Sunday, January 6, 2019

Pop! Goes the Ego

Starting the new year with an injury was not part of the plan. But you know what they say about plans...and the universe is laughing at me once again. Instead of finishing up some miles in preparation for my half marathon next weekend, I'm spent most of the week sitting on the couch with a heating pad on my back. Nursing a dislocated sacroiliac joint and a bruised ego.

There's nowhere to go but up from here.



Last Sunday, I had a rough 10 mile run. When Steph asked me if I wanted to go with her to bootcamp on Monday, I thought it would be a better option than attempting another run. Plus, there was rain in the forecast. I woke up Monday morning feeling sore from that tough run the day before. I brushed it off and drove over to the Crossfit box for class.

There were a lot of people for the 9:30 class and we learned that it was not bootcamp but would be combined with the MetCon. The WOD didn't look horrible. We ran through the warmup and then were divided into groups for the workout. The first part of the workout was a "skill warm-up" consisting of 3 activities: loaded split squats, plate plank walks, and double under practice. After that, we started the MetCon titled "Slammin' 2019", an AMRAP of alternating 20/19 reps per activity.

The NYE 9:30 MetCon class
I made my way through my first activity, 19 abmat situps and moved to the 20m loaded carry. We could choose between weighted slam balls (30# or 50#) or the 80# wreck bag. Having carried the wreck bag before, I decided to challenge myself. I squatted deep and wedged my arms and hands under the bag. It took several attempts but I finally got the bag in my arms. When I started to stand up, I felt something pop in my lower back, followed by searing pain. I dropped the bag and hobbled to the back of the building where I attempted some gentle stretching.

Fortunately, one of the other participants, who is a physical therapist, was in the class. She told me I dislocated my SI (sacroiliac) joint, using various maneuvers to put the joint back in place. I've had ongoing issues with my SI joint and I told her that I've been referred for PT in the past, which I never did. This injury is the result of ignoring the symptoms. The injury is also the result of another bad decision, trying to lift that wreck bag during a large class. I have lifted that bag before, but it was under close supervision of my coach.

I called off work and spent the rest of day on the couch with a bottle of ibuprofen at my side and an ice pack on my back. As the day went on, the pain decreased to a dull throb. Movement was a challenge but I did do some yoga stretches to loosen up my back. I spent a restless night in bed as I had to keep readjusting to get comfortable. When I finally got up for the day, I felt much better.

I sat on the couch with the heating pad on my back for most of the morning. After I asked Mike to KT tape my SI joint following an instructional YouTube video, I moved to the floor for a Yin Yoga for SI Joint Dysfunction routine I also found on YouTube. I swear, there is a class for everything. The yoga class helped and I felt good enough to attempt a walk outside. Cocoa saw me putting on my shoes and she gestured towards her leash. Guilt got the best of me and I brought her along.

As long as I walked slowly, I felt pretty good. There were some icy spots on the sidewalk and a woman walking ahead of us went down, hard. She couldn't get up and I had no choice but to help her. Thankful for all that strength training I do, I hooked my hand under her arm and pulled her up, trying to use my legs only. I felt ok after that and Cocoa and I continued on our way. We returned home after walking 2 miles, although I felt that I could have gone farther.

The awkward squat because bending forward was too painful
For amateur athletes, most injuries are the result of overtraining or pushing too hard. It's hard for me to accept being injured. I hate taking time off from training. Right now, I'm kicking myself for ignoring the ongoing injury and for trying to lift that heavy bag in the middle of a WOD. I won't lie that seeing some of the other participants carrying that bag made me want to do it too. It was that same feeling that I get in a race, sizing up the other runners and deciding who I want to beat. Competitive? Who me?

In the middle of training or before starting a tough workout, we all use mantras to push ourselves. In the heat of the moment, we forget that there's a fine line between being tenacious and being cocky. We aren't invincible, unbreakable. No good story starts with: "I played it safe", right? It's so stupid, really. And very, very humbling.

Nobody wants to "find their weak". It's hard to face our own vulnerabilities. Right now I'm fighting those voices inside my head that tell me I'm old, I'm slow, I've used up my strong, and all I have left is my weak.
The good news is that SI joint dislocation is not an injury that is serious. This joint pain is not related to RA. The limiting factor for any activity will be the pain that is associated with SI joint dysfunction. When I returned to see the PT on Thursday, she showed me how to reset the joint with a simple maneuver when it starts to come out of alignment. She also talked with Sammy Jo about things I can and can't do for the next couple of weeks as well things I need to work on. We have to get my right glute to start firing again. I have home exercises to do.

