I am having one of the strangest weeks I have had in a long time.
I should be on a 5-hour trail run, peaking my AR50 training, but I am not. Instead I am in sweats at my computer after another 6:30AM physical therapy session, my third in as many days. And to top it off, I am wearing hearing aides.
The PT issues: I seem to have strained my left psoas muscle. I did it about three weeks ago, and actually ran the Sequoia 50K on the injured leg.
The psoas and the iliacus are major hip flexors. Put them together and they are called the iliopsoas. The psoas is a long, thin muscle that is located deep in the abdominal area. The way I understand it, the psoas connects the lumbar vertbrae (lower back) to the lesser trochanter (inner hip).
The source of the strain is in question. Could be the training. Could be the steep downhills on Sequoia. Could be the fact that I went trampoline jumping, including wall jumping, with my kids. Could be all three put together (probably is).
Regardless of the source, Monday I had to admit it was getting worse, not better. So I called my amazing PT/Chiropractor, Mark Eastland of MORE Clinic, and went in for a visit on Thursday. Mark has seen me through ITB issues, plantar fasciitis, and carpel tunnel syndrome. He is a miracle worker. His goal is to get me in shape for AR, but he says “No promises. We will decide together as we go.”
Mark, who is the former chiropractor for the San Francisco 49ers, is hard core and makes you come in pretty much every day for 90 minutes – 2 hours. I already see a big difference, i.e., I am not limping, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I really want to run AR, but I really don’t want to risk the next three months to do so. I have Skyline to the Sea 50K in April, followed by the Ohlone 50K in May. I am super excited about both. I have not run since Wednesday, but my plan is to go tomorrow and see how I do. If I can’t knock out a 5-hour run next weekend, I think AR will officially be out of my grasp.
The hearing issues: For years now I have had trouble hearing what people say. In some ways, it’s like listening to a world inhabited by the adults from Peanuts. You know they are talking, but haven’t a clue what they are saying.
I often have trouble hearing what people say when I run. In particular, I miss a lot of the stories told by my friends Andy and Craig. Seeing that they are both great story tellers, it’s a bummer. I get tired of asking people to repeat themselves; frankly, I think they get tired of it too. So I nod and smile as if I have a clue.
While it isn’t a huge problem, it has been getting worse and I had to stop ignoring it. Three things happened recently that scared the jiminy out of me. (1) At work I couldn’t make out what someone was saying who was looking right at me, asking a direct question in a quiet room. (2) While at lunch, a friend was commenting on the volume of a conversation taking place close by. I heard nothing, not even a muffle. Absolutely nothing. (3) While sitting next to my fourth grader as we did homework, I could not hear him if he looked down at his paper. He had to turn his head and face me. I was literally three feet from him.
Not so good.
So, I broke down and went to an audiologist. Turns out, and I quote, “You have large chunks of your hearing that are just missing. Unfortunately, these chunks fall within the range of where many people speak.”
After a series of tests, my hearing aides arrived on Wednesday. I went in totally excited. But now that I have them, it has dawned on me that I have an actual issue. I am a 36-year old endurance athlete who is hard of hearing. The little devices — which I ordered in pink to spice things up — work. I haven’t had to ask a single person to repeat themselves. But the sound isn’t natural. It is like listening to the world through speakers. And someone actually noticed them today and commented on them, which made me a bit uncomfortable because they were clearly uncomfortable. It was weird.
So, this is the second year I have wanted to run AR50 and the second year I probably won’t. And, I am hearing the world through speakers stuck in my ears. Being a sunny-side-of-life-girl, 95% of the time I think things like, “I now have super-hero hearing! I did hear through a wall this week!” And as my friend Paul said, “If you have to lose something on your body, I can think of far worse parts than hearing.”
In the big picture of the world I realize neither are that big of a deal, but I am disappointed. What a weird week.