Hi everyone! So I’ve got a little bit of an issue right now. Well, maybe more than a bit of an issue. You may have noticed little hints of this in my posts over the last month, but now it deserves its own post. Because as much as I hate to admit it, I think I’m injured. Let me explain:
If you’ve been reading my blog regularly in 2015 you’ll remember that I got some weird butt and “hip pain” back in January. I got and x-ray and MRI and my doctor ruled out anything serious. He told me not to overdo it or increase my milage too fast, and I think I did a pretty good job of that. But ever since then, I’ve had a nagging pain in my butt whenever I run. It started out really subtle, but by May I was feeling it pretty hard and even had to take some time off running during my trip to Fairbanks so that I could get better during Her Tern Half training. After Her Tern, I felt okay and dropped my milage a bit while training for Ragnar CO and the Klondike Road Relay. I was able to maintain long runs of up to 8 miles, so I figured that throwing in one last half in 2015 would be no problem. Except that the slight butt pain turned into a lot of pain during my long runs – and now I’m feeling it on every run, no matter the speed or distance. It’s like a pinch in the middle of my left butt, and sometimes spreads into my low back and during my 10 miler even spread down the side of my leg. Despite getting through the Columbia Gorge Half Marathon without feeling this pain at all, it’s not going away now and I feel it even when I’m just walking around. And so I have to admit that I think I’m injured, and I think I need a break from running.
My intense Googling has led me to believe that the pain is my sciatic nerve, and that I’ve got piriformis syndrome. If this is true, the good news is that it can be fixed with stretching, strengthening, cross training, and even a tiny bit of low-intensity running (as long as I listen to my body and know my limits). And since it seems like there’s a lot I can do to get back to normal again, here’s what I’ve got planned for the next few weeks:
- I’m going to see a PT that my coworker highly recommends on Monday to learn more about the cause of my specific injury, how to recover, and how to prevent this in the future. It looks like it’s caused by weakness in other surrounding muscles, as well as my running form and overpronation (which makes sense because I just started working on improving my running form during Her Tern training and I run in ASICS Kayanos for overpronation control) so I’d love to get some strengthening exercises and tips on how to fix my form.
- No running until my PT says that it’s okay to do so and I feel pain free. I’m struggling to imagine life without running, but I know I can’t push it and need to get better before I go out for any more runs.
- Now that my last long race of the year is over, I can turn my full attention on cross training and spending more time in the gym getting stronger. I’m hoping I can do strength training, yoga, and spin classes so that I can get stronger, work on my flexibility, and keep up my cardio.
- I’m going to cut waaaaay back on milage over the next few months. I’m hoping to still be able to do all of my planned winter races, although if I need to walk the Turkey Trot and the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis I will – and I can skip signing up for the others. I’m 90% finished with my goal of running 500 miles in 2015 and if I don’t make it, that’s okay!
- Lots of epsom salt baths 🙂
I’m not sure what the next few weeks will be like, but I realize that this is what I need to do if I want to keep running long races in 2016. My goal is to stay healthy and I’ll do anything it takes to get me back there. For now, look for more gym selfies and less running pictures! And the second I’m able to run I’ll let everyone know of course 🙂
Have you ever had this type of pain? What did you do to recover and get back to normal?