February 6, 2012

Bob Goes Down for the Count

Week of Jan 30 ~ Feb 5

Ran: 0/20/6.2/0/14/11.8/0 - 52km / 32 mi.  4:50

Had a strange incident on Saturday - read on.

The "good" news is that I discovered that my butt/hamstring problem is actually neither - the problem is the piriformis muscle, which is actually in between those two areas. The symptoms of an inflamed piriformis are exactly what I have: pain in the butt  (it's also called Runner's Butt), in the upper hamstring, in the area between them, and sometimes radiating down the leg, which is because the piriformis presses on the sciatic nerve.
So I am doing lots of piriformis stretching and strengthening exercises.


11:30 - machines and core at the gym.
3:30 - 20k in 1:54:35 @ 5:45/k
Legs tired and lower hamstring sore last 10k.
Weather: 7C/45F
Weight: 61.4kg

5:00 - Acupuncture
7:30 - 5000m TT in 22:24 4:25/24/32/32/29
Running a little above marathon pace, but didn't want to go any faster. Legs very stiff and a very cold wind.
Actually, you shouldn't run after acupuncture - the sensei even recommended that I take Thursday off. Oh, well.

So I took Thursday off.

11:30 - machines and core at the gym.
3:00 - 14k with 9k of hills. Each k had a short, steep hill and a 150m gradual hill.
I was running abut 5:00 per k, and then got slower from the 6th, as the leg got more sore. Planned 10 but stopped. I did this workout because I didn't want to do a long run, but it was not a good idea! Hills aggravate the piriformis (didn't discover the problem is piriformis until Saturday).

10:30 - 11.8k in 1:08:29 @5:48. Easy run in Yoyogi Park with Jim Weismann visiting from the US and Steve, Gareth and Colin (who also has a piriformis problem).
So after running, we had a beer (no water), then ate Italian food and drank 3 bottles of wine. Then had another beer. Then I went to acupuncture. He puts you under a heat lamp, so I got very warm (and dehydrated). As I was standing at the counter paying, I fainted. Suddenly the sensei was picking me up off my knees. Surprise! I sat down and drank some water and felt better. Went down the elevator and decided to wait a bit near the mailboxes to make sure I was all right. Suddenly I was on my back, looking up at the mailboxes. How did I get here? Very strange. Got up and noticed a puddle of blood on the floor. Thought I had been there for 2 or 3 seconds, but by the size of the puddle it must have been 10 or 15 seconds. Put my hand to my head and it came away bloody. Apparently, I had hit my head on a metal knob sticking out from the mailboxes - hadn't felt it at all since I had been unconscious. Sat down on a convenient low wall and drank the rest of the water bottle. Used two packs of tissues to clean the blood off my head - and covered it with my hat - too bad I hadn't had that on when I fell. Felt ok after a bit and walked to the station and got home with no problem (fortunately didn't faint on the train).
So no more drinking after running and then acupuncture. Who knew?

Rest - for the piriformis and for the head. (Lucky I only hit my head, which is not a vital body part in my case.)


  1. Please take care.
    I often feel faint and sometimes faint if I stop too suddenly...but I get a warning so I move to softer ground,which is probably hard to find in Tokyo.
    Be careful.

  2. head injuries seem to be all the rage in 2012... seriously though, sorry to hear that bob, dehydration can play havoc with fit people. take care and get yourself checked out for peace of mind if nothing else

  3. take care Bob. good that you only needed water to recover.

  4. I don't think the head is a vital body part in any marathon runner. Just look at Scott Brown!

    Funny, as I was reading I was going to give you the thumbs-up for your rehydration plan. Good to find the piriformis problem - plenty of info out there on that one.

  5. An unfortunate series of events there Bob. Glad to hear that you appear to have survived relatively unscathed.

  6. Jesus Bob!

    Luck to get away with that! Live and learn eh!?

    I had that piriformis muscle problem exactly as you described it was very strange but now over it completely. Try using a rope to pull your legs back toward you while lying on your back. I have video on my blog. Definitely works to relieve the problem!

  7. Hey Bob that must have been scary - waking up in a pool of blood! Glad to hear it was nothing more than dehydration. Hope the injury clears up soon.

  8. sounds like you've adopted my running "diet"...:). scary moments, to be sure. get well, sir..