Monday, July 09, 2007

This has been a bad year year for running. Although it started out well, setting a personal record in a half marathon back in early February, it's been all downhill ever since, and not the good kind of downhill either.

First, I had that Achilles injury that sidelined me for a few weeks. Then, a very mild hip injury that has been benignly hanging out for the last 9 months or so suddenly flared up. I blame the "boot camp" exercises I did in May. Rest assured, that's the last time I'm supportive of Hank.

I'm not good with anatomy, but it's the upper outside part of my right hip that hurts. We'll call that part of the body, "the hip". Anyway, after I did the boot camp, any time I'd bend at the hip towards the left, or if I was walked uphill, or if I ran, it would hurt pretty bad. Since my buddy Pablo was spending 16 weeks on crutches after two separate hip operations, I decided maybe this wasn't something to screw around with.

That motivated me to see an orthopaedic specialist a couple weeks ago. He poked me, bent me, pushed me, and eyeballed me critically. This was the same office that Pablo had gone too, so I was hoping that it wouldn't be a case of a surgeon examining me and then determining that I needed surgery. I'm familiar with the "I have a hammer and everything looks like a nail" phenomenon since I personally attempt to solve every problem I have with either software or my penis. Much as I have come to realize that this makes me a terrible cook, I was hoping that my doc would recognize that some situations don't require surgery.

After a few doctor-supervised bizarre contortions, he concluded that I'm immensely inflexible and have some muscle weakness in my hip and uh.... gluteal regions. He recommended taking a month or two off of running and getting some physical therapy.

So, for the last couple weeks, I've been seeing a physical therapist. She does amazing things like determine that I haven't stretched my hamstring in years due to a nerve in my calf, and says "In THIS office, we'll sit with good posture" when I was slumping, without even looking at me. I'm a little intimidated.

She also said I could keep running. That made it one vote for no running and one vote for running. Like Dick Cheney, the fourth branch of our government, I cast the tie-breaking vote, and I've been running for the last couple weeks. It's been a slow and unpleasant slog, but the exercise is good for me. The physical therapy exercises haven't had a noticeable effect, but in general I'm not very aware of what's going on in my body. I'm just hoping one day I'll drive to her office and she'll call out "You're all better! Go home!" before I even get out of the car.

Anyway, so first I had an achilles injury, and then a hip one. Looks like my injuries are moving up my body. The next one should either be a heart attack or maybe decapitation. I'm pretty sure I could run through either one.


Janelle Renee said...

Hopefully the upward mobility of your injuries bypasses the lint collector. Now, that would be difficult to run through.

Pensive Turtle said...

Man, that sucks. I hope I never get old like you. Although no doubt you'd be able to out-run my ass if you only had one leg.

carey said...

It's just your body breaking down piece by piece. Did anyone suggest an xray or MRI?

Mike said...

JR, that's true. I collect awesome lint when I run, especially when SF garbage cans attack me.

PT, I won't take that bet. I'm not a superstitious man, but there's no need to goad Old Man Fate.

Carey, yeah, they x-rayed me and everything checked out. I guess they determined they didn't need an MRI to make the "your body is breaking down, piece by piece" diagnosis.

tinyhands said...

This is why I don't exercise: It's impossible to quit without having your body fall apart. My physique, on the other hand, is neatly summed up by idiom, "you can't break jello."

Mike said...

Tiny, one of the Giants pitchers who died recently, Rod Beck, summed up that sentiment while commenting on his heavy physique, compared to the muscle-laded ones around him. He said something to the effect of "I never saw anyone go on the disabled list because of pulled fat."