|All-brick boardwalk in Miami Beach
In the morning, I ran 8 miles on the all-brick boardwalk in Miami Beach. I was in Miami getting ready to board a cruise in the afternoon. We had flown in Thursday night so we'd have a night to "chill" in Miami before heading out the the Caribbean.
The next day, I foam rolled and did some gentle stretching before starting my treadmill run. I only made it
about two miles when I realized this might not be a good idea given the state of my hip. I felt it with every step. And even though it was only a 1.5-2 on the pain scale, it was one of those "I have nothing to gain by doing this but a lot to lose" moments with the marathon just two weeks away.
The cruise was a nice distraction from the hip. I was able to keep a positive mindset and enjoy the cruise with minimal hip obsession. I was comforted by the fact that I didn't "do anything" to injure my hip during that 8-mile boardwalk run, unless the brick surface really irritated something.
For anyone experiencing a similar pain, it felt like an extreme tightness and deep soreness all around the Iliac crest (pelvis bone that juts out). Both in front of the bone and behind it. The way I felt this pain was by putting all my weight on my right foot and cocking my hip out to the side/back. Otherwise, I had no hint of any issues at all. I had zero pain at rest. Zero pain walking. Mild pain while running. And a deep pain with that one motion.
I was miraculously able to see both my doctor and my physical therapist on my first full day back home. Usually my doctor has a 2-3 month wait, but he recently switched practices so his patients probably don't know how to find him! He's an amazing doctor and has a reputation for being one of the best in the area for sports medicine.
This day was when the freakout finally happened! I had been calm, patient and positive up until Saturday. But when there was seemingly ZERO improvement on a 2-mile test run, I found myself down in the dumps. I threw myself a huge pity party. The sulking lasted all day. The doctor thought I would feel much better by Saturday and yet nothing had changed. Thus, I was discouraged. Defeated! DEFLATED!
I returned to the doctor and he said that while there definitely were trigger points when he had seen me the previous week, he thought there could also be a nerve issue. He identified the nerve as the Iliohypogastric nerve, which runs right over the iliac crest. It was time for more injections! This time the goal was to get cortisone around that specific nerve at the specific spot where it was most painful. The nerve he targeted last time was a different one. Using an ultrasound, he found the nerve, I told him where the pain was most intense, and he injected it.
|The red arrow is where the nerve hurts!
good shape. We just needed time for the cortisone to work around the nerve.
With the doctor's green light to resume running, I tried running again today. And it was not 100% pain free, but the pain had changed quite a bit. Previously while running, there was a large area of soreness and tightness all around that TFL. Now, the area of pain was a quarter-sized area, concentrated right over the bone of the iliac crest.
- The area of pain is smaller
- The area of pain is quite superficial (close to the skin)
- The pain didn't seem to worsen over the course of 4 miles
- The pain was never more than 1.5 out of 10 on the pain scale
- I had no pain after the run, and I walked a full pain-free mile afterwards
- I am not 100% pain free
- I am not sure what would happen if I did a long run or speed work
- Definitely no Marine Corps Marathon (although would I have run it anyway in the 70-degree heat?)
In a situation like this, the only thing I can do is take it one day at a time. The doctor did a thorough exam and an x-ray and was confident in his diagnosis, so I have to believe it's just a nerve that needs to calm down and the cortisone will start to kick in over the next few days.