The best thing she told me is that she didn't see any reason why I can't start running again. On Saturday, I went for a test run. It was THE PERFECT DAY for a run. Sunshine, 50 degrees--yes, it's January--and the run was hard. I don't know if it was because I was fighting a cold, but everything hurt. I couldn't be upset when the weather was so beautiful. Plus, I had a deep tissue massage scheduled for the afternoon.


Tomorrow's another day... and it was a good one. Although my back looked like a war zone from the cupping and massage, I felt great. The weather wasn't as favorable as the day before but still relatively mild for January and I pushed the distance to 8 miles. My back felt good and my confidence got a much-needed boost. With that half marathon one week away, I couldn't ask for more!

How was your week? Hopefully uneventful! Have you ever had SI joint issues? It's super common in women. Are you having mild weather too? Have a fantastic week!

~~~~~~~~Welcome to the Weekly Wrap~~~~~~~~
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72 comments :

  1. Oh man, that sounds painful Wendy - I'm so sorry! I am glad that it wasn't a really serious injury and that you were able to get back to running at the end of the week.

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    1. It was painful and it was scary! Once I found out what it was, I was much calmer. Today's run made me so happy!

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  2. Ouch - oh no! So sorry to hear that, how horrible. I'm glad there was an expert on hand and she could put it back in (argh!) and glad you're seeing the PT and they've advised your trainer. Hope it gets better really soon. I have a glute issue but it's more in the muscle than any joints as far as I can tell from having it the other side before. I am stretching in all the ways I can and it is easier now.

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    1. I felt a tug in that glue today--the PT told me that might happen--and she gave me piriformis stretches to do as well as back stretches. "The posterior chain" is unhappy!

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  3. Ouch! But I'm glad you know why & what happened so you can hopefully avoid a recurrence. Tha's always my fear with mystery injuries. Heal gently
    I feel you on the weather. We're going to pay for it big time, but in the mean time I'm loving every minute. Cocoa is a adorable. I think a Wrap requirement one week should be puppy photos since so many have.Pupularity contest. Or guest posts by them

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    1. Oh by the way, I love that you & Holly have been publishing these earlier. Not sure it was a deliberate decision, but vote in favor of it

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    2. I like your idea about the guest posts by the pups! We may have to do that!

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    3. I cannot wait. That would be so fun to read

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  4. Holy OUCH. Fortunately, My back (and all pertinent joints) have remained uninjured or compromised. Now, my piriformis (both sides) is another issue, and my hamstrings don't always play nice. Thankfully, those issues are pretty manageable. Sorry for the less-than-ideal start to your 2019.

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    1. The piriformis is involved in this chain of pain--I'm stretching that too!

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  5. that sounds really painful back injuries are the worst. I have made that same mistake of over training and pushing through when I knew it was a bad idea. Why do we do it?? hope that cupping and massage did the trick for you

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    1. The cupping and massage was amazing! Not at the time, of course--and I'm really sore and bruised today. Between that and the PT, I really got lucky.

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  6. Yikes!! I'm glad that it wasn't worse and that you had help at hand. I slipped on some of that ice last weekend. That wasn't so great. The weather yesterday was bliss! I'm glad you made it out to enjoy it!

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    1. I hope you're ok after that! I slipped yesterday while walking too.

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  7. WOw! I battled my SI joint so much when I was preggers and am glad it has been quiet for a while now (knock on wood). Glad there was PT there to help you so quickly!

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    1. The PT told me the SI joint issues are from bearing children. I hope yours stays quiet!

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  8. Oh my goodness. OUCH! It's a huge blessing that there was a PT right there in your class. I'm so sorry to hear you were hurting but you seem to be on the road to recovery already. I have had SI joint issues in the later parts of pregnancy, especially with my third baby. Heal up quickly!

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    1. I'm not so good at doing the rehab but after this, I will get back on the train!

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  9. aw Wendy :( I'm so sorry. I think one of the hardest things we have to do from time to time (or sometimes permanently) is accept injuries, illnesses, and/or chronic pain. I have spent the last 2 years being angry and upset and pushing and not accepting chronic pain and I am finally getting to a point where I am accepting it more on a daily basis. We want to do our best, we want to be strong, we want to prove over and over again that we CAN and you do that all the time! you show the ones who see it clearly, who want to see it and who appreciate seeing it.

    I hope that the half marathon will go ok - don't blame or be angry at yourself; there's no added value to the lesson learned.

