Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Butt is Numb

Butt numbing is one of the main reasons I hate biking.  But, bike I did today, in lieu of my Wednesday group run.  :(  However, that is not the main reason my butt is numb.  It has more to do with the fact that I am sitting on an ice pack as I type this.  (Really, the ham-ass is a very convenient place to ice!)

Rewind.

So, you may remember my "hip" (more accurately: "right ham-ass") pain that has been plaguing me since March.  It is easy to ignore, mostly because it doesn't hurt when I run, only after, and only badly after hard runs (races, fast group runs, intervals, hills). In general, I do feel that is has improved since March.  I haven't had any limp days that I can remember since May.  But, with marathon training approaching (technically my 18 week plan was supposed to start this past Sunday), I have been more concerned with how this pain will affect me longer term if I don't get it under control.  So last week, I was taking it short and slow to allow it to recover.  Until Sunday that is.  Sunday I went to a group run that I don't usually go to, and there was only one other guy there (plus a guy that I was meeting, who I already told I was planning on running slow).  Anyway, that one other guy was faster than my easy pace, and I accidentally kept up with him at the start.  By the time I realized I was going too fast it was too late to stop.  We ended up doing about 9:30, 8:40, 8:30.  (I was aiming for 10:30).  I did wise up and at least stick to the 3 miles I had planned, rather than go the whole 6 with him.  I felt great the whole time, and thought maybe the half-week of relative rest that I did get in was enough, and that maybe I was A-okay after all.  About 3 hrs later I realized I was WRONG.  And the next day too of course. 

Because of that, I decided I wasn't doing enough to rest, and that it was too hard to make myself go slow enough that I didn't strain my ham-ass to risk running at all.  So I am taking a week off.  A whole week, maybe more.  I haven't run since Sunday.  I did some research (read: Googling), and concluded that my "injury" is likely a high hamstring tendinopathy, and found some exercises I could do to treat it.  I also went to a PT today who confirmed my diagnosis. (He called it hamstring origin tendinosis). 

Now I just need to decide what to do about it.  From what I've read it tends to become chronic and tough to get rid of.  On the other hand, my case seems to be mild, and improving.  The PT wants me to get a referral and come in 3x per week x 2 weeks, then 2x per x 3 weeks, more weeks as needed until I can run "fast" without consequence.  That seems excessive to me.  I did make an appt w/ my PCP for Friday morning to get the referral (which will cost me a $20 copay), and then EACH physical therapy session would cost me a $20 copay as well.  That's $20x13 for something that probably just needs time to heal.  (Tendons are notorious for that). 

Today,  I biked 9 miles, did planks (front, side/side/ back), bridges, and some other strengthening exercises focusing on my abs, butt, hamstrings and back.  I focused on stretching my quads and hip flexors on both sides and my left hamstring only (leaving the right alone), and foam rolling.  And sitting on an ice pack.  I feel like I can handle this on my own.  I don't feel my ham-ass.  Brrrrr. 

HOWEVER, I am thinking of doing PT for one or two visits, so that they can do an analysis and find any strength imbalances or biomechanical issues that caused this in the first place.  I would also like to get an "official" home strengthening program. 

I am reluctant to do PT at all though.  I always feel like a giant loser when I am at PT (and by "always" I mean the one week I went in 2009 prior to the Phoenix marathon).  At this one especially, all the other people there looked like rock stars, and probably were (read: olympic level runners, or at least competitive college athletes).  And the PTs always have you do all kinds of awkward things that make you feel weak and wobbly (because I am), and stand over your shoulder while you run on the treadmill and make you feel super slow (because I am).  Argh.  I don't know what to do.  I think I'm going to go ahead and get the referral, and then continue going it alone for a week or so, test it out with a fast run, and then go to PT if I haven't improved at all.  

I need to really work on my diet, especially on my work days (12 hr day shifts).  I have been coming home and bingeing like a mad woman.  I'm fine on my days off, but those work days mess me all up.  I was going to list all the things I ate, but I didn't want you all to think I'm gross, so I'm not.  Basically I think I need to pack 3 meals worth of food to take to work with me to prevent bingeing when I get home.  Packing  one meal is hard enough for a person who is used to eating out 95% of the time, let alone 3 meals at once.  Blah.  I wish I had time to go to the cafeteria, but considering that one day this week I didn't pee between 5:30 am and 7:30 pm, I think it would be unrealistic to plan on going to the cafeteria 1-3 times per shift. 

TTFN, it's past bedtime for those of us that have to wake up at 4:45am. 


3 comments:

  1. I know how frustrating this injury is, and how much it seems to just linger and nag. I understand not wanting to commit to 13 office visits, especially for something that seems to have a track record of not being fixed quickly or easily. Ugh. I think it will help to go to PT at least a couple of times like you mentioned, to at least try to figure out what caused this. And maybe it'll work out for you to go another time or two after that to get your progress evaluated. Don't feel like a loser when you're at the PT clinic! They're there to help all kinds of people, including non-competitive runners like us. Mine has run marathons faster than many people run half marathons, so I don't even bother talking about times or paces when I'm there, haha. Good luck deciding what to do – I know it isn't easy!

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  2. Absolutely go to PT. Sometimes where you're feeling the hurt isn't the actual source of the problem. They should be able to tell you what's going on, and they have stuff like ultrasound to help with healing. I had plantar fasciitis a couple of years ago and the sports medicine group at the Ice Cube helped me recover.

    Congrats on finishing DXA2 - it's my favorite half, final hill and all. I have to say I like this year's shirt better than 2011, but 2010 was the best, I think.

    Maybe I'll see you around town!

    Jeff
    http://fitnessat50.net

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