Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"Just won pwobwem..."

That's daughter Haiden's version of "just one problem", which sounds all the alarm bells for her parents. She's in the middle of potty-training, so this can mean an accident has happened, is about to happen, or maybe something else altogether. It can be "Daddy's special milkshake" spilling on her skirt, an ouchie, or other minor catastrophe. In short, when I hear this it's usually not good news.

While the running has been going well for me, there is "just one problem" that continues to bug me. I've mentioned the pain in my abductor before, and my worry that it's some kind of sports hernia or inguinal hernia. The pain is more towards the groin, and I've noted it flaring up in my training log on the left side in November of last year, on the left side in March of this year, and now on the right side, starting back about six weeks ago. Usually it's fine if I sleep on my back or stomache, and it only irritates me if I sleep on my side. Unfortunately, coughing brings the pain out a bit and I've been doing a lot of that lately. It seems that the longer the run, the more coughing afterwards bothers me. I've taken to adopting a sort of "standing fetal position", with knees together and bent with my hands on them. This makes the cough more bearable. Today's long run was the first time I actually had to stop twice for coughing fits, as it really hurt my groin to try to run through them and I didn't want to take any chances.

As luck would have it, Kevin Beck is back to running and writing about running in his blog, and the link will take you to a post where he laments a bilateral hernia he has been running with. Like many obsessive runners, I hate doctors. Why waste an afternoon in an office for somebody to tell you what you already know from searching running blogs on the internet? I am kidding of course. What Kevin describes does sound similar to what I have, and while it isn't debilitating and doesn't stop me from running, having to pause twice today gets me thinking more about it. It goes on my list of "things to take care of after the race", along with the neruoma and trying more minimal shoes.

With a half-marathon this weekend I resolved to take it easy on today's 22 miler and I did. Winter is still here, though it should be gone again by tomorrow. When I stopped at 7 miles in for my first drinking fountain I found it frozen solid, which meant only getting one drink for the whole run at 11 miles. Needless to say I tanked up there and had a gel, and when I got back to the first fountain it was still no go so I moved on. It must have been right at freezing for most of the run, though I ditched the hat and gloves about 3 miles in. I do tend to warm up quick, although I got many strange looks from the dog walkers, bundled up with their puffy jackets, hats and gloves. One woman looked at me so strangely as I approached that I wondered if I had a big snot trail on my face. As I got closer, all she said was "Brrrrrrr!"

So only one drink the whole way, but a nice relaxed run. I tried to keep the words of Ron Daws in mind for the "self-coached runner". He ran his Boston marathons with an imaginary coach on the sidelines, who looked at him and his effort level constantly throughout the race, saying "Can he keep this up for 26 miles?" This kept his effort level in check. In my case it was "Can he run slow enough to be fresh for speedwork tomorrow". Aside from the death-cough, it's a "yes".

Training: 22 miles, 2:35:15, 7:03 pace...so...thirsty...


Thomas Sørensen said...

Hm. That cough sounds like it is really bad. Is there no way of getting a hernia (if that is what it is) treated while sticking to the training plan? And remember, usually men are reluctant to go to the doctor, and I think male runners are even more recultant and the worst are probablt male runners who are on target for a huge PR a few weeks from now.
Be a man and go to the doctor. Ubless he hospitalizes you right there and then you can always chose to follow his advice or not, or somewhere in between.

Mike said...

You're probably right Thomas, I'll try to find a doc who specializes in such things. My only real aversion is that he or she will tell me something I don't want to know, like no running! Even if I do continue after hearing something like that I would still worry. I'm hoping when the cough subsides (it is getting better), the problem will minimize on its own. We'll see.

Mr Carter said...

mike, i also have bilateral hernias and have good and bad days. saw a doc in canada who said "when you can't run/bike, come see me", the saw an american urologist here who wanted to do surgery stat. i think i read you had a congenital nernia repair and from what i know they can unfortunately be reccurent. hernias are easily diagnosed as the bulge is palpable with bearing down or coughing. from a PT point of view, differentials should include osteitis pubis, pubic rami stress fracture and adductor tendinopathy/strain. (fyi, adductors are in the groin, abductors are the lateral hip muscles...ie medius, minimus, TFL).

Thomas said...

Personally I wouldn't go to the doctor, because he might tell you to stop running, which you wouldn't do, and therefore increase your worries.

Just kidding of course.

Marc said...

While I agree that runners and doctors do not mix well, I would side with Thomas - go to the doc, get the info, weigh the risks, and make an informed decision. Yes, chances are the doc will tell you not to run, but ultimateley you need to make the decision. Is the doc telling you not to run because it could kill you, or is he/she telling you not to run because it could aggrevate the problem (in which case you grin and bear it until after the marathon)?

Sorry if this seems patronizing...must be my advanced age.

I applaud your adherence to Lydiard and your training plan with all that life is throwing your way.