Hello from a lovely pre-fall evening in Chicago!
I think I finally have some good news, or at least some reasons to be optimistic! After bailing on my long run on Saturday, I tried to make up for the deficit with swimming laps at the gym pool, some yoga, and an upper body workout. My hip continued to bother me throughout the weekend but I got through it.
On Tuesday afternoon I had the appointment with the orthopedist that I’d been waiting for – he took a look at the Xray and did similar diagnostic tests to what my PT guy had done and also deduced that I do not have a stress fracture. But to be on the totally safe side, he suggested an MRI – not only will it definitively confirm no fracture, it will also show him the degree of the injury that I have. In addition to the test, he prescribed some anti-inflammatories (Voltaren is the real name; diclofenac is the generic that I have) to take twice daily and some more targeted PT.
AND based on the X-ray results, I have a new diagnosis…rather than tendinitis of the hip, it’s actually tendinitis of the gluteus maximus…which I am now calling my tushie tendinitis. 🙂
The doctor seemed fairly nonplussed about the whole thing – he said if we had all the time in the world the injury would heal itself, but because I really want to run and the deferment deadline is around the corner (Sept 15), we can really work on helping along the recovery process. He said he wants to see me cross the finish line even if I have to crawl – naturally the hope is that I don’t resort to that, but it’s a good option to have in my back pocket. 🙂
Anyway, I was able to get the MRI on Wednesday. What a bizarre experience. Not sure if you’ve had one before, but it was equal parts precisely as I’d imagined (based on tv and movies) and not at all how I pictured it. The sound was the craziest part – it’s a REALLY loud machine! But the technician was a sweetheart and gave me headphones and pumped “massage music” into them, so that helped a lot, plus she gave me a blanket and cozy socks. Anyway, weird procedure and I should have the results tomorrow.
In the meantime, I started taking the pills and they really do seem to help – not only am I not in as much pain, I just feel looser all over. And thankfully I’m not experiencing any of the side effects, at least not yet. Though please keep your fingers crossed that the weight loss one kicks in for me!!
Yesterday morning I had a bit of a victory – I was able to run to the gym. It’s less than a half mile but it was something. When I got there I tried the elliptical for 10 minutes but kept feeling the pressure on my hip, so I switched to the bike and just did that for a half hour – dull but pain-free. Then last night I had another PT session – holy cow – it was intense! This time Josh stuck these electrodes on me and pumped energy into my tush – it HURT. But in a good way, I suppose. He also worked a bit on rolling out my IT band, which also hurt. He seemed very proud of his ability to inflict pain! I told him that I think most people think of PT as a fairly enjoyable process and he said yes, that for many people it’s just a few soft tissue massages and you’re out the door, but for me it’s going to be really painful! Whatever – if it means I can keep running, I’ll take it.
Finally this morning I got back to running, after a week off. I just did 5 miles and I intentionally didn’t use the app because I didn’t want to get freaked out if my time was slow. Ultimately I think my time was pretty close to my usual one, based on some distances I know pretty well. I had a little pain but it really was manageable. The better part is that, while the run was challenging in a way that running is always challenging for me, it wasn’t as labor-intensive as my runs at the beach felt. I felt like I wasn’t compensating the way I did last week and that my hamstrings stayed pretty loose. My breathing seemed pretty good too. All of this was a huge relief.
Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day and I will attempt to rejoin my running group on Saturday for 14 miles. In my head I know I can do it – I just did 12 two weeks ago and 16 the weekend prior – I just need to actually get out there. If I cannot…if the pain is too much or I’m too negative in my head or it feels like too much effort…then I’ll have to seriously consider deferring. Likewise, if the MRI results come back and show a muscle tear or similar, then I’ll have to focus on 2016. Please keep your fingers crossed that neither comes to fruition!
I just have to give a shout-out to my pace leader (not that she even knows I have a blog, but still!) – she really tried to encourage me when I had to bail on the 18-miler, and this week she emailed me with another pep talk. Another huge spirit boost is this month’s edition of Runner’s World…it has a ton of articles all related to the Chicago marathon, which is making me so (cautiously) excited!!
Finally, thanks to my mom for reminding me today that “pain is NOT a sign of strength” (per her text). I know that’s true, I just need to remember that.
Will write on Saturday, hopefully with a cheery run recap!!