Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bone-spurs on the saddle

This is depressing. I was doing great. Really enjoying building up my running regimen to about 20 miles a week.

But now I have to put a kybosh on the running, for a couple of months, anyway.

When I went in this morning for my second steroid injection for my SI Joint inflammation, my doctor and I discussed my running, how much of it I was doing, whether it was causing pain. He showed me a whole mess of bone spurs along my sacro-ilial joint. Strenuous exercise, pushing too hard, causes those spurs to jangle.

"Your injury is related to high levels of pounding," he said, preaching moderation in all things. "Although I suspect you and I have very different ideas of what moderation means."

Well, yeah. For more than two years I was training for and running in marathons. I was going through a new pair of training shoes every three months. So the idea of running three to five miles a day, with one nice 8-miler thrown in on the weekends didn't seem unreasonable, and it didn't seem to be hurting.

"The medicine I'm giving you lasts 4-6 weeks," he said, during which time I might not feel the pain that would normally register from my injury. Once the medication wore off, I'd be going around saying, "Like, hey, where did that come from?!"

Point taken: I'm still injured. His goal is to correct the injury, get me back to health and keep me from doing anything that would make that injury permanent. Pain has a way of following pathways, he said. If this had gone on for another year, I'd be owning this pain for the rest of my life.

That's why I'm here, I told the doc. Stop running, he said.

Do things that don't pound the joints. Stretch. Bike. Swim. Walk. Do yoga.

But for the next two months, he said, do not run.

That is going to be very tough indeed. Because these boots were not made for walkin'.

Now, here to ease my pain is "Blood on The Saddle," a classic Tex Ritter song done to death by The Dropdead Beats (with a lead singer channeling Tom Waits):

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