Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why I have been racing my bike so much...

Let me begin with rewinding a few years back. In November of 2009, I not only had my second knee surgery of the year, but I also fractured my pelvis from a really silly cyclocross crash. Many of you got to see me wear a seatbelt-like girdle to help it heal during the winter months of 2010. When I returned to training, running was the last to be incorporated into the mix and it honestly never felt quite right. I was somewhat able to run in May and June but then I got struck with Epstein Barr and Chronic Fatigue in July that left me on the couch until February. Although those 8 months might have been some of the hardest times I had to go through both mentally and physically, I was really excited that I was finally going to be able to heal up my pelvis and be 100% structurally ready to go when the doc gave me permission. As I eased back into exercising, swimming, biking and walking were definitely the first things on the agenda as my body was nowhere ready to endure the impacts of running. However, things progressed well and I was able to start doing several walk/runs and eventually made my way to the track in late April. I hadn't had any signs of pelvis pain until the first time I did a few openers. It was like deja-vous all over again with the same exact pain in the same exact spot. My first reaction was to completely ignore it and believe it was all in my head. After getting extremely sore, I took a few days off from running and attempted an easy jog which didn't bother it in March/early April and made it only 20min before I absolutely broke down into projectile tears. Not only was it extremely painful, but I couldn't believe this was happening when I was finally starting to feel healthy after 2 years of surgeries, injuries, illness, etc. I JUST WANTED TO RACE XTERRA!!!!!

After several good discussions with my coach, family and friends, I decided to take the next couple months off of running and focus on the most important part of XTERRA which is the mountain bike. I planned on attempting to run again in July to see if the pain was still there then go forward with another MRI to reveal what the true problem was if the pain still existed. Deep down I really hoped there would be no pain but alas there was and back to doctor I went to have another 8 inch needle jammed in my pelvis then into the tube for lots of images. As the hip specialist predicted, I have a tear in the labrum (see above) as well as a possible separation of labrum from the bone itself (see below) that most likely happened at the same time of the crash but just never found. They say that pain in the groin with a snapping noise suggests something is torn or loose inside the joint or possibly a muscle is snapping in front of the joint itself. Pain that is sharp, stabbing or has a catching sensation in certain positions may be due to a torn labrum or an impingement. Sometimes a torn labrum will make a loud clicking noise. So they pretty much nailed it to a T.

What does this mean? Sometimes a labral tear can be repaired with minimally invasive surgery using an arthroscope. Other times, there may be a fracture or the socket itself may need to be deepend or re-positioned by dividing the bone around the socket. Unfortunately, either surgery will require an overnight stay in the hospital with a 4-6 month recovery period. As much as I want to be able to run right now, I am not mentally ready to be injured and out for another season. I can get by with minimal pains when riding my bike so I'm 100% okay with being a bike racer for a bit until I am ready for the big surgery. It is definitely not my #1 choice, but the women who are at the top of the XTERRA circuit came from a mountain biking background so I guess it's not a bad thing :)

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