The AZ Trip, and a Diagnosis

Arizona was great, guys. I met a lot of current and potential Oiselle dealers, and saw a few current and met some new friends, which is always a nice perk to a business trip. I worked on my car karaoke and listened to a lot of the podcasts you recommended (queued up the ones I didn’t get to – thank you all!) during the  miles of driving. I also got pulled over once, but blessed be AZ Highway Patrolman Reeves let me off with a warning. To be fair, if the speed limit was still 75 like I thought it was, I wouldn’t have been speeding. They should really make those signs a little bigger and brighter! Or I should pay more attention. Yeah, probably the latter. Anyway, dipped into the karma bank for that one, for sure.


phoenixlovesboston runnersden

Awesome Boston love at Runner’s Den AZ

I also got a diagnosis and treatment plan for that stupid “niggle kind-of-not-really injury” that I complained about last week. It was totally unplanned and kind of fell into my lap, but hot damn am I weirdly thrilled it did. Yes I just said thrilled to be officially on the Injured Reserve. Let me explain…

In Flagstaff – which btw did you know is like a mountain town with snow and sub-freezing temperatures? me and my packed duffle of tshirts and shorts didn’t –  I stayed with Steph and Ben, two pro runners, 1/2 of which are newly and adorably pregnant if you didn’t see.

[pause to serve in grammar timeout for a minute]

[[another pause to warn you that if you don’t actually intend for me to take you up on the offer, never say “we have a spare room, come visit anytime!”, no matter how many beers deep or unlikely you think I’ll remember, because I will and will totally cash in on it]]


from instagram – nightstand picky bars at casa de Rothstein-Bruce

Tuesday morning we were going to go for a run, which Average Joes can do with pro runners when they’re building a human inside their belly and are forced to take it easy, and I mentioned my stupid naggy, cranky hip. Steph, being the run coach and smart professional she is, immediately was all “I have a great guy that can probably straighten you out – do you want me to call and see if they can squeeze you in? You should definitely get that looked at… [picks up phone and speed dials Dr AJ]”

And so just like that I had an appointment between my first and second sales presentations. Steph was weirdly excited about it and how “great” it was going to be. Shortly before the appointment I learned “great” meant “painful” and her excitement was somewhat sadistic and crazy. Why are runners so weird(/awesome)?

After a few quick tests and discussing the history of the “injury” AJ asked what I thought it was.

“Piriformis, I guess, although I’ve been refusing to admit it’s a real anything.”

“Oh it’s real, you have High Hamstring Tendinosis and your whole leg is pretty jacked from running on it so long. Probably your other leg too, but we’ve only got 40 minutes left so get on the and get ready to cry.” *

*paraphrased. I’ve PTSD-erased most of the details from my memory

There was a lot of painful hand massage breaking up all the crap in my hamstring, adductors, and hip flexors, mobility tests and retests, and an even more painful (ego, not physical) core test revealing all the months of core work I’ve not been doing. I left feeling a lot better physically, at ease mentally knowing what was wrong, $80 poorer and with a solid rehab plan in hand. It wasn’t until somewhere between Flagstaff and Phoenix the whole, “you’re on the shelf” set in.

‘So, I guess I won’t run Carlsbad “for fun” with Kristina after all. Bummer…

… Which probably means I’m not running 30 miles at Ragnar Del Sol in six weeks, either… Crap how am I going to tell the team? (Oh, team, I uh, owe you an email…) ((Oh and does anybody want to run for me??))

… Seriously did he say ONE MILE a day? Ugh wah wahhh wahhhh…’

Quiet alone time in the car is so fun.

My plan to recovery involves quite a few ham, glute, and core strengthening exercises 4-5x/wk, and running one mile per day, increasing only when there is no pain or soreness during or after. No trails, hills, speedwork, or friends (who often make you accidentally run faster than you planned) until I’m running 100% pain-free. ETA for back-to-normal, ready to train self: 100 days.

And after talking with Stacey, who had the same issue but stubbornly ran through it (which I was totally on plan to do) and is now having surgery to repair the partial tear it lead to, I will stick to that assignment. It’s a lot easier accepting an injury with a formal diagnosis and a comprehensive plan of attack to get back rather than, “take some time off until it doesn’t hurt anymore or just stop running” like some friends have received. Truthfully I think that’s what kept me away from coughing up the $ for an appointment before.


with tendinosis twin and fellow Oiselle superfan, Stacey at Sole Sports in Tempe

It’s really bizarre because as I’m writing this, I don’t feel any sadness or frustration (maybe those are coming – stages of grief?), just a sense of gratefulness. Seems like an injury post would be considerably less rosy, right? It just feels like having the wheels stopped, reset, and placed on a new set of tracks rather than just blindly rolling around hoping to land in the right spot is a much smarter path to take. Even if it means a long road ahead and getting started from zero, at least I know where it’s going.

