What a weird week

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.

picture-5The 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.

picture-4
My Hearing Results

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.”

Bummer.

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.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Cynthia says:

    Wow. Weird issues indeed. I once heard a radio program talking about how we are all disabled, or if lucky, only temporarily abled. It is a fact of life that our bodies are fragile, but being an amazing runner and still young and healthy, you get used to being able and strong. That’s good, but being not so able and strong is normal too sometimes. Don’t sweat it.

    About your psoas, I thought I had a psoas injury too at first. I seemed to be injured while running downhill in Corte de Madera OSP (the trails were so rough and steep!). Still have some kind of problem there, but psoas stretches alone didn’t help. When I started doing glut maximus strengthening exercises and hip flexor stretches, it got much much better. In fact, I need to get more serious about those again. I am running again trying to get serious about Miwok training and doing a 50K next week (and considering both AR50 and Diablo 50, but don’t tell David!). The injury is still present, but not the limiter it was (doesn’t bother me while running, but aches at night). I’ve run a 50K and a killer trail marathon while injured. In fact, I’ve felt better after the really long runs because I slow down for them, and the injury is exacerbated by faster running, esp fast rough downhills. So I don’t think you should give up on AR50 just yet. Just my opinion. Also, you won’t lose your conditioning super fast- it could be just a taper. I heard someone recommend taking the month before Western States completely off!

    So check out
    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/get_your_butt_in_gear

    and
    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/get_your_butt_in_gear_ii

    These articles really helped me, and if I had more time, I would do more weight training I think. It’s not enough to stretch a tight muscle, you need to get the whole system of interacting mucles to work together properly.

    I hope this helps. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  2. runrunrunrun says:

    Cynthia

    This is an awesome perspective. Thank you. You have actually made me think that I should get into the gym during this “down time” and work on core strength, glut strength and stretches, and hip flexor stretches. And you are right, I shouldn’t give up yet on AR50. If I can keep up maintenance miles, off-set with swimming and gym work, and get my leg back in shape, I should still try. I’m gonna get to the gym today. 🙂 Keeping things in perspective, it’s only been two weeks since my strong showing at Sequoia 50K. It just feels like months.

    Thank you! If you run AR50, let me know.

    Julianne

  3. Cynthia says:

    Check out Scott Dunlap’s post this week, interviewing Todd Braje. He says he was injured and didn’t run much in the month before his 5:30 50 miler (Can you believe that amazing time?!) I would be happy with 10.

    It’s a delicate thing, running while injured. For a while there, it hurt just to walk briskly and I cried one day at the track because I just couldn’t run(stupid I know). I think I also had “femoral anterior glide” syndrome, where the hip flexors overpower the gluts and pull the hip bone forward out of joint. I still have to fight that tendency, but my gluts are a little stronger. That’s why I’m such a poor power walker on hills too.

    I think most everyone trains while injured sometimes. Noakes says in his book that you shouldn’t quit running, but change something, see if you can figure out how to make things get better. I think the gym idea is good. It will take your mind off your frustrations and let you make progress anyway.

    I’m sure you’ll get through this soon without ruining all your hopes for AR50. Besides, it allows you to run it without so much pressure on yourself.

  4. James says:

    Hi, I am 35 and have worn hearing aids for 15 years now. They are not an issue. The idea that you have hearing aids makes you feel somehow disabled or self-conscience goes away. I no longer realize that I wear them and others don’t. I no longer feel different from other people because I have to wear them.

    The only real drawback for me now is the expense of replacing them every five to ten years and wearing them running while sweating.

    good luck!

  5. runrunrunrun says:

    You are so great. Thanks! No, I can not believe Scott’s time, but he is Scott Dunlap. I ran this morning, very briefly and very slowly. It hurt, but it wasn’t as bad after the run as it has been. There is hope. 🙂

  6. runrunrunrun says:

    Thanks, James! Today was better than last week. They didn’t bug me as much, meaning I was less aware of them. And I must admit, I left them behind by accident for a meeting this morning. I had to ask my boss to repeat himself 3 times in 10 minutes and he was sitting across the desk from me! I was grateful to put them back in after the meeting was over.

  7. Cynthia says:

    Todd Braje had the amazing 5:30 time for 50 miles. Not sure what Scott’s time is.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Just be gentle for a bit and it will come around I bet.

  8. Cynthia says:

    Thought you might enjoy reading this as well:
    http://www.endurancecorner.com/timing_recovery_for_optimal_performance

    He talks about taking a 3 week taper before Ironman Arizona, studies that have shown how much work is needed to maintain a given level of fitness, and alot of other useful stuff.

    There are a lot of other interesting posts at the endurance corner blog too.

  9. runrunrunrun says:

    Love this. I am forwarding to my partners, some of whom — especially my triathlete friends — never rest.

    I was with my PT for 2 hours yesterday. Bad news is I still really can’t run. He laughed at me when I told him I tried to the other day. He said a “limping walker does not make a good runner.”

    Good news is I can get on the bike at this point, which will keep me active, and I have stopped limping when walking. Progress is progress and you have encouraged me a lot to keep the faith that I will make AR.

  10. Cynthia says:

    A lot can happen in a couple of weeks. Be careful though. I read one person’s account of what she thought was a groin pull, and then when she raced on it, her pelvic bone collapsed due to multiple stress fractures. Scary stuff. It might be a good idea to get it checked if it doesn’t clear up pretty soon, just in case.

    How about hiking up hills or even running up hills? I found I could run slowly, and going up hill slowly was at least running. You don’t have to lift your leg as much since the strides are short.

    Also, see this video- http://www.uvadvantage.org/portals/0/pres/

    It’s a long lecture, but very informative. He says that many if not most people are vitamin D deficient, which increases the incidence of osteoporesis and all kinds of other conditions (autoimmune, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases). I wonder if stress fractures could be minimized by supplementing with Vt. D. We supplement anyway, and I think it’s helping. So far I haven’t had any noticable illnesses since starting to supplement (knock on wood!). Of course my son just came home from college with the flu and pneumonia (he’s rapidly getting better though), so I’m hoping I don’t get what germs he’s brought home with him!

  11. I follow your website and found very informative information in this blog, so keep it up and thankyou for sharing this post with us

  12. runrunrunrun says:

    Thank you, Lala. I just updated everything for 2012. Hope you find the information useful as you plan your future activities.

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