Yesterday I cross-trained on the elliptical.
In the afternoon I had my MRI and got it looked at. The U Orthopedic staff is so efficient - I had the MRI at 2:30 and was discussing it with my doc at 4pm and out by 4:30. Awesome. It's also awesome to know the results. OK, yeah, I'm injured, but at least now we know what it is: hamstring tendinitis. On the good side, my SI joint, pubic symphysis, and everything else in the pelvis seems normal.
Here are the photos. They are mirror images, so L is R and R is L. My L hamstring (at R in photo) is lighting up white in this MRI, indicating inflammation. It is a moderate to severe tendonitis, with some tearing. Oh yay. No wonder sitting hurts :/.
The doctor said that I can continue doing what I am doing, letting pain be my guide. If it hurts, back off. If I can do it with little pain, it's OK. She referred me to PT with the running clinic (hey, Shane, here I come! He was my PT before, and I'm sure he will be happy to see me again haha).
I asked her about my long-term prognosis, since hamstring injuries like this can be a real pain (pun intended) for a long time. She said that most people do recover well from them, but a minority of people will have long-lasting problems. I hope I'm not in that group. I would like to think that if I fix my technique/posture with the help of the running clinic, that I will be in the former group and will not have recurring trouble.
This morning I went out to do 6K; I thought about going longer but I had done enough sitting that I was a bit sore in general, so I thought 6K would be enough. I brought Powder and Sugar along; Powder has been behaving much better on the leash on walks, and she needs the exercise. They're so cute together, too :). I went around Liberty Park and back, and it was beautiful but cold this morning at -5C (23F). It started to snow partway into my walk, but not hard, and the sidewalks had enough salt on them that it wouldn't be slippery until we got a bit more accumulation.
I took it very easy, mindful of my injury and a bit anxious. My HR was pretty low at this pace, and I did the 6K in 42:14 for 7:02/km with ave HR 140. When I'm in shape I can do 6:05-6:10/km at that HR...sigh......but for now I am going to focus on what I *can* do. At least I can get out there, however briefly.
Oh, and I found out why the pain was masquerading as piriformis syndrome. The inflammation of my tendon is right near the sciatic nerve, which is transmitting pain signals to other places higher up, i.e. the piriformis. But the real culprit is that darn hamstring tendon.
Garmin data here.