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    1. I love how you get it! I hate being injured, I hate slowing down--and I'm sure not doing a very good job of accepting it! This back injury was kind of a wake up call and after this race, I'm doing to dial it down for a while.

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  10. I have no doubt that you have a lot of STRONG left but I do think we have to realize that our bodies may need more TLC than they used to, and we might not get away with skipping the recovery and rehap steps we know we *should* do. I'm glad you are on the mend and will keep my fingers crossed for next weekend!

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  11. OUCH! How lucky there was a PT in the class who could give you some immediate assistance. LOL about the "war-zone" for cupping, I usually feel like I've been attacked by a vacuum cleaner. I'm glad you were feeling better by the end of the week.

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    1. Seriously! My back and buttocks have some nice purple circles!

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  12. I'm so sorry to hear about your SI joint. Ugh, it's always something, isn't it? My SI joint can be quite cranky, but it hasn't reared its ugly head in about a half a year. Here's hoping it heals quickly.

    Thanks as always for the linkup!

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    1. My SI joint has also been cranky but this time it had a full on temper tantrum! I'm grateful to the PT and massage therapist for putting me all back together.

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  13. Wow! I don't think I realized you could dislocate that joint! Maybe I need to go back and reread some of my school books. I'm so glad there was a PT right there to help you out and give you advice and make sure Coach programs beneficial exercises. I hope it heals quickly! I'm glad you were able to get out for those miles, too.

    And nope, definitely not an uneventful week for me. We're injury twins - except for the location of the injury. lol. I most definitely did not make a smart decision the day of mine, either, but mine was just plain old stupid.

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  14. Having felt (and heard) something pop in my body (the calf tear) I instantly seized up in sympathy pain when I read this post, OUCH FREAKING OUCH. Ugh to injuries and double ugh to having it happen so close to a race! I hope you continue to heal and feel better quickly.

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    1. I am beyond grateful that this is an injury that can be managed quickly!

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  15. Sorry to hear about this painful start to the year. Yikes. I hope the physical therapy helps- I always put my trust in the doctors/experts! It's hard to fit it in, but it's always worth it.

    Glad it wasn't RA related though- that's a bright side!

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    1. The bright side is that the recovery is really up to me! Whew!

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  16. I'm so glad your week finished better than it started! Hopefully, your half marathon next weekend will go ok.

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    1. I hope so too! I'm going to really focus on recovery this week.

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  17. I always freak when there's something off with my back. I had some SI stuff a few years ago from hiking with two kids who seemed to want to test my back strength. Too much twisting while making sure no one tumbled down the mountain did me in. Thankfully, it got better and I've become better about back strength. I'm glad you are up and running. Hopefully things will get better everyday.

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    1. You get it! I was accused of "being dramatic" by my coach, but I was really worried about my back. Glad it was this and that I can work on it.

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  18. Ouch! Glad you could start running again. We've had mild weather here after a snow storm hit new year's eve day. It was quite cold when I got back home, and it warmed up during the week, nice enough that I did my run outside yesterday.

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    1. I always run outside, but in the winter warm weather is a treat!

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  19. Wow, that sounds painful. I have never had any issues like that. That's great you were able to get it feeling better in a short time! Is cupping painful?

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    1. I think cupping is less painful than the scraping and deep rubbing that she was doing! There was a point where I had to tell her to stop. She resumed it after a while, tho. Said she couldn't leave it unfinished. Sigh.

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  20. Oy! I'm really sorry that happened, but it sounds like you have a good team taking care of you. You are most definitely not weak. And no matter how careful we are, things happen. It always sucks when it's while doing something you think is good for you!

    I've had soreness in what I assume is my SI joint from time to time, but thankfully not searing pains.

    And our weather is just really schizoid! Mild one day, cold the next . . . hence the ice hanging around.

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    1. In my heart, I know I'm not weak but man! when stuff happens, it sure messes with my head. I'm grateful for the people I have in my life who make me better. Whew!

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  21. Oh, no! That must have been excrutiating! I'm so sorry you got hurt :(

    On the plus side, I'm so glad it isn't serious and that you have a PT working with both you and your coach to get you back on track. It's a setback for sure, but you're not one to let an injury hold you back. It sounds like you have a great plan in place to stay healthy and keep everything aligned, and you will be back to yourself soon. <3

