It felt serious. Sharp, direct, disabling. It was so bad that it broke my heart and forced me to pull out of an event I’d had on my calendar and trained for for three years.
Turns out, my arse is just lazy.
Yes it feels like a personal attack to me too. A attack on my commitment, work ethic and general personality if I’m being honest.
Admittedly it doesn’t help that I have a very uneasy relationship with physiotherapists, osteopaths etc to begin with. It took three experts and as many weeks to diagnose the last (and only other) injury that I’ve had. Not to mention the method they use always feels like you are being interrogated to find out what you did to cause the problem.
Turns out, what I did to cause the problem, was stop going to the gym.
First there was the pandemic that closed all the gyms and when they opened back up, I changed jobs and moved away from my trainer and gym. That was only about 12 months ago though.
Usually I’d be all about fighting with the expert, demanding an MRI and also off getting a second opinion, but as I was googling (for a second opinion) it appears she (the physio) is probably right.
So what exactly is a “lazy arse”? Well essentially my left butt cheek isn’t doing as much work as it should be and my right cheek is compensating for it. One weak cheek, one strong (ish) cheek. As a result, the side that is doing all the work is sore and inflamed and super tight. The sharp debilitating pain I felt at Tarawera is most likely inflammation of the hip bursa on the dominant side.
So what’s the plan now, well my left cheek isn’t exactly dead (dead butt syndrome is a thing!) so the plan at the moment is to keep on running (yay) and include a series of basic strength exercises to bring the left cheek back into line.
I have a follow up appointment in just over a week.
For context, in July last year I started having a weird pain in my right hip. I automatically thought it was a stress fracture (see 2018) and the osteo (a replacement one because mine had the nerve to have a baby) gave me a set of exercises to loosen up that side.
I got told off for having pretty much no flexibility and really really tight hips. He gave me a bunch of exercises and the pain went away. Turns out the problem didn’t.
I went back to see him week too. He’s also on team lazy arse but says that’s a consequence of the fact that my hips are so tight that everything else around it is trying it’s best to function under the running load I’m putting it under.
It’s not just the lack of gym, it’s the lack of mobility work. He even said “as we get older”, I wanted to crawl into the plastic covered pillow and die.
He’s added to the list of exercises but these ones are mobility ones, not strength.
I did some googling to see how I can reduce the likelihood of this happening again. It’s seems a little more than coincidental that in December 2016 I changed jobs and in February 2018 I had hip problems (stress fractures) and couldn’t run Tarawera, then in December 2021 I change jobs and in February 2023 I have hip issues and can’t finish Tarawera. I mean, it’s exactly the same.
It’s interesting to see that prolonged sitting is one of the big contributors to tight hips and hip flexors, weak glutes and lower back issues (at least I don’t have that).
Considering I drive an hour plus to and from work each day (2.5 hrs), work at a desk (8hrs) and then come home and sit on the couch (post run but still) for at least another hour that’s almost 12 hours a day of sitting!
Luckily for me I do actually have a desk capable of being a standing desk at work so I can use that to reduce the standing.
As for running and race goals, yeah I have some, but first I have to find a new coach and loosen up this hip. I also have a kilo or so to loose which I brought home from New Zealand with me.