Last week wasn’t the greatest week, and I didn’t really want to mention it on the blog until I knew more about it. About two weeks ago, I felt this pain in my lower pelvic area on my right side. I trained and ignored it until the following Saturday. After a 5 hour ride, I laid down on the couch for a nap, and the pain started up again. It hurt. My husband got fed up, and said, “This is ridiculous. We are going to the hospital. I don’t care if you don’t want to go. We are going.” So we went.
After 2 hours of watching a homeless guy with an extremely swollen eye lecturing scared children about not doing drugs and ending up like him and checking out what my symptoms might be on webmd, we were finally called into see the doctor. He felt around on my abs, took some blood and urine from me, declared me the healthiest patient he has seen in a while besides a possible strained pelvic muscle (he didn’t seem like he cared much), and offered me an ultrasound. I was happy that it wasn’t appendicitis or a hernia, but I wanted an ultrasound to make sure it wasn’t a tumor or anything like that. HOWEVER, I didn’t want to wait 2-3 hrs for the procedure and the results after being at the hospital for 5 hrs already. I immediately regretted my decision to skip the ultrasound when we got home. I made an appt with my primary care physician the following Monday, and cancelled all my workouts for the upcoming week. I didn’t know what the pain was, and if it was in fact a strained muscle, only rest could help it. Standing up from bending over to pick things up hurt, the act of pushing urine out of my bladder hurt, random body stances hurt. Something was wrong.
A few days later, I got my ultrasounds and results. I still had pain. The results: I have moderate skeletal muscle strain in my pelvic area. The doc said that these take 4-6 weeks to heal. After momentarily freaking out about the prospect of not being able to train for my Ironman, I got an email from one of my teammates about calling Heidi from Rockwood Clinic here in town. She works at the sports rehab clinic as an athletic trainer. I guess she has worked with a lot of people from my tri and running teams.
I got my gait analyzed. One thing to work on at a time. Pick my feet up about 1/4 of an inch more than I usually do.
We did some strength tests which were utterly embarrassing. Apparently, even though I train a lot, my stabilizer muscles aren’t very strong which causes my body to compensate with other muscles leading to bad form and injuries.
According to Heidi, my body is unbalanced. My left side is stronger than my right side. I need to do more ab and abductor work. Apparently, I am very weak in those areas. People can get away with being weak in those areas training for 1/2 marathons and such for a while without injuries, but according to Heidi, Ironman tends to bring out the imbalances in a way that you can’t ignore them (ie. my pelvic muscle strain that sidelined me for a week at the least).
I’m allowed to train this week, but I’m not allowed to run or bike up any hills since I’m still recovering. It kinda sucks. Only trainer rides, easy swims, and slow flat runs. However, I can’t complain too much. Considering the alternative: tumors, appendicitis, hernias, pregnancy (sorry, had to add that in too), it isn’t too bad.
Do I regret having all that testing done? Heck no. That is such a sensitive region down there with the ovaries, uterus, etc., I’m glad I know for sure it is a strained muscle.
After my trainer session, a run with the dogs in the rain was called for. Although you can’t tell from this horrible iphone pic, I was soaking wet from the rain. It was kinda of a therapeutic run. Nice.
Heidi gave me some exercises to do until the next time that I see her, and I’m actually going to do them!! People say that the few months before your Ironman you start getting paranoid about your health, and they aren’t kidding!! I’m so paranoid about getting sick and injuring myself right now. I have spent way too much time thinking and training for this thing, not to mention the $$$!! I’m not going down without a fight! haha
Obviously, I did the smart thing and did not train at all last week. And you know what? It worked. The pain has gone away (at least for now), and I have the peace of mind that I don’t have a tumor. Onwards and upwards!!
Have you ever seen an athletic trainer (not a personal trainer)? What did you think? Have you ever NOT rested, and your injury got worse? I’ve heard of way too many stories of that happening.