Oh, the irony. Erin and I create a website named after (and a play on) the beloved Queen song “Fat Bottomed Girls” and spend the next year and a half regularly referring to our fit bottoms. We crack (pun intended) butt jokes left and right. We wear sweat pants declaring our Fit Bottomed status on our asses. So I guess it was only a matter of time until my cheeks—my right cheek to be exact—decided to talk back. With pain. And aching. And soreness. And laziness.
But I digress. Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. Remember back during my marathon when the ol’ hip didn’t feel so good around mile 5, and then I went ahead and ran the whole thing through mild, aching pain? Well, that sensation didn’t go away after the marathon. Even after taking a full 10 days off of running (and a week off of working out besides yoga), whenever I would run, I had that same dull aching pain in my hips and down my legs. It made running miserable, and, at most, I could only run two to three miles. That’s it. After I had easily smoked a 20-mile run during training in December. I won’t lie. It was pretty heart-breaking. I had finally felt like a runner, and poof! I couldn’t run.
So I refocused my working-out energies. I turned my attention to conquering Jillian Michaels’ killer DVDs and trying new workouts that I didn’t have the time for before (hitting one of my resolutions, thankyouverymuch!). I went to two different martial arts classes (Kasie and Krav Maga—more on that in a future post), and I reignited my love of Zumba, weight-lifting and having exercise A.D.D. But the pain wasn’t going away, and I began feeling it not just when I was running, but all the time. And it wasn’t just my hip hurting, it was my right butt. Big time.
So I stopped doing all lower-body workouts and moves, thinking that I just needed more rest. I did that for two weeks while I stubbornly focused on abs and upper-body workouts. I bought a foam roller, and religiously self massaged my rear by sitting on these Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls (and had a great time cracking ball jokes). And while my IT band, calves, feet and back felt better (the therapy balls really do rock—it’s like a mix of relaxing yoga and massage), my butt was still broken.
Recognizing that it was time to wave the white workout flag and default to someone who knew what the heck they were doing, I scheduled an appointment at a clinic in my area that has a reputation for working with runners. It was my first time in a physical therapy clinic, and it was awesome. The first day Dr. Tony examined my posture, iced my back while simultaneously shocking my butt (they call it electro stimulation, but the basic gist is that my butt was twitching involuntary, which is both terrifying and awesome) and calmed my fears.
Turns out that what I have—basically a muscular imbalance and weakness on my right side that caused my right glute to stop working (lazy bastard)—isn’t that uncommon. Talk about relief. Within a day and under strict orders to ice it and not sit for more than 20 minutes at a time (that was fun explaining in a work meeting), I felt 50 percent better. By the next week with more shocking, ice and a set of exercises to fire those glutes, I was a new woman.
I even got to run on the clinic’s anti-gravity treadmill, which was a unique and amazing experience. Through basically an air pressure chamber/bubble around my legs, I was able to run at 75 percent of my body weight withno pain. It felt like I was running on air (and I kind of was), and because of the bubble, I sort of felt like an Oompa-Loompa. It was awesome. After all, I was running! Really running!
I asked Dr. Tony if I’d be up to a super fun event of mountain biking, yoga and running (with 100 percent of my body weight) in just a week and a half. And do you know what he had the guts to say? Yes. Well, if I was game, he said. And was I game? HELLS YA. I have a Fit Bottomed Girl title to regain. —Jenn