Sunday, September 14, 2014

On the Run: Head for the Cure 5K

Last week I raced the inaugural Head for the Cure in Detroit- my first 5K since Nain Rouge in March.  I had planned to work on speed over the summer so that come September, I could get my 5K time under 20:00.  Due to my hamstring injury, however, speed has not been my friend!  In the past couple of weeks - thanks to an oral cortisone taper and an anti-inflammatory drug - I've been able to pick up the pace a bit.  Not back to what it was in the spring at the peak of Boston training but I'm getting there.

So back to last week.  I had no idea what I would be able to do for the race and I didn't put any pressure on myself.  I just wanted to go out and give it my best.  I lined up at the front with runners of all ages.  Many of them were high school cross country runners. A few girls gunned it right out of the gate but several slowed down after the first turn.  One was WAY ahead of me and there was no catching her!  I passed the other girls quickly (and a few guys) to fall into place for 2nd female and maintained that position for the rest of the race.  Near the 3-mile marker, I chicked one more dude so that I was able to finish 6th overall.

I loved this race!  The course was awesome.  Out and back, flat, with just three main turns, plus a loop around a building at the end.  It started and ended on the Detroit River.  We got to run along The Dequindre Cut, which features some of Detroit's finest graffiti.  It was a good cause, raising money and awareness for brain cancer.  Best of all it was organized by RUNdetroit - my favorite running store!  I got to be there with several of my friends and they all had amazing races, as well!  It was great to support them, cheer them on as they finished, and celebrate their amazing PRs!  I loved the feeling of racing a 5K again!





Bring Me Your Loves / St. Vincent 
Animal / Langhorne Slim & the Law
Violent Shiver / Benjamin Booker  
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
Dance Apocolyptic / Janelle Monae  
The Walker / Fitz & the Tantrums
Heart Attack / Raphael Saadiq

Age Group Award - 1st Place

Monday, September 1, 2014

Injury Update - Still a Pain in the Butt

It's been 4 months since the pain in my butt started and unfortunately, it's still there.  It's a persistent bugger.  My diagnosis started as piriformis syndrome but now we know it's actually high hamstring tendinopathy.  Here are the things I've done to try to heal the injury:
  • 8 sessions of PT at Henry Ford Fairlane (30 min each, not very aggressive)
  • 10 sessions of PT at ATI - Ann Arbor (60+ min each, aggressive therapy)
  • 2 week complete break from running
  • Yoga 3-4 times per week
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Thai yoga massage
  • Acupuncture and cupping therapy
  • Daily stretches for hamstring
  • Strength training for accessory areas - hips and glutes in particular
While at ATI (which, by the way, is an amazing place to go for PT), the physical therapists used a few different machines - ultrasound, E-stim, and something they called "The Hammer" - all to help speed up the healing process.  They had me working hard while I was there and closely monitored my progress.  I had the chance to work with Tim Broe, who filmed me running and gave me exercises to help correct my form (posture, stride) so that I can prevent this injury from happening again.

The therapists at ATI did everything they could for me.  I had made progress but not enough.  It was time to see an orthopedic doctor.  Thankfully I was able to get an appointment right away at Dearborn Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.  I saw Dr. Plagens, the team doctor for the Detroit Red Wings.  He concurred with the inflammation diagnosis and put me on an oral Cortisone taper for 6 days (6 pills on day 1, 5 pills on day 2, etc), followed by an anti-inflammatory drug.  I am supposed to be stretching several times throughout the day.  He also advised to "take it easy" with running - whatever that means. I see him again 2 weeks from today.

It's hard to say how much better I'm feeling.  The pain is less intense when running - more of a dull aching than a stabbing - but it's still there.  I can drive for longer periods of time before it becomes excruciating but it's still uncomfortable.  My legs are seemingly always tired and my speed just isn't there.  Am I better than a month ago?  Yes.  But I am far from "better."  It's frustrating.  

So I will continue with the stretching and anti-inflammatory until I see Dr. Plagens again.  He said if things are not improved he will look into other options for me, including an MRI to see if there is more going on.  

I will keep you posted.