learned a little about groin pulls this week. For one, I have a mild case. I trace it back to the half marathon in Central Park 11 days ago. A day or two after the race, I noticed a sharp pain in my inner right thigh whenever I lifted my leg, stepped sideways or went up or down stairs. (There go my hopes for a fabulous career in country step dancing.) Interestingly, it didn’t hurt while running. So I kept running.

It would get a little better after a recovery day, then I’d do a hard session (either a long run or faster intervals or tempo work) and the pain would be back the next day. On Kevin’s advice*, I skipped the 400m intervals I was scheduled to do today (and just did a 10 mile aerobic run), even though it was a lot better this morning. But the idea was not to irritate it again. And it is better still this evening.

In my web trawlings, I learned that exercising in extreme cold can cause it, which might explain why it’s never cropped up before despite lots of racing in Central Park in the past year or two. It was five degrees (windchill) that day, so it was bloody cold out there. I also learned that ice is recommended, although people find success with heat just before exercising. Before my 10 miler, I squeezed a hot water bottle between my thighs like an aggressive convention hooker this morning — and darned if that didn’t help quite a bit! Much more pleasant than ice too.

I’ll be doing a fast 20K run over a hilly course in Connecticut this weekend. I hope it’s better by then. At least I know it won’t be worse.

*Or, rather, upon my cajoling him into granting me a “get out of intervals free” card.