a pain in the butt

June 5, 2010 at 8:06 am 1 comment

when i first started running, i made sure to listen to my body. though i’d always worked out, running led to new aches and pains and i didn’t want to do more harm than good as my body adjusted to my new “hobby”. truthfully, much like every facet of my life, i was likely a little too cautious, but i figured that was better than the alternative of serious injury. within weeks of starting i was down for 10 days from an achilles strain. then there was the calf that kept cramping. and mid-way through training for my first marathon i pulled my adductor muscle and was down for almost two weeks. coach eko continually sang my praises. i was one of the few he knew who played it smart. too many others ignore the pain, mask it with ice and ibuprofen. but not me. i stop. or at least i used to.

my avoidance started last september when i was training for the marine corp marathon. my ankle threatened to sideline me from a race i wanted so much out of. i ignored it for a while. tried ultrasound. took a random day or two down. eventually i knew i needed to stop but, stubborn as i was being, needed to hear it from my doctor. well if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know what happened next. my doctor, a fellow runner, diagnosed tendonitis and opted to treat aggressively and allow me to stay on the road ~ sans speedwork or hill training which likely blew my sub-4 time goal. i took a week-long dose of oral cortisone followed by weeks of pt and a corticosteroid applied topically through electric current. sound painful? it was. but it took me from running a mere few miles to a pain-free 18 mile training run after the first application. i ran the race. even pr’d by 6 minutes. but my ankle has never been 100 percent since. a pain that shifts. a weakness that plagues. could that have been avoided had i stopped? who’s to say. that ankle has always been weaker than the other. and i’m convinced it’s simply that.

my utmost stupidity comes from the gasparilla marathon this past february. basic recap ~ i was training for the half. decided 12 days before the race to do the full. got food poisoning the night before. still ran the marathon. untrained and dangerously dehydrated. though i like to think i’m smart enough to never do something that asinine again, i have to admit i’m damn proud of finishing that race and pushing through the pain. so given the same scenario ~ which better not EVER happen again ~ i’d likely be just as stupid as i was before.

this brings me to now. a couple of months ago i started feeling a dull ache in my right butt check. minor. more irritating than painful. but over the last couple of weeks it’s started to bother me more and more. possibly piriformis syndrome. hopefully just a strained gluteal muscle. i’m all too familiar with the potential ramifications of PS. i’ve seen frustration faced by at least two in my group who let it go too far. one ended up five months down. the other, after six months has moved on to pain management versus even trying to heal. i’ve taken a few days off the run. have tentative plans to bike today though might even skip that since i’ve heard it can aggravate. but beyond that, i simply don’t know if i should play it cautious or run it out.

it’s not unusual for me to stick my ankle in a bucket of nearly solid ice while eating dinner. more times than not as i sit here writing blogs or playing around on facebook, i’ve got an ice pack on my knee ~ i have a torn meniscus and recurring itb issues. and the nice warm cozy bed i crawl into often stems from the heating pad which is a permanent fixture hanging on the headboard. i can’t remember the last day i didn’t have some sort of ache or pain. but it’s become common place. as a runner, as an athlete in training, this is a price i pay. and given the reward, the physical and emotional benefit, i’ll gladly suffer through. but it’s getting to be a total pain in the ass … literally.


Entry filed under: biking, fear, running, swimming, triathlon. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

mini-tri water logged

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. fitandfortysomething  |  June 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    oh i love this because it is so relateable! we want to run to ride to stay in tip top shape but it does lead to aches and pains and troubles along the way. i like to think that it makes as better people-more in touch with our bodies.


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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39



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