Tag Archives: IMS

Leg update & weekend workouts

Let’s just say my running/racing fever has reached an all-time high with spring weather {hopefully} here to stay, and a lot of major race weekends already behind us.

Despite my race fever, I’m happy I didn’t sign up for any races. I’m still really struggling with my left side. I’d be downright depressed if I had big races on my agenda!

But, I still want to have a summer/fall full of running- be it long or short, in the mountains or on local trails, or even a quick loop around my neighbourhood.

After a run a few weeks ago, my high hamstring and butt hurt to even sit on the toilet- not normal!

I’ve been back twice in the last two weeks for IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation, using a needle to activate a reflex causing the muscle to release) to ease the pain.

(If you’re curious as to what IMS/dry needling looks like- check out this video and don’t mind her sound effects!)

We think the major problem (right now) is actually an adductor (inner thigh) muscle right near the top attachment and sit bones. When he asks what hurts the most, it’s easiest to describe it as my crotch. Needless to say it’s quite an uncomfortable place to deal with but hopefully it helps! We also take care of my hamstring and muscles running around the top of my hip.

The physiotherapist doesn’t think my muscles are weak. For some reason they’re just really tightening up and not wanting to relax on their own. However, I’m still strengthening my hips and glutes like crazy!

I feel frustrated. Hopefully I can figure out what’s causing my issues since it’s definitely not distance or speed! I’ve been handling it remarkably well and haven’t been {too} moody while not running and figuring out what I can do pain-free. Thankfully biking doesn’t bother it and neither does any strength training.

We had a quiet Mother’s Day weekend with my parents in Arizona and Kelly’s mom in Vancouver with his sister.

I attempted a run with Kelly on Saturday morning. I could definitely feel my muscles and didn’t want to push it so cut the run a bit short. Man, did I get out of running shape fast! I forget how hard it is to get back into running when you’ve been off for a while. Thankfully Kelly was patient with my slower pace and heavy breathing!

On Sunday Kelly and I hopped on our mountain bikes and rode to the river valley where we enjoyed the trails! We rode for almost four hours, and I was toast by time we got home.


If I can’t run much this year, I’d love to hit the trails on my bike.

I was lacking a lot of confidence and ran my bike on parts of the singletrack, but that just means I have a lot of room to grow!


How did you celebrate Mother’s Day?

Have you experienced muscles that just don’t want to relax? What did you do to help them?

The walk of shame

You know what I’m talking about…
…things didn’t go as planned.
…maybe you feel sheepish or a bit embarrassed.
…sometimes you even have to swallow back tears.

I’m not talking about that walk of shame.

I’m talking about when you go for a run only to find out you’re hurt or sick and have to walk the rest of the way home.

I’m no stranger to it: I’ve walked for long distances, I’ve called family to pick me up, I’ve walked in the middle of winter when my clothes are soaked with sweat and not nearly warm enough (one of the main reasons I always try to run with a phone now!).

It’s happened to Kelly, and I’ve run home to get a vehicle, we’ve called family, and he’s even hopped in a passing cab.

With the exception of one time (gut-wrenching cramps), it’s always due to injury-related pain that stops me from going any further.

I’ve had the walk of shame a few times in as many weeks.

Luckily I haven’t made it more than a block from home, so it’s been a short walk. That doesn’t mean tears of frustration don’t threaten to bubble out. Unluckily, it means I wasn’t able to go more than a block without intense pain.

After my IMS treatment, pain moved into the upper calf muscles of my left side. It was so sharp and severe I had to stop immediately. It felt like something was going to explode.

I talked to a few people about it. One physiotherapist thought it was just really tight calf muscles, so he gave me stretches to work it out. (Unfortunately, those gave me knee pain!) Another person thought it was a bursa sac bothering me.

I stretched the best I could, tried to roll it (so painful), used tiger balm, and wore compression socks.


I’m not out of the woods yet, but it’s been feeling much better. I ran on the treadmill last weekend so I wouldn’t have to walk home dejected (again) if the pain came back. It was a success! I ran again on Wednesday on the treadmill, incorporating six miles into a circuit.

On Saturday I rode long (and at better watts than ever before for 80km/50 miles). I’ve been itching for a good run in our spring weather, so Kelly and I planned a Sunday morning date.  We went for about an hour and 20 minutes and my calf felt awesome!

My left hip and hamstring got pretty tight, but I’m going to baby them for a few days and stick to strength and cycling.

I miss doing all my workouts in the fresh air!

Kelly’s gone mountain biking the last two weekends, but I’m not brave enough to go in freezing temps. Hopefully soon.

Have you experienced the walk of shame? (Either definition…no judgment!)
Tell me about it! 

Shedding layers

My run yesterday was what running is all about, and it was a reminder of the benefits it has to my health and sanity. It was a literal and figurative shedding of layers.

I went on my run in pants and a ¾ zip sweater. I started my run stressed out, with my shoulders set higher up with tension. I ran slow, skirting around puddles.

I got warm and unzipped my sweater. I ran through shallow puddles and sped up. I felt a little lighter.

I stopped and took off my sweater. I ran through the mother of all puddles, splashing myself all the way up my back and picked up the pace a little more. And I realized I was full-on smiling with a much clearer mind.


Sorry for the blurry photo- I was running, and my phone was in a bag!

Running in a t-shirt in March!!

Running in a t-shirt in March!!

Can each and every one of you do me a favour? Shed layers.

Leave your Garmin, and even your watch, at home on your next run. Run at a different time of day. Take a new route. Hit the trails instead of the road.

In other aspects of your life: shed layers and cut yourself some slack. Ditch the self-set expectations whether they’re at home, at work, with friends or family, wherever.

For example, I like having home-baked muffins for us to take to work as snacks. If I don’t get to it, I beat myself up. When I apologize to Kelly for not having baked goods, do you think he cares? Of course not! It’s a self-set expectation.

March is a busy month for me. Combine that with coming home from holidays, getting back into the swing of things, and life stressors and I don’t have time for everything.

Running is incredible therapy, and one of my greatest stress relievers.

Running pains
With all that being said, I haven’t been running much since we’ve been home. It’s my darn left side. I’ve mentioned hamstring issues before, and in California it turned into piriformis/hip/iliac crest pain, too. I stretched, rolled, and took over a week off running. I finally scheduled a physio appointment for last Friday.

I ran the day before my appointment to really pinpoint the pain. I was grimacing.

At my physio appointment, he used Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) on me. IMS uses a needle to activate a reflex causing the muscle to release, easing the pain. I’ve had it done before, but not over such a large area on such defiant muscles.

I had it done from the top of my hip down to the bottom of my hamstring. I was sweating buckets by time it was finished, but I felt so much better! I took that day off, rode on the trainer on Saturday, and then ran on Sunday. I was able to go 10 pain-free miles.

It felt good for the remainder of the day and the next one, too. It’s slowly tightening up again but a massage really helped and I’m trying to be diligent with keeping loose. Yesterday’s run was basically pain-free, too (minus calf tightness).

I’m trying to deal with the root of all my left side issues. I read Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention by Jay Dicharrry. I hope to make some major changes based on his book but want to reread it first!

I also plan to review his book on here since I swear it could be a life changer for so many active people and runners!

I still hope to post a California recap, too. I’ve given myself a deadline of next week otherwise it’ll be way too far gone.

It may be quieter around these parts, and I may have to clear my blog feed occasionally, but soon enough life will slow down again. In the meantime, I think I’ll just go for a run!

Does running help you shed those layers of stress? Is it spring where you live?