running with upper hamstring tendonitis. a pain in the butt. like, for real.

When I look back on my Runkeeper app's stat history, it makes me cringe. Replaced are the 20 miles in one go, the hours of running, the PR (personal records) being beaten. These days I'm just happy to finish three miles in around 25 minutes and still be able to sit down at dinner or drive my car afterwards. 

I have upper hamstring tendonitis.

To explain this condition, here is an exert from one of  the better articles that I've read: "The hamstrings run from the top of your tibia, just behind your knee, up along the back side of your thigh and towards your pelvis. While one branch of the hamstrings attaches to the femur, the rest course up your thigh and underneath your glute muscles, attaching to the pelvis at a bony prominence called the ischial tuberosity. These twin “peaks” of bone are sometimes referred to as your “sitting bones,” as they support much of your weight while sitting, especially on hard surfaces. The junction between the tendons of the hamstrings and the ischial tuberosity is the area affected by high hamstring tendinopathy. High hamstring tendinopathy feels like a vague, aching soreness high up on your hamstrings and deep in your buttock. There will be pain when you run, especially when accelerating and when maintaining a fast pace. Sometimes the sciatic nerve, which passes very close to the ischial tuberosity, can become irritated as well, resulting in pain that radiates down the back of your thigh. In addition to pain while running, you may feel irritation at the ischial tuberosity while sitting on hard surfaces. It also may hurt to press directly on the ischial tuberosity." Click here to read the whole article on Runners Connect (but seriously, though- if you are having enough pain to have found this post, please see a doctor!) Another great source is Runners World - click here for another great article, complete with more excellent excercises to get you back in your sneakers. 

I'm working my way back to being where I was, and I have a great team of therapists helping me. Part of my recovery is regaining flexibility and some of it is strength training. (And actually - a lot of the workouts that they have me do are in fact listed in the above articles, but see a doctor to confirm your condition and make sure that you are doing the excersises with good form!)

I read this article in Runners World and it made me want to share it - just in case there is someone out there  that is running through some pain (like I did) because you think that part of running is feeling pain in your body. While this is true to a degree, read number 5: 

The 2-Day Rule

"If something hurts for two straight days while running, take two days off. Two straight days of pain may signal the beginning of an injury. "Even taking five days of complete rest from running will have little impact on your fitness level," says Troy Smurawa, M.D., team physician for USA Triathlon.
The Exception: If something hurts for two weeks, even if you've taken your rest days, see a doctor."