I Am Strained But Not Injured

Good morning!

OK so I'm not trying to badger you into morning exercising, but tell me, does the view of your eyelids compare to this view? NO. Come run with me.

I’m giddy today.

I know. Giddy, again.

And this time I don’t think it’s the steroids getting me all hopped up on life.

In fact, I’m tapering down on those things. After two weeks of the most ridiculous mood swings, sleepless nights and a constant fear that Brian was going to leave me on account of “sheer insanity and holy crap my girlfriend has come undone,” I’m now on a lower dose of the Prednisone. My stomach is feeling strong — two days, two runs, no bathroom stops — and I’d like to declare myself on the upswing of health.

I’m not sure “upswing of health” is a real term. Google it.

I’d like to mention that what I should be tapering for right now is the Eugene Marathon. But we know how that turned out. So instead of lowering my running miles, I’ll lower the daily dose of my mood-altering-Crohn’s-healing drug.

But I will still do other taper-like things this week, like eat a lot of carbs and get a lot of sleep.

POWER NAPS IN FURNITURE STORES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR TAPERING. Also, I want this couch but Brian says it "would take up too much space." He clearly can't read floor plans. A 16-foot couch CAN fit into a 12-foot room. Do the math, Brian.

You know. Just in case.

Let’s talk about my leg.

Yesterday I took a trip uptown to see Dr. Craig DuShey at Manhattan Orthopedic.

I took a photo of the sign while I waited for the elevator, that way you know I was really there and also that I’m a dedicated blogger, committed to showing you all aspects of my personal life minus the naked foam rolling.

This is the sign. Isn't it nice?

Just kidding. I don’t naked foam roll…though my neighbors may beg to differ.

So to recap the pain that has been happening on my left side since roughly February:

  • My hip started to hurt a little. I could run through it, but the pain was dull and achy and I didn’t enjoy it.
  • I ran a 50-mile week and thought life was perfect. HAPPY! JOY! RUNNING! SWEAT!
  • I got the stomach flu. I stopped running for a few days. I didn’t foam roll or take care of myself in any way during this time. I vomited a lot.
  • I recovered from the flu, started running again and realized that my knee was hurting a bit. Nothing serious, but enough to make me start getting Active Release Technique and Graston Technique treatment once a week. I like the ART, though I haven’t noticed too much difference in my leg since getting it.
  • A Crohn’s flare-up kicked my ass. I started to take down my mileage sufficiently, bailed on the April 29 marathon I was hoping to run and spent many days in the bathroom. No foam rolling. Lazy Ali. Crohnsy Ali. Weak Ali.
  • As my stomach started to chill out, I began running again, though no serious mileage. I developed some achy feelings in the back of my left knee and, most recently, in my left shin.
  • I have been icing my knee and shin often and attempting to foam roll, Stick and stretch more. I don’t leave home without my Stick.

I like to do this stretch a lot because it feels good:

Sorry that my knees are knobby. While this photo may not be described as "flattering" it is obviously crucial.

Now we are on the same page and that page is called, “What is Ali’s Diagnosis?”

Well, according to Dr. DuShey, it’s a “knee strain.”


Basically I’m dying.

Except not at all. I’m, I guess, fine. Running just hurts sometimes. That is brand new information.

I get really stressed about going to the doctor and having to assess my own pain. I can never pinpoint it exactly, and that stupid, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how badly does it hurt right now?” question may as well be translated into, “If someone threw a grenade at your face right now, how calmly would you be able to react?” It’s terrifying.

I explained that the pain started in my hip — Dr. DuShey said that may have been “something bursitis,” only the word he used wasn’t “something,” I just forget what it was — and that it’s not surprising that the pain worked its way down my entire left side.

We did X-Rays right there in the office, which was convenient and lovely, and then we looked at them together on the computer screen. I obviously contributed a lot during this point with my questions of, “What is that on the screen???” and his response of, “Sorry, that’s just a piece of dust.”

Dust = not the same as a bone crack. Good to know. Just wanted to be sure.

My X-Rays looked fine, so yay! In fact, they looked friggin’ phenomenal. Dr. DuShey described my knee as a “healthy runner’s knee,” and in return I would describe him as “complimentary.”

He had me do some tests, like squatting and stepping up and down on my good and bad sides. He asked me to do a one-legged hop on my bad leg, which I thought would be awful, but wasn’t too bad. It hurt, and I don’t recommend it, and I won’t be signing up for that one-legged hop race I was eyeing next month, but that’s OK. He said that since I was able to hop and since I haven’t had any “toe numbness or tingling sensations” that it’s nothing to worry about.

Dr. DuShey said I’m not at the point of shin splints, and that I have no signs of a stress fracture.

Oh, sorry, Brian — an excitingly busy fracture.

I left the office feeling relieved that I don’t have a serious injury, but a little frustrated that that was it. Of course as soon as I left I thought of a billion questions I should have asked. Typical.

Dr. DuShey said I could do physical therapy, and I will be completely honest in telling you that I have no intention of doing that. It’s simply not in the budget right now. Instead I will email smart people and use Google to find PT exercises. I’ll keep icing, stretching, rolling, taking it easy, chilling on the impact and just being aware. I’ll keep strength training, too, because that’s important, and I love planks.

Here I am planking. Taking photos passes the time. Maybe next time I should wear something a bit more full coverage. I'm sorry. Also, aren't the decorations at my gym so nice and fancy?

I don’t want to end up in a boot or on crutches or totally sidelined from the Reservoir, but I also don’t want to shy away from running completely because, for the first time ever, it hurts a little.

Pain is par for the course, right? A little bit of it, at least?

After my appointment, I thought it would be a good idea to sweat a little, and I had a hot Flywheel date with Bari. Bari is the voice behind Vital Juice, and she offered to take me to Flywheel as her fancy spinning guest.

Twist my arm. Fine.

The class was super fun. I wore compression socks and went through six towels and then forgot which locker I put my stuff in and also couldn’t unlock my locker, and the guy at the front desk had to go all Macgayver to retrieve my bag for me.

Bari was like, “Ali, I can’t take you anywhere,” and I was like, “Yes, you can. To Flywheel.”

The instructor was Aleah, and maybe at some point I’ll write more about Flywheel, but today I will just say that it’s a heck of a workout, you get to monitor your output on a little screen and if you are very stealthy you can also look at the screen of the rider next to you to compare. FYI, lady on Bike 17, you were a beast, and I was right behind you and sorry I creeped to see what your “torq” was a few times. My “score” for the class was 250. I wish I had any idea what that meant. If it sucks, don’t tell me. I only like compliments. I’m giddy today, remember? Let’s keep it that way.

And Aleah had biceps that were so beautiful I contemplated asking her on a date after class.

But instead I had to figure out how to get my stuff out of my locker. Maybe next time.

Then this morning I ran. Again.


Was that smart? I don’t know. I don’t base all my decisions on what is “smart,” I base them on what is “fun” and “desirable” and “followed by chocolate.”

I slept amazingly well, popped out of bed with my alarm, stretched and was out the door. My stomach felt great. My legs felt OK.

Truthfully, today’s run was not as magical as yesterday’s, which indicates that I should spread out my impact-based workouts. Maybe run every other day or something? Whatever. I ran a bunch of miles this morning and even when my shin got a little achy, I was psyched to be out there.

This is gorgeous and you know it.

I think we’re all caught up now, right?

You basically know everything about my life.

I had rice for dinner last night.




39 Responses

  1. My guess is the “blah blah” bursitis was “trochanteric bursitis” which in combination with IT Band Syndrome can set off both your hip and knee (basically the domino effect as things start working their way down the kinetic chain)…its messy and nasty but if you can work on strengthening your hips and gluts in addition to your stretching and foam rolling, it should help! (I am a PT!)

  2. I’m eating rice RIGHT now!! And I love sunrises. Wanna hear a confession? I am unemployed so I don’t really have to run at 5:30 am… I still do or I would miss the sunrise!

  3. 1) I have almost the exact same symptoms as you – I feel like I also went to the doctor now! Minus the whole x-ray thing.

    2) Not being able to find/open my locker is my biggest FlyWheel fear!!! Haha I’m always afraid I’ll forget the code and everyone will be staring at me wondering why they let me in there

  4. I am jealous of your planking while photo taking skillz. You are super talented. I can barely plank and breathe.
    Glad you are not broken!

  5. Ali! Did the ortho happen to call it greater trochanter bursitis? If so, I know EXACTLY how you felt – all too well, actually, as I just finished up a round of PT for it. And apparently, the GTB wasn’t all that was going on with me – it was causing my body to overcompensate in other areas – IT Band, piriformis, knee, calf, foot. If you want my “menu” of rehab exercises from a really phenomenal PT, I will email you all the information. I think it helped, and even though I’m out of PT, I’m still doing the exercises. And pssssttttt….it includes planks!

    And I had chicken and mixed vegetables for dinner last night. And

    1. Planning on it, for real, specifically for you, Grace Pan. I’ve done a lot of SoulCycle now, but I want to try Flywheel one more time before I compare.

      Initial thoughts: I’m a fan of both and don’t want to choose.

      Bottom line: I’m so poor.

  6. If you ever wanna talk PT stretches/exercises for knee pain you just let me know! PT 2 x a week since Feb has saved my knee (and sanity). I’m all about sharing the wealth of PT knowledge!

  7. I had a salad. BORING! I was just diagnosed with a calf strain about a month ago. I was relieved that it wasn’t something more serious, but I also kind of had the same feeling like “wait- are you SURE?!” I took it easy for about 2 weeks (no running at all) and built back up my running slowly. Now I’m back at it and feeling great!!! If you rest more now- it will heal faster, if you push it- it will still heal, but will take much longer!! REST!!! good luck, love your blog!!

  8. I had soup, salad, crackers + cheese, and gummy bears. Haribo gummy bears. There are no others. FYI.

    And seriously – love your writing style. Very fun.

  9. It’s always good to get a diagnosis and figure out what’s actually going on—bonus points for it being a diagnosis that you can work with! Glad to hear you’re on the upswing.

    Oh, and I had falafel burgers and sweet potato fries. It was delightful!

  10. HA. I hate going to the doc too… which is why it took approx 6 days worth of hacking up my lungs for me to realize i need to make an appt. that bitch of a doctor told me i had pneumonia. WHATEVER. So now im on my couch with no idea of when i can return to work, let alone running. Bye bye April 28th half marathon. SAD FACE.

  11. I had egg noodles and chicken for dinner last night. But I wish I went couch shopping instead – that looks so fun! I think you should buy the couch, you can always put it diagonally across the room – that wouldn’t split the room up at all!

    Good luck moving this weekend!!!

  12. Fact: I love carbs. Cake, bagels, bread, cereal, potatoes, YES PLEASE.

    But I do not like rice or pasta. So to answer our question – I did not have rice for dinner last night 🙂 I had a turkey burger w/ cheese and sweet potato fries. And cake. Mmm.

    I am intrigued by this flywheel business! I feel like it would kick my ass. In a good way.

  13. Yesterday at the Dr office the nurse asked me “On a scale of 1-10, how much does your strep throat hurt?”. I completely freak out at this question every single time. Glad to know I am not alone in this…. Also glad to read you don’t have an *excitingly busy* fracture!

  14. ok! I’m glad it’s nothing “serious”! And that there is no evidence whatsoever of an excitedly busy fracture. That’s important. Also important: did you see the hot doc? Now let’s heal so we can be totally ready for kicking ass at some point in the near future.

    Easy run Thursday?

  15. My knee has been bothering me some and after a hard work out the next day I could not walk up stairs so after self diagnosis myself with Patellar Tendonitis, I decided to get an offical diagnosis (despite I knew he would tell me to back off the miles). The offical diagnosis was Patellar tendoitis… and yes, treatment was… stay off it and ice it..,. I thought about you while there be cause he hooked me up to the elctrical stim thing and i wished i had my camera!… and something you would probably say… I asked him “can I still do my 14 mile run Saturday?” He gave me a look and sheepishly I said… 10? 7?.. He advised i dont do any…. I did however listen to the ice, ice and more ice.. and attempted 14 miles saturday, but only ran 7…. I wanted a magic fix…but I guess we will have to settle for rest, ice and stretch… this allie is impaitent…

  16. My very unscientific advice? While your “strain” is healing, why don’t you alternate on/off running days vs. running so many in a row? Even though you CAN run through the pain and you CAN run every single day, it doesn’t mean you should, at least not right now. That’s my very unscientific advice though, do with it what you want. hehe 😉

  17. I think 250 is pretty bangin! I usually come out around 230 (all while stalking my neighbors torq boards.) Your 250 number is your “power” and one of the Flywheel employees once told me if you multiply your power by 2.2 that is your number of calories burned. Not sure if that is true, but I’ll take it!!

  18. This post completely cracked me up! I’m actually reading it after just having run 2 miles, and am now sitting in bed icing my shin because of shin splints. I’m pretty sure I thought my leg was going to fall off, however, before I figured out the pain was just shin splints. Running does indeed hurt sometimes!

  19. I love Flywheel and Aleah is awesome! Andy and I will be making our final Flywheel UES appearance on Thursday evening if you’d like to join. Please take care of yourself!

  20. Glad to hear it’s nothing serious except a minor strain (or whatever that means). sometimes it’s more frustrating leaving the doctor’s office with no REAL diagnosis. Best of luck during your recovery, Ali!

  21. Pasta with pesto, yum! T-4 days until half marathon so I can eat my body weight in carbs and not feel an ounce of guilt.

  22. i had waffles for dinner last night because i am having an allergy attack and it was the only thing that sounded good. thankfully hubby can cook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

listen to the podcast

about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
  • Post Date

related posts



Answering questions about my dream home, dream podcast guests, and dreams for the future.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.