Monday, May 10, 2010


My achilles tendonitis has continued to hamper me. 3 weeks after Boston and it's still 'not right'. I've completed a total of 1 mile in running since the race itself. That a test a few weeks ago to see if it was improving. It wasn't. I've tried to keep some semblance of cardio by using the elliptical. While I don't feel any achilles pain while I do that, I've got a feeling it isn't allowing things to heal as quickly as they would otherwise.

Still - that's the least of my concerns at the moment. The week after Boston I went to watch the Cherry Creek Sneak. A local 5 mile race that before my injury woes I'd have expected to have run as well. I started getting some fairly severe pains in my groin while I was there. It went away later in the day, so I put it down to a one off oddity and forgot about it. The following Friday night the same thing happened again. When I got home I took a look and saw that I had a bulge in my lower abdomen that coincided with the area of the pain. The internet is a wonderful thing. Within a few minutes I'd self diagnosed myself with an inguinal hernia.

First thing last Monday I visited the doctor who confirmed the verdict. A referral to a surgeon on Wednesday and he explained the options. More than a quarter of men get this at some point in their lives, and it's not something that will go away by itself. The causes can be every day activities, but in my case it's likely it was the additional core strengthening I'd been doing while I couldn't run. Sit ups and weights had pushed things over the edge (or through the abdominal muscle...). Either way, the only option was surgery.

Timing wise, it's not bad. Since I'm already out with my achilles I figured I should try to get it taken care of as quickly as possible, so here we are just a week after the doctor confirmed the diagnosis and I'm waiting to head into the hospital in 3 hours to get the surgery.

It was good to know that a number of other runners from the Boston boards on the Runners World Forums have had the same issue and have had full recoveries. Most had the same surgical option that I'm getting - the 'mesh' approach - where they cut open the lower abdomen and insert a mesh over the connective tissue, and then basically sew you back up. The mesh strengthens the muscles and prevents the hernia from pushing through in the future. It's going to be painful. I'll be trying to work from home for most of the week, and will have a tube drip inserted with pain killer for the first few days.

I'm expecting recovery time to be about a month. The doctor said no impact sports (he means running and not football !) for 2 weeks, although I can attempt to use the elliptical or stationary bike if I feel up to it. Then after that he says I can do whatever my pain threshold allows.

I've decided to take a complete 2 week break to hopefully allow my achilles to heal once and for all, and then will start the elliptical or bike again. My goal is to start slowly running in early June which will mark 18 weeks to go before Chicago.

After 3 great months of running to start the year, things have definitely not gone the way I'd planned. However, I'm viewing this surgery as a blessing in disguise - forcing me to rest completely for a few weeks and allowing me to get back on track in time for my next marathon.

Fingers crossed...

1 comment:

  1. I think you're being smart by giving yourself the full 2 weeks at least of recovery time. You can definitely change your marathon training to accomodate the shorter time period you'll have due to the recovery, but if you don't take the time to recover it'll be really hard to accomodate an injury that never healed into your training program if you know what I mean :)

    In other words, taking the rest time now is going to make things so much easier and you won't lose any time!

    Surgery is scary! You have such a positive outlook on everything!