Down but not yet out

Note: these are my personal views, and not those of Motherwell AC, Scottish Athletics or Jax Teller.

As I had said previously I am currently waiting for NHS physio due to ongoing problems. Thinking I can at least manage to run moderately whilst I am waiting I put myself forward for selection for the MAC squad for the Lanarkshire Road Relays, though thankfully down to the bottom team. Yes it was stupid to do so, it was a club champs bonus pointer thing. I’ll learn next year, really. We had a good few teams with our female teams taking gold and bronze.

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I was hobbling before the run and could only jog a part of the warm up. I did manage to complete the 4k course, and under 16 minutes, so averaging under 4 mins per k was ok for zero training. The problem was every step hurt, the downhill section was my slowest as the pain radiated from my back to my hip to my groin and everywhere round about it. When I finished I could hardly walk and my time wasn’t only down on last year when it was windy, but a minute and a half slower than guys I had been beating at 3k on the green.

To be honest there wasn’t really much option and I arranged to see Grant at the Treatment Hub in Hamilton. Worrying about the money could come later, the pain was too much. In summary the issue seems to be Piriformis syndrome. In some kind of layman’s terms (I am not the most accurate) the piriformis muscle is inside the hip and is tight affecting my hip movement, affecting my stride, giving groin and hip pain and with it being inflamed is rubbing against the sciatic nerve causing backache, weak legs and foot pain. Some of the less kind amongst you won’t be surprised that me, and pain in the arse, are being linked. So a lot of stretching and lack of running coming up. I had the sorest massage of my life, including sharp elbows in my buttocks, have a set of exercises to do and have been advised not to run and there we go. The diagnosis makes perfect sense now I know about it and I think can be traced back to over a year ago, though the last couple of months are where it has really affected me. I’ll take the time I need to get back, and if it works then there is a good chance I could be back stronger. I have set myself a target of managing to be back training by the end of the year, any earlier a bonus, but will do it right if if it takes longer so be it. I’ll use the gym to try and strengthen the rest of me up in the meantime.

Something else may keep me busy. It was the MAC AGM the other night and 1 minute before it started Peter the secretary (that gives bad visions eh?, take a letter Mr Blackmore….) asked me if I would mind being put forward for a role on the committee. I have no doubt that I will be winging it, but he asked if I would come on board as communications manager. So ladies, gentleman and other blogpeeps, the moral of the story is that the internet can make any eejit seem credible. I have many ideas but won’t get ahead of myself as it is a committee for a reason. I would probably have the club shut down by Xmas 🙂

I’ll keep you all up to date on my rehab, on my “communications” and will probably take the opportunity to relive older running stories like https://markgallmac.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/ancient-history-my-first-title-and-the-sheepskin-of-justice/ which I got really good feedback about. Keep running for fun, and I will see you out there soon 🙂

EDITED For piriformis info:

The piriformis is a small, relatively short, and little-known muscle buried deep within the muscle tissue in your hips. In each hip, it runs from the back of your pelvis to the top of your femur. Because of its unique positioning, the piriformis muscle helps rotate your leg outward when your hip is extended, but rotates your leg inward and into abduction when your hip is flexed.
When running, the piriformis is most active during the “stance phase”, where your foot is planted on the ground. Here, it acts as an external rotator of the leg, but it is neither the primary nor the most powerful muscle which acts in that role. Despite its seemingly insignificant function in the muscular support of your body while running, it plays a central role in a complicated and frustrating injury known as piriformis syndrome. Your piriformis is positioned immediately adjacent to the sciatic nerve, a very thick nerve which runs from the base of your spine along your glute muscles and down the back of your legs, providing the nerve signals that allow all of the muscles on the back side of your lower body to fire when needed.When the piriformis muscle is irritated, the sciatic nerve can get irritated too. In around fifteen percent of people, the sciatic nerve actually passes through the piriformis, which, according to some researchers, leaves these individuals more susceptible to piriformis syndrome.Classically, piriformis syndrome feels like an aching, soreness, or tightness in your butt, between the back of your pelvis (the sacrum, specifically) and the top of your femur.
• Pain, tightness, tingling, weakness, or numbness can also radiate into your lower back and down the back side of your leg, through your hamstrings and calves.
• Buttock pain and tightness with prolonged sitting is also a common occurrence with piriformis syndrome.
• When you run, you will probably feel pain in your butt throughout the stance phase of your stride; the pain might get worse when you run fast, go up and down hills, or go around tight turns.
Piriformis syndrome is related to sciatica, a painful irritation which also involves pain, tightness, weakness, and a numb or tingling sensation than courses down from your lower back into your butt, hamstring, and calves or even feet. Piriformis syndrome is characterized by pain and instability. The location of the pain is often imprecise, but it is often present in the hip, coccyx, buttock, groin, or distal part of the leg.

*Down but not yet out is a song from the album “Forever breathes the only word” by Felt. A classic album on creation records.

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