    You're surrounded by such a great team. I love that.

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    1. I feel so lucky that this wasn't as serious as it seemed at the time! I do think it will require ongoing maintenance to prevent it from happening again!

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  22. Ow, that sounds so so painful. You heard a pop? Yikes. I hope you feel better soon!

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  23. Yowza. I'm sorry that happened to you and I also hope you learned from it. It's not worth proving you're strong or being competitive. It's about being smart and healthy to run another day.

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  24. Starting the year off injured is no fun! Hopefully things get better fast, but at least you can run with it! I work in PT and have seen patients with the same injury. It's not fun, but the therapy does help.

    I have also had a bit of a rough start to 2019. Months ago I would have had such great expectations, but now, I am feeling a bit beat up.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that 2019 isn't starting off well for you. Seems like there are a lot of us in the same boat.

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  25. Sorry to hear you dislocated your SI joint! Great to hear your last run was good! Hope things continue to get better! Have a fun weekend with Holly!

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  26. OMG Wendy!!! Ugh. I'm so sorry but of course I can relate to being stubborn and competitive and doing something I shouldn't and getting injured. Thank God there was a PT in class!! And I'm so glad it was kind of sort-lived and you seem to be mostly recovered. I was watching the Bears game on Sunday and thinking of how nice the weather was there for you to run :-)

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  27. I'm so glad you had a good run yesterday! You must show me that re-set maneuver. I popped my SI joint out at the lake like mmmm...five years ago? It still hurts -- but not while running, thankfully. But I think it's at the root of my hip issues too. Injuries are so frustrating and untimely. What should be our prime running season will be spent nursing my ass.

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    1. The PT told me that this issue is related to hip and piriformis issues, so it makes sense!

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  28. I’m sorry you’re going through this. You were lucky there was a PT in your class. It sounds like you’re on the way to recovery though and that’s great. I hope you’ll remember that getting older doesn’t mean that all you have left is your weak. You are very strong (and I mean way more than muscles). It just starts to look a little different as we get older. I know that’s what you’re fighting, but remember that our older, new strong is just as amazing.

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    1. It's funny because a setback like this in my 30s or 40s would have been an injury and that's it. Now it's harder to be injured, mentally, because I relate it all to being old.

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  29. I seriously doubt you used up all your strong, you seem way too determined for that.
    No injuries here...I would have to actually be doing something to get injured (only short, easy runs lately). Good luck next we and have fun!

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  30. That sounds painful - I'm sorry! I hope all goes well this week and the pain subsides. It's super mild here also (no surprise since I'm just the other side of the lake from you) and I don't like it - I had pumped myself up for a snowy winter!

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    1. We started out that way--in November!. It's like that was winter and we are now having spring. I wish. There's plenty more winter to go.

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  31. Ouch, that sounds really painful! I'm glad to hear it's not too serious and that the back pain was much better by Sunday :)

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  32. So very sorry to hear about the SI joint injury. I had an injury similar to that a few years back and it was so painful and hard to recover from. I am happy to hear that you can still get out and run!!

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  33. Oh no, I hope your SI joint calms down soon! I get annoyed when an injury is the result of a decision I make during a workout or race...that's how I injured my achilles tendon in 2016 which resulted in 2 months of no running! Glad you were able to run this past weekend.

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  34. Oh, ouch! I'm glad you were able to get the joint back in place and into PT right away. I am finding that the frustrating thing about SI joint pain is it will mostly be feeling good, then I do something to irritate it again! Hope you finish healing quickly!

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  35. Your SI injury sounds very painful! But it seems like you're recovering pretty quickly! I'm curious about the maneuver to put the SI joint back into place yourself. I have chronic SI joint issues that are probably related to a half-sacralized lumbar vertebra, and I always feel like I'm balancing on the edge... if I'm dedicated to my PT maintenance exercises and sensible about running training I'm okay, but if I slack on the PT or overdo on running I can sideline myself pretty quickly.

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  36. Oh man! Injuries always come at the worst times! But I'm glad it's not too serious. You're right- it's such a fine line and we often don't know where that line is until we cross it and get hurt!

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