Feb 21, 2004 – Seekonk MA
It has been two weeks since I stopped hiking, and I am probably looking at one more week until I can return to the trail. A doctor diagnosed my injury yesterday as a muscular strain – she said there is no chance of a hernia (a concern because of the location of the pain) and said it is very unlikely to be skeletal-related. I feel confident in her conclusion, and thought that was the most likely scenario from the beginning.
It seems amazing to me that it will take 3-weeks for this muscular injury to heal fully. I have had muscular strains in the past but they have only required 2-3 days of rest. I suppose that when I consider the severity of the strain – when I stopped, I could not lift my knee even halfway level with my hip, or more than 45-degrees – it makes sense.
My biggest concern at this point is the risk of re-injuring my hip flexor or injuring something else, since I have been a vegetable for 3-weeks now and have lost the fitness I had going into it the first time. While before I felt confident in putting 34-miles in on Day 3, I think I will be confined to 10-15 mile days for the first week at least – another injury would be demoralizing.
Thankfully I am absolutely positive that all of Pennsylvania and Ohio can be hiked year-round, so as long as I am out of New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Adirondacks by early-November, and out of western NY (where there is risk of lake-effect snow) by the New Year, I should be just fine. This gives me the assurance I need to start up again slowly but safely.