And so the story goes…
The past 8 weeks or so I’ve been dealing with constant hip pain.
NOT really pain, more of a persistent ache in the outer hip area.
It’s a maddening…suck the life out of you kind of discomfort. I could train, but it was always there….knawing at me….every single day!
The proverbial straw that broke my back was what I THOUGHT was a pulled back muscle from breaking form during a plank….
Glute medius spasm….OUGH!
Guess what all this nonsense FINALLY all came back to…..
Rewind way back to the end of March when the lateral part of my knee became all jacked before my 70.3 and I couldn’t walk 10 feet without feeling like someone was driving an ice pick into my femoral condyle.
DX I: ITBS
CAUSE: if y’all remember I kept telling every doctor and therapist that would listen that is WAS NOT the running that was doing this, it was something with the bike, but I felt the symptoms while I was running so I was treated like I had a running injury! If you think finding someone to treat you as a runner is difficult, try finding someone with ANY experience treating a cyclist….and if you happen to cycle and run great distances, back to back….pfft…forget it!
Take-away: Problem was never resolved despite symptoms easing.
I don’t know if I’m more frustrated with myself or those that I depended on for help.
I KNEW deep down to my core that my bike set up was the problem, but I let everyone else convince me otherwise and so I got progressively worse all summer.
Until that fateful plank….
REALLY, enough was enough….
I gathered my logs and went for a proper diagnosis with the intention of figuring the “WHY” myself.
None of this garbage about “too much too soon” , “weak this or that”, or the “you do too much”.
DX/Cause II : trochanter bursitis caused by longstanding ITBS (NICE!) and gluetal tendonosis (excessive wear and tear/inflammation) …..
The end result was a bike seat that was too high….
Gee, sound familiar???
And NOT just a little too high either…
Almost an ENTIRE inch, but it is being decreased gradually.
For me, raising my seat forced my glute medius to be overworked. It also altered with my foot position b/c I naturally peddle heel down/flat-footed and the increased seat ht. forced me into a heel up/toe down sorta way….I kept asking people around town how they peddled because I couldn’t get off my toes and I felt like I had NO power…
I also made the decision to ride like I ride. I’m faster and more comfortable in harder gears with a lower cadence (78-82RPMs). I can ride like that forever and all spring and summer I’ve tried to adapt to easier gears and higher RPMs….
Isn’t gonna happen. I’ll probably always ride between 18-22mph, just like I’ll probably always run b/w an 8-10 min/mi.
And I’m good with that.
Then there’s the “weak glute” theory that is apparently an epidemic here in the running, cycling, and I guess recreational sporting world in general.
Like a good little athlete I was hip hiking, leg lifting, and band walking only to make things worse….
Tightening/strengthening an already tight muscle is a true recipe for disaster….
So I don’t really KNOW if my glutes are all that weak or if this is another urban legend like foam rolling to lengthen the ITB…
I do know they are quite tight….
So for right now, at least….I can say I have a tight ass.
Who knew the day would come when I would be actively trying to rid myself of such a thing…
For now its all about loosening…rolling….some pressure point work on the softball and good ole ice…on the hip/glute musculature (not the ITB….urban legend stuff )
And a return to the gym for a well-rounded strength program.
Late last week, I took 2 easy rides. The first was 25 miles, averaging about 17mph and the 2nd was a few days later. I tried to work a little harder on that 2nd one, but not too hard and so I rode almost 30miles at about 20mph. A lot of stretching and icing followed both and I’m happy to say I finally feel like I’m making some progress. I had a really good swim this morning and each day things are feeling looser than they’ve been in a long time.
Bursitis and tendonosis are not all that uncommon and actually respond well if the right things are done.
I tried to tell em”…
From here on out, I’m borrowing the mantra of Frank Sinatra…
I’m just going to do it my way!
So that’s what’s been going on with me….
How’ve y’all been??
Ride Happy, My Friends!