I wish I were here writing about a 60-mile training week, and how excited I am to head to Boston in about 12 weeks.
But I’m not.
I’m here to write about how I took a full week off running last week because of some pain in my pubic ramus.
It’s annoying to even type that. I had two stress fractures in it in 2009 — pain that started gradually, and then one day was so severe I could barely stand up from my desk at work. An MRI that fall showed two stress fractures, and I was in so much pain that a trip to Target had me limping by the time I hit the checkout. It was awful. And it took months to heal.
In 2011, I felt some residual pain, but another MRI showed nothing. And then later that year, a 3D scan also showed nothing. My sports doctor said at that point, the only option was to refer me to a pain clinic. The pain wasn’t that bad — I just was scared. The stress fractures originally began so quietly.
I remember running south on Cliff Avenue, thinking, huh, my pelvis feels really weird. Then I would lay in bed at night, and I could just feel something … off. But it wouldn’t hurt all the time. Until it did.
Even in 2011, I had to take a week off because it felt funny. And then a year ago, I took almost a month off because it felt funny. I’ve become really conservative any time I feel a twinge in those bones. (Here‘s an illustration of the pelvis.)
But it’s tough — when it has really hurt, a scan has shown it’s fine. And the original injury crept up so slowly. So it’s difficult to let pain be your guide — it just doesn’t hurt that much, until it does.
So I am sitting here, deciding how much it hurts. A little. Not enough to keep me from running or daily life. But is this the beginning of a lot of pain again, or just a bump in the road?
I don’t know.
I can’t tell. And I’m not interested in paying for an MRI (yet) to see.
Yesterday, I ran 5 very easy miles. Nothing hurt at all. In fact, my pubic ramus (the left side, if you care) hadn’t hurt for a few days, so I felt confident that it was fine to give it all a try. Then last night, things didn’t feel right.
Today, I feel something on that side.
And I feel a ton of frustration.
If you don’t know much about recovery from pubic ramus stress fractures, here’s a bit:
With appropriate physiotherapy management, most patients with a pelvic stress fracture can make a full recovery (i.e. return to sport or normal activities) in a period of 3-12 months. In more severe cases, recovery may take 1-2 years, or longer, depending on the intervention required and a range of other factors. In rare cases, some patients may experience ongoing symptoms or complications which may require further management.
Great. I don’t think I’m there, yet. But I think I need to figure something else out. I already paid for one Boston entry I had to cancel for this exact same injury. I’m not doing it again. I want to be at that starting line.
Thankfully, I am teaching a bunch of spin classes coming up, have been doing a regular weights workout and have the option to pool run, no matter how godawful boring it is.
Right now, I plan to drop to 3 days of running a week, the rest spinning and pool running. And hope. Lots and lots of hope.
It’s hurt before and been nothing. Cross your fingers that’s what’s going on again now.