Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ultrarunning and High Hamstring Tendinopathy - Part IV

Hard to believe that it has been 3 1/2 months since I've last run.  Truth be told, I have done gone for 4 four or five mile runs in the last two or three weeks.  I've also started playing tennis again for the last month or so.  My healing has been very slow with many ups and downs but I think I can say that I am getting better.  Each of the runs I went on was a little better than the last one but I am still only going once or twice a week.

In addition to the HHT, I also had achilles tendonitis that was really bad and that is almost healed now.  I also had tennis elbow and that is mostly better but all three of these injuries are very stubborn to heal.

The big one of course is the HHT.  I just absolutely cannot compete in ultras again until that is healed.  The four mile runs that I have been on are a struggle and there is a lot of discomfort and I definitely cannot go fast.  Only something close to 10 minute miles and if I try to pick up the pace, the discomfort returns which I am trying to avoid so that I can heal.

My goal is to get well enough so that I can eventually run four to five times a week with no pain and then work toward being able to do a speed workout on the track and then a 5K.  If I can get to where I can run a 5K again at maximum effort, then I know I will be ready for ultras again.

On the bright side, I have learned quite a few things over the last three plus months.  (1)Running is not THAT important, it's not everything.  (2)I will never again run every day, I can take days off and still maintain my fitness.  I do not need 70 to 100 mile weeks every week of the year.  If I can ever get healed again, I'm thinking 50 mile weeks max will be just fine.  In this way I can hopefully avoid the HHT from coming back.  (3)I also really love running and really miss it.  I must get back to it because it brings so much joy.

For those that are searching as I was and still am - for some type of magic cure for HHT - here is my experience thus far.  Nothing works.  That's about the sum of it.  The injections did nothing for me.  Rest seemed to actually make it worse.  The first run I went on a couple of weeks ago, my legs were very stiff.  It felt like the tendons had not been stretch and I think that is why a few runs every so often will actually help rather than hurt.

My next step is to go back to Dr Chris Barnes in Tulsa.  He really helped me 2 - 3 years ago and I was able to complete Leadville after seeing him.  But I think the HHT was just beginning back then.  This is much, much worse.  Back then I could still run and compete and now I cannot.  So Dr. Barnes will probably be doing some ART and dry needling as he did last time.  I know it will have to be better than the injections because unfortunately, they did not seem to help.  The one good part of spending all of that money is that the MRI gave a confirmed diagnosis that what I have is indeed HHT and ischial tuberosity (inflammation?).  So I can continue to focus efforts on those areas.

My goal is to just continue to heal in 2014 with an eye on the summer of 2015 for some big advenutres.  Some of the things I'm considering are:  Jemez 50 Miler, San Juan Solstice 50 or Bighorn 100, Alpine to Slickrock in Moab 50, a 50 mile race in the swiss alps, and then I'm signed up to do Run Rabbit Run 100 in September because I had to postpone my entry due to injury this year.  So those are my dreams if only I can get rid of this problem.

For those struggling with the same trouble, feel free to post and best of luck to you!

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