I’ve been telling some of my fellow running club members that I’m in a post-Bloomsday running funk. I did well stepping up my training for it, but I ran poorly in the May 5th 12k. Since then, I’ve really reduced my mileage, but still can’t run more than five miles without pain in my hip and thigh developing. It goes away after a couple days rest, but happens again next run. I also have soreness in my right calf that has lingered for over a month.
As always, when I need accurate medical information, I call my very good friend, I.P. Aard, who’s a medical researcher at the National Institute of Running Sciences. I wrote about a visit she made to my hometown of Spokane in a previous post, Running Expert Pays Home Visit.
When I called I.P.’s number, the person who answered sounded like her, but insisted she was a new person on staff, Dr. Spede E. Runnur. It sounded like a totally fake name, but amazingly, many employees at the Institute have names that are similar to running-related terms. Here are a few examples:
- I.P. Aard – I PR’ed
- Sted E. Payce – steady pace
- N. Terrville Wurkoutz – interval workouts
I asked Ms. Runnur what happened to I.P. She said that I.P. and another employee were canned last week because they spent too much time doing elevator vs. stairs races in the Institute building.
I was taken aback and genuflected a moment about my very good friend, knowing she must be very upset. I made a point to get hold of her right away.
I described my injury to Dr. Runnur. She said she’d come across the exact symptom set a few times lately, and the problem was that my leg was in a rut. Doubtful that this is a real medical condition, I asked how my leg could get into a rut. Dr. Runnur said that frequent running over a long period of time can lead to a condition called bipedal boredom, the precursor to leg in a rut. She said the most effective treatment is a couple sessions of acupuncture.
I thanked Dr. Runnur and wished her well in her new position. She replied, “Thank-you, honey bean. How have you been?”
I was taken aback a second time. “I.P., you…you fooled me.”
“I was surprised I had you going for so long. Sorry about your injury, but really, acupuncture should help. When are you coming out my way? I’d really like to see you.”