After Boston, after the Redding Run for the Cows, after a bunch of different events I was left dead TIRED. In my bones, nauseatingly tired.
I had pains in my foot (like a golf ball, placed there just to annoy me)… pains in my butt, just aches and pains all over.
I went to my orthopedist- and she said, “you are TIGHT. EVERYWHERE. You need a PT to work through these issues”. OK.
I went to therapy, for dry needling and other types of myofascial massage (graston, etc)- but no one really knew the root cause of what was wrong. Each week brought a new ache. A new muscle group was bothering me. I figured I was tired- I had run a marathon and then a half 2 weeks later. 13 some odd miles for funsies to celebrate a really cool chickie’s birthday.
Too much, right? So I backed off, spent some time doing exclusively cross training- missing my sport, feeling down- and basically waking up each morning DOG tired, like I had NEVER slept… my days dragged and I just felt so awful- no amount of iced coffee or treats was perking me up and my elliptical workouts were leaving me drained.
During a particularly tough week, I was at PT when the grad student that was working on me noticed a bullseye rash- on the back of my thigh, close to my butt on the inner portion. (So I could see it, but it took some contortion).
Hrmm. After work that day I went to the urgent care and described my symptoms. The conversation was something like this:
Me: “I have this bullseye, but I dunno- I don’t think I have lyme, I never found tick on me. I don’t feel sick”
NP: ” Do you have any muscle aches or tiredness? Fever?”
Me: “No fever, but my muscles always ache and I am always tired- I ran Boston and then a half marathon, so now I am in PT for piriformis syndrome and plantar fasciitis.”
NP: “hmm OK. Let me see the rash?”
… I turn over and show her…
NP: “OK. So- we can do a Lyme test- which may not accurately asses your Lyme status. If you don’t have enough antibodies in your system it will provide a false negative. However, when Lyme goes untreated the potential side effects are severe- including muscle damage, nervous system damage- and in particular the strains in this area have been documented to affect the heart. Given that you regularly participate in endurance sports, I don’t want to risk a false negative and not treating you.”
Me: ” So I have Lyme Disease?”
NP: “well, like I said- we won’t know for sure, but your presentation- aches, pains, exhaustion- lines up. In addition, you have an obvious rash. I would typically expect a fever as well- but the fact that you don’t have one is not a reason not to treat you.”
Me” So can I run???”
NP: ” As you have already been feeling, you will be tired, but there is no restriction against running. Your recovery may not be predictable if you do in fact have Lyme. Like any infection,your body requires rest to recover. It may take awhile to feel normal”,
Me: “OK. Well, we’ll do whatever then”- and I began 3 weeks of strong antibiotics.
In the course of 3 days, I immediately felt MUCH better. Like I was awake again.
….. and that was why I felt crappy for so long. The marathon was one thing- but the extended- 6-8 weeks after Boston that I was still “recovering”? Most likely Lyme Disease. It has taken me another month or so to feel fully recovered- bouncy in my runs, ready to tackle marathon training again- but in all honesty some of my muscles STILL bother me, and not consistently.
PSA: CHECK YOURSELF FOR TICKS. I didn’t and never saw one on me. But- I hang out with my dog and lay around on the floor with him and RUN IN THE WOODS and work on my yard and in general expose myself to nature A LOT. ALL THE TIME. Spray yourself down with repellant if you know you are going to be out there, and dress appropriately.
Source: http://www.ppsinc.org/lyme/lyme06.htm (I think it is over zealous to be dressed this way all the time- but if you want to be vigilant- there it is!!!)
It can take up to 30 days to develop a rash- IF YOU EVER DO. Many people get no rash and have vague symptoms that worsen over time. I don’t want to pretend that I am a medical professional (since I am NOT)- and I don’t want every tired runner out there to think that they have a tick-born illness- but be vigilant about your body!
Check You For Ticks- Brad Paisley (this song makes me laugh so hard!)
As runners we POUND our bodies and we expect them to bounce back- and we often push through significant exhaustion to just “get it done”- but keep in mind- sometimes the cause of our ailments may be something out of our control.
This article on Runners world also highlights some of the risks-
The good news: I am finally running somewhat normally again. I still have some butt pains and some hip crap going on, but I think that my foam roller and I have a handle on it.
Do I sometimes wonder if the wheels are going to fall off again any second and I will have a major injury as a result of this latest trial? YES. I feel imbalanced strength-wise and have been playing it SO SAFE as far as speed work and racing are concerned.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments- I will respond to everyone!
and also- I am SO SORRY that as this was going on I let this place fall to crap- I have a really hard time admitting defeat- and I felt quite defeated in the last few weeks. So please come back!!!