Friday, January 7, 2011

Forget Google, See a Doctor

My butt hurt pretty bad this morning, so I started Google-ing running-related injuries and butt pain.  Before I knew it, I was convinced that I would not be able to run my marathon and probably had a chronic injury (I tend to have a flare for the dramatics.)  After my freak-out moment earlier this afternoon, I decided to make a doctor's appointment.  While I sat in the waiting area, I thought of writing my next blog.  I would try to be positive while writing about breaking my weekly running streak the first week of the new year, and writing to remind myself that the point of my goal was to keep me running consistently, and the smart thing to do is to rest when injured. 

In the middle of mentally writing my blog, the nurse called me back to check my vitals.  Her name was Barbara Walters.  No lie.  Fortunately, my blood pressure was great and so was my temperature (my poor Chris has been home sick with a fever for two days).  Then I met with the doctor who I believe was a sports medicine specialist.  I gathered this from him telling me about tips he tells his elite athletes.  The doctor poked, twisted, prodded, pulled, and pushed my legs/butt/hip and determined that I have a pulled gluteus minimus.  The injury most probably occurred during my hot yoga class last week.  The doctor told me that he advises his elite athletes to not do anything new four weeks before a race.  For example, not trying GUs for the first time, but apparently it also means do not go to hot yoga six weeks before a race when it is not something you do regularly.  The very good news is that he said my butt pain is curable.  He said that I can still run my marathon, although it may hurt.  In fact, he told me to run today.  He said for a week or so to focus on speed work and intervals.  Then when I feel up to it to try an endurance run.  This means I will not be running 15 miles tomorrow; instead, I will be doing a shorter speed work-out.  I can live with that. 

Tonight I ran 3 miles doing intervals.  Chris needed a gallon of water and wanted to get some air, so he walked to the grocery store while I sprinted ahead then back to Chris.  I would walk and sprint (but not too fast... I didn't want to push it the first day).  I hit 3 miles at 30:36.  Then there was a very short walk after that.

The doctor also mentioned that my hip flexors were well stretched, but my IT band is tight.  In addition to the stretches I mentioned the other day, he said to also do the stretch where I was sitting up but at the edge of the bed and then to lay back on the bed.  He told me a good stretch, which I have tried to show in pictures.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned, Chris is sick, so I tried to take the pictures myself. 
Welcome to my bedroom.  Lay on the edge of the bed, bend the top leg behind you and hold your ankle with your hand.
While holding your ankle, bring your other leg so that its ankle sits on top of the knee of the other leg.  You will feel the stretch on your top hip.
View from the top.
Another stretch.
And another.

The doctor also told me that heat and ice probably wouldn't penetrate deep enough.  I asked about a massage, and he told me that he wasn't sure if they would be able to massage deep enough, but studies have shown that massages reduce pain.  I booked my first sports massage for tomorrow afternoon, and I am honestly nervous about how much it is going to hurt but hoping that it helps.  I will let you know how it goes.

This experience has taught me a few lessons:  
  1. Ignore Google and just go see the doctor
  2. Do not try something new right before a big race
  3. Do not push the limits too far in hot yoga
Have a wonderful evening!

P.S.  And the ladies are probably the only people who want to read this paragraph....  also asked the doctor another question.  This is totally one of those TMI moments, but it really freaked me out, so I figured someone else may benefit from this knowledge as well.  After our 18 mile run, when I was undressing to take a shower, I noticed a small amount of spotting (very small amount).  I asked the doctor about it, and he said that it is perfectly normal.  In fact, even more spotting is common.  Like I said, TMI, but if any other women out there have had a minor freak-out session, know that it is normal.  Of course, I would still consult with your doctor. 


  1. That is SOO good news! I'm so happy for you!! You found a great doc and I can't believe he was for free!! That is a huge relief! YEAH :)

    My experience was very similar, I waited and rested and stretched and analyzed myself with the help of the internet. But it just made it worse and I wasted a lot of time. I knew from now on, if I feel a tweak, I go to a sport doc immediately and all will be good :)

  2. Haha, your google lesson made me laugh. 2 months back I totally thought I had a fractured metatarsal when really it was just my bunion acting up. I read somewhere that 75% of all running injury information you find on google is inaccurate and linked to some sort of product sales(hence why it is inaccurate). Doctors are always the best way to go!

  3. I agree! Forget Google and WebMD. See a doc or PT! Wishing you a speedy recovery!!

  4. Way too many people (myself included) get sucked into diagnosing our ailments online. I'm glad you went to the doctor - sounds like offered some great advice.


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