I've been back "running" for a week now, which means four runs I think. I'm still walking and jogging, although my doctor said I could go for up to 2 miles before taking a walk break (he'll increase that after 2 weeks if I have improved). I'm still taking days off. Once, I didn't. I ran Saturday, and for some reason I ran Sunday, too. Then I spent the whole afternoon sitting on the floor, watching the Saints game at a birthday party. Sunday night and Monday my hip was tight, sore, and painful. I learned that lesson! And I also remembered my doctor's constant reminder: "There will be good days and bad days".
The only good thing about this hip surgery is that your body definitely knows its limitations. I KNEW I had to take Monday off from any activity, and Tuesday I woke up feeling fine. So I'm just going day by day for now, and advancing very, very slowly.
Running feels weird, a little bit. My hip flexors remain very tight, and I think my extension is limited a little. I'm trying to work on this, because the last thing I want to do is run with my gait off and develop an injury. But even though I feel like I can stretch my hip flexor out, it tightens right back up. By the end of the run, it's sore, and it hurts to extend back sharply.
It is also a weird feeling to have your bone move in your socket differently than you are used to. My femoral head was reshaped, and there is a significant change in how my leg moves in the joint, magnified while running. Before the surgery, for years I felt a sort of catch in my hip as I ran. I remember it was more noticeable on the left, but was present on both sides. It felt like the femoral head moved in the socket in two steps, clu-clunk, instead of one smooth rotation. Now, I don't feel that on the left, but it's mildly present on the right (please don't let me need surgery on the right, please please please please please). Also weird? The times when my leg feels loose or out of socket. These moments are becoming rarer and rarer, but if they happen while I'm running I stop immediately.
I don't, however, feel any pain while running, besides some general pelvic pain and fatigue. This feels like the old osteitis pubis pain. Dr. Van Sice said I probably didn't have osteitis pubis, and it could have been the labral tear that whole time, but a later MRI revealed signs of the condition, and I think it's still there (annoying). I keep hesitating to take that first run step, an old habit from pain on impact. If I am in pain, it comes later in the day: soreness, stiffness, or a tugging tightness. I've learned to stretch well and end every run with a walk to keep the tightness at bay.
And now I feel 100 years old after that description.