"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Pain in the ___

When it comes to running-related injuries, I have been extremely fortunate. Logging serious mileage over the past ten years,  I have yet to experience any major setback, much less an injury serious enough to give cause for reevaluating the long-term, life-long plan.

Sure, an ache and a pain here and there, some ice and a little ibuprofen now and again, a sore muscle and a tweaked ankle maybe once in a while, but that’s truly the extent of it. Over 6,000 miles and this ol’ “Body by Krispy Kreme” has been running strong. Blessed, indeed.

Until ...

This past spring has been a season for building base mileage - gradually and according to the plan. However, in early May, I started experiencing a sharp, bruise-like sensation, smack-dab in the middle of my left gluteus maximus. The pain initially began several miles into the long runs, but after a few weeks it started creeping into the shorter ones as well. Even at night, it had become a real bother as I was settling into bed.

Having considered myself to be fairly knowledgeable of all things running, I'll admit that I was clueless; all I could think was, “What in the runner’s world universe is going on here?!” I had no idea this type of pain, in this particular location, was even possible. Was it serious, or would it simply go away? Should I run through it, or hold off a few weeks? Would a massage help, but even if it would, isn’t it kinda creepy to ask someone to rub back there for half an hour? What to do?

Well, a few more weeks of trying to run through it, and no luck. A few weeks off, and still no luck. Just as I was feeling more than a little concerned, a breakthrough. A little research, some light rehab, and an attempt at intelligent training runs, and I have found that there just might be a happy ending (pun intended) after all.

My new best friend!
In short, and hopefully this is helpful to others, I discovered that several types of gluteus muscle injuries are common in aging distance runners who refuse to stretch - voilà, thats me! So, this past week I started stretching, and consciously pulling back on pace. Even better, I discovered the YMCA's Glute Extension equipment. Yep, Ive been extending my glute. And guess what, it feels really good! (hey, we all have our guilty pleasures). 

Ultimately, I'm hopeful this is just another lesson learned in the journey of lessons learned, and the remainder of the summer will be relatively pain-free. But regardless, it is certainly a reminder that we don’t take each morning for granted (there will be a day that I can’t run, but it’s not today), and that the lack of total body conditioning, can be a real pain in the ..... 

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