Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Pain in the Butt

This running thing is a pain in the ass. Literally!

Again. It's back again. I get to 30 minutes, run a couple of times a week and it's back! I was doing so well - building up slowly and I haven't suddenly increased mileage or pace. So frustrating. Stupid 42 year old body.

I seem to have a very tight piriformis muscle. It has been hurting since Thursday and the pain radiates through to my hip flexor region. This injury stopped me from running for 3 months last year. And on Thursday, the dreaded pain returned.

So, I didn't run on Friday like I planned. I didn't run yesterday and I didn't run today. I might take the dog for a walk later this afternoon. All I was trying to do was run consistently. Not fast. Not far (less than 5km!). Just run.

Maybe running isn't for me? Maybe my body just isn't cut out for it. It peeves me no end to read stuff like Run Fat Bitch Run - which espouses just getting out there and running. I get all enthused and motivated and then this. Again. I'm not just having a whinge at little aches and pains. It hurts. All the time. I obviously have some weirdo biomechanical imbalance which I haven't addressed properly because it keeps coming back.

I'm not the only one - Beth at Shut Up and Run has it. Her answer is to drink margaritas in Mexico - sounds like a good plan to me! Mollie at Eat Run Read has it.

So. What to do? I LOVE running. It's like nothing else. My dog loves running with me. My immediate plan is to keep walking. And get serious about the foam roller and the stretching and strengthening exercises I have for hip flexor problems. I'm going to give it another shot. If I nip this in the bud before it gets too bad maybe I won't have to start again from the beginning. Because I honestly don't know if I can do that. Again.


  1. Well... every person is different, but I have struggled with piriformis issues on and off over the years.

    My magic bullet: trigger point massage - which you can do at home with a tennis ball (and a foam roller if you want to get really fancy).

    A resource I found very useful (excuse the dorky URL):

    Feel free to send me a note if you want to discuss. (I've already written a novella here!)

    1. Thank you Beth for that website - I've ordered the trigger point video for piriformis - bring on the tennis balls!!! Checking back through your blog for more insight :-)

    2. I hope it helps!
      It took me years to figure out what worked for me, but I didn't have many other runners around to ask questions when I started (and blogging was a tech-geek-only thing back then). So the only advice I ever got was: rest, ice, elevate.
      And for me rest/ice/elevate would dull the pain for a couple of days, but it would return as soon as I ran again. Then I found trigger point and that worked for me.

      Good luck! I look forward to following your progress!

    3. Well I think that trigger point massage/dry needling is going to help. Plus figuring out what is causing this - my hamstrings! I feel hopeful today instead of hopeless. And it was your response that made me pick up the phone and call the sports massage therapist - thank you Beth!!!