Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?A change of plans

“Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry

Cry, cry, cry
Cry, cry, cry
Cry, cry, cry”

Since a little while after the Marine Corps Marathon, I have been in pain. In a nutshell, my butt hurt. Deep, deep within my butt on the right side. At first it was my hip but Smurti adjusted my hip so the pain moved to my butt because I had jacked up my hip trying to protect my butt. I signed up for another marathon, anyway, because you know, training for a marathon always makes all your injuries feel better. I took a month off from training and scheduled running in December. My butt should have gotten better. It didn’t. I went back to see Smurti but she is so busy I couldn’t get in to see her until this week.

It turns out I have Piriformis Syndrome. I’m super proud of myself because I diagnosed myself with Dr. Google. The piriformis muscle deep under my glutes has been shortened and it doesn’t like running long distances. It also doesn’t like sitting at my desk in front of my computer 5 days per week. What caused it? I have sacral torsion. In regular people speak, it means my ass is out of joint (this is literally and not figuratively because I know you all already think I am always out of joint).

Here is what my pelvis looks like:

When you try to run with a pelvis that is shifted, the side that is “up” has to work harder ergo, your hip abductor strains, your piriformis pulls up, your IT band stretches too far and your plantar fascitis comes back because you are trying to elongate on that side. I had a knot in my QL in my lumbar spine and a big old knot in my piriformis. You could palpate the knots. Smurti did her Graston magic to work out the knots and my lower back and right butt cheek look like I went a few rounds with Rhonda Rousey. The knots are gone but the underlying problem is not. Smurti had to get a strap, tie it around her waist, tie the other end around my right leg, I had to hold onto the table for dear life and she had to yank to get my pelvis aligned. I could feel it move.

What causes sacral torsion? I broke my tailbone in 8th grade when Chan Wright pulled my chair out from underneath me while I was in the middle of sitting down in Language Arts. It hurt like a son of a bitch and he still wouldn’t acknowledge the crush I had on him. It also didn’t heal perfectly level. Throw in birthing two babies and training for a marathons and you have a bad combination.

So, what am I going to do? First, I am not going to run a Spring marathon. I’m not even sad about this decision. See, I signed up in the wake of my grief over my finishing time/medical tent adventure at the Marine Corps. I was living on Redemption Island when I signed up for that race. It was going to be my comeback. Yeah, not so much if my butt won’t propel me in a forward motion. Then, the marathon was canceled so the decision was reinforced for me. I could not possibly be ready for any of the other local marathons because they were sooner than my race and there is NO FRICKING way I would ever run the Raleigh Rock N Roll full marathon. I am going to run three half marathons and two 10 milers between now and the end of June. My butt is bound to enjoy this.

My marathon days are not over. I signed up for the Kiawah Island Marathon on December 10, 2016. Heather and I were strategic with our choice of this race. No long runs required until late September. That is going to be much better than 18 and 20 milers in July and August. It also means we don’t have to get up at 5 AM to run to beat the heat. We can get up at 6, which makes a big difference, for real. Also, if my butt doesn’t want to get back into joint or I cry at the thought of running the race, I can drop back to the half but still hang with my friends and take a trip. Winning.

Running Humor #22: I am never running again. Oh, look, a race! - Nemo:

Second, I am going to strengthen and stretch my piriformis. I’m going to teach Carly how to adjust my pelvis (the Teen is bound to love this but I’ll tell her it hurts me so she will probably do it). I am also supposed to get up every hour while at work to walk the halls of my building for 5 minutes to combat all the sitting I do. I’m also getting new custom orthotics to help with the PF.

Fleet Feet training is ramping up and I’m co-coaching the interval runners. This is both exciting and challenging. My first half marathon is February 28 in New Orleans. This is NOT a goal race and may be the first race I run with a hangover. I will take a PR in running while recovering from overindulgence.

Should you eat before a run? The short answer. It depends on what type of run it is. Nutritionist Emily Brown breaks down optimal fueling strategies for easy, long, and workout days and tips to keep your stomach feeling good no matter what time you hit the roads: