Monday, August 6, 2012

Getting my Injury Under Control on the Mountain-Bay State Recreational Trail

So, while it may seem that I fell off the wagon already during my August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge, the truth is that I only partially fell off the wagon.  I am still gripping onto it with the tips of my fingers and riding (or writing?) along.  The problem, however, is that yesterday's blog posting I wrote got eaten by the computer moments before I intended to publish.  Now, there are probably a couple of lessons there: 1) I shouldn't trust auto-save to save my life or my post for that matter, and 2) I probably shouldn't spend so much time tweaking things.  Oh well, I am giving it another shot here....

So!  Yesterday's post was supposed to be about foods I cannot live without.  You'd think that being a long-time vegetarian and a wannabe vegan, I would have endless tales to tell about that topic.  You would be wrong, however.  It's not that I am sensitive about my food choices, but my feelings on the matter are rather extensive and I am not quite ready to write about them in detail.  Not yet anyway.

So, instead, I wrote a little bit about how my last week of running has gone.  I had the good fortune to be able to join some friends yesterday on the beautiful Mountain-Bay State Recreational Trail in Howard, Wisconsin - near Green Bay.  This is a converted railroad track, which features crushed limestone, lots of shade, gorgeous views through the woods and farmland, and distance.  If you want to run forever, this is a good trail to pick, as it extends 83 MILES from Wausau to Green Bay.  It is named for the two geological features it connects - Rib Mountain in Wausau and the Bay of Green Bay.  I only got to experience a scant six miles of trail on my out-and-back twelve-miler, but I have never so much wished I were a more serious bike rider.  I would love to bike the length of this trail and really see where it leads.

Aside from the trail, yesterday's run was nice for other reasons as well, not the least of which was the lack of pain.  It's no secret that I have been dealing with some hip, butt, and hamstring pain.  Well, this past week, I finally saw someone about it.  On the advice of several running friends, I went to see a Doctor of Osteopathy.  Now, one friend recommended this doctor, while others recommended a chiropractor.  Until the day before my appointment, I assumed the two specialties were one and the same.  As it turns out, they are not.  I won't get into the details, because, frankly, I don't know them too well.  My rudimentary understanding, though, is that a DO is kind of, sort of like a chiropractor but has a medical degree, too.

My appointment with the DO was interesting, to say the least.  Mostly, I liked the doctor, because she is an athlete herself - runner, triathlete, skiier.  She does some serious ultra events herself, like the Ironman and Birkebeiner.  Additionally, she is the medical director for this year's Fox Cities Marathon.  If nothing else, I felt like I was in good hands and that she would be on my side.  The main goal of our appointment, as stated by the doctor, was to get me running comfortably again and make sure I get through my September marathon.  Hallelujah! It's nice to have someone who sees things your way and won't automatically tell you not to run.  After a nice long chat and a couple of adjustments, the doctor declared me good to go, no restrictions.  Go out there and see what happens.  (For the record, she thought my sacrum was off, pulling on the piriformis, which then causes tightness around the hamstring tendon.)

Although skeptical, I did go out and run three times this past week - once with the Wednesday morning group for five miles, once for an hour of hill repeats, and finally for my two hour run yesterday.  And?  I have to say, I feel better.  Weirdly, strangely.  I wouldn't declare that I am cured, but it all is definitely feeling less painful than it was.  Is this all due to the good doctor?  I don't know. Not one to leave any stone unturned, I also decided to finally try my pair of Aspaeris Compression Shorts I recently got.  I wore those for the hill repeat run and my long run.  I'll have more to say on these soon, but as everything is feeling better, I am willing to bet that they are playing a very nice supporting role (sic!) to the doctor's work.

So, back to yesterday's run on the trail... The run, organized by a friend of mine, was a celebration of the women's Olympic Marathon.  For the majority of the group, it was a 26.2K run out and back on the trail.  They had set out water and Gatorade ahead of time, and A. even brought cookies for the finish.  It was well organized and a joy to be a part of.  Although I turned back early, I enjoyed chatting with the gals the first hour before breaking off.  And then I enjoyed running in solitude for an hour.  It was a nice way to start my Sunday morning. To finish up, here are a few pictures from the run. I love finding new trails to run, so I go a bit camera crazy.

Gathering for the run.  There are actually quite a few of us!
Group shot
For the most part, the trail was well shaded.

There were some road crossings, but they were well marked.
One of the many bridges.
Moo! Passing farms and cows was fun somehow!
Sweaty me after the run - very happy!
Notice the red, white, and blue!  With
Team USA in spirit during the marathon.


  1. I finally went to the doctor for my hip last week too! I ended up at a physical therapist who specializes in myofascial release. My hip actually hurt worse after I left, which he said to expect as he was pulling and stretching muscles during the session. Kind of like how you get sore after a massage. But it is a continued treatment of who knows how long. Hope you continue to feel better!

    1. I wonder if that is like the deep tissue massage I have gotten, or is it different? I had two DTMs on my piriformis and hamstring, and that helped a little but just didn't seem to get to the heart of the matter. That's why the desperation call and a doctor's visit. So far, I am cautiously optimistic that - if nothing else - I am on the right track. I think what you are doing sounds about right. The doc I saw said that the treatment we're doing right now is just a band-aid to get me through the marathon. The really fix the problem I would need a longer-term treatment plan of attack. Good luck with your hip! At least it doesn't sound like it is slowing you down too much!

  2. This looks like a beautiful trail to run on! You guys had a really big group of people that showed up to run.

    1. It was really nice. That is one thing about Wisconsin that I have been impressed by - the huge number of trails. There seems to be a serious commitment to converting old railway tracks to usable trails and then interconnecting those trails to each other. It's great!

  3. Can I ask who your doctor is? I'm looking for one in the Appleton area that doesn't think running is a sin. :)

    1. Email me at