Plus there are cute coffee shops along the way like Bergies in Gilbert.


awkward transition but wanted to share this pic and couldn’t fit it in anywhere else

Sarah OUaL


17 thoughts on “The AZ Trip, and a Diagnosis

  1. So glad you have a dx and plan. I had a high hamstring tendon pull 2 years ago that put me out of running for 4 months (I kept training on it, b/c I was dumb and loved the runner’s high so much). Tendons aren’t so hot at healing, it turns out. So GOOD ON YOU for being smart and not continuing to run through it.

    After I healed, I started doing weights (kettlebells and Olympic) focusing on my posterior chain — calves, hamstrings, glutes and back — and I think that’s reduced my time on the injury list. Doing long runs on the trails is the other thing that made a big difference. Just don’t break your elbow in a trail race. (Been there, done that, finished the last 15 miles, got the T-shirt… and the plate and the orthopedic hardware).

    A post on your rehab routine would be cool. Thanks for the update!


  2. Glad you have an answer about the injury! Totally sucks but it’s great to know what it is!!
    I have had a knee injury and am stupid so didn’t see anyone about it… I’ve rested it and hope it doesn’t come back… we’ll see when I start running on it… maybe if it hurts again I’ll finally go to the doctor and stop being stupid?!


  3. I had a piriformis injury and it hurt REALLY bad! I had to really work on it for several weeks but it eventually got better! I actually ended up rolling it TOO Much and irritating it so I would focus on stretches and icing. Hope it feels better!


  4. I am sure I won’t be the only one to ask this, but can you share the strength exercises you were given? I have a somewhat chronic (<—says me) mild case of hamstring tendinosis (<—says my PT) and strength work definitely seems to help, but I get bored with what I have been doing and always look for new strength work to mix it up…THANKS!


  5. Well at least you know what it is now! 100 days! No biggie!! It will go by fast! It is already 2014 remember when the year was going to be 2000!!
    I went to school in Flagstaff…Love it! I think a lot of people think its going to be sunny and warm like the rest of AZ but little does everyone know its at 7000ft elevation!! :)


  6. Boo to being injured, but the upside is all the core and strength training you get to focus on. All or us (runners) should be forced into running breaks and into focusing on strength training! Hang in there 100 days will fly!


  7. There are no coincidences in life, huh? I’m just glad we ended up talking about it and I was able to share my experience with you. It is definitely easier with a plan of attack, thats for sure! Keep listening to that body girl! See you soon!


  8. Piriformis sounds really painful…but I hope this doesn’t affect your blogging in any way, because I would miss your posts! Am always sad when I don’t see one up on a daily basis. :-(
    Sorry, that’s the selfish side of me coming out (oh I’m sorry about your injury, but how is this going to affect my reading your blog?!). It really does suck being laid up!


  9. You were in my ‘hood– we used to go to Bergies after our Saturday long runs, but well, it’s too cold for all of us to sit outside at 8 am.
    Sorry to hear about the hht. My friend has been suffering from that– it’s no good. Take care you.


  10. omg, such a grownup runner!! if you can swing private pilates sessions, they kick your abs in a great way. That’s where I do most of my core work. I do a routine glute/hip exercise routine every day. It will only make you stronger! Hoping the injured-reserved list is short for you and you come back stronger than ever!


  11. Hi! Sorry to hear about your leg! I actually just (self diagnosed) myself with the same thing. Do you think you could post some of the exercises you’ll be doing for a girl who’s only been told, “just don’t run until it doesn’t hurt”? Also right or left leg? Mine is right. Boo.


  12. I had piriformis issues when my IT band flared up. It wasn’t fun or easy and sitting at a desk all day didn’t help but I went through some painful stuff, probably similar to Dr. AJ and was back up and running soon.


  13. Ugh, that sucks. I’m sure the recovery/repair will go just fine, it’s all the mental nonsense that comes along with it that’s so excrutiating. Wish there was something other than “Good luck!” that would actually help.



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s