The Encyclopedia of Lesser Known Running Maladies
Hello, Citwits. It’s your two resident Doctor Boys, Paul Snyder and Ryan Sterner. As human beings with a combined 53 years of life experience, we’re here to inform our constituency about a few of the lesser known running injuries. Most are a classic case of misunderstanding–a kind of medical “make ’em look this way while we go that way.”
So if you’re one that has been chronically injured and grown frustrated with the quacks and fly-by-night physical therapists advertising on bus stop benches, look no further because Dr. Paul & Ryan are here to help. One thing to understand while reading through this not-even-close to exhaustive list of ailments, is to take them with a grain of salt, because more likely than not your doctor is correct. Thank you.
The Jelly Bones
Often times you’ll go into the doctor knowing the diagnosis. This is generally the case with stress fractures. You go to the doctor just so she can tell you what you already know and then you sit on your happy ass for the next 12 months while you wait for your hard bits to reconstitute.
Pal, what if I told you there was another ailment you need to keep an eye out for that masquerades as a stress fracture? And what if I told you that that ailment is called The Jelly Bones?
Do you often feel wobbly? Like instead of bones, perhaps your feeble body is being supported by an intricate system of GoGurt tubes attached end to end? Well then my friend, if I were you I’d rush to my nearest physician, bust down the door and holler “Doc! I got The Jelly Bones!” before collapsing in a heap on the waiting room floor. They’ll know what to do.
I hope this won’t drastically shake your world view, but I won’t apologize for advancements in scientism. As a registered scientician, I’m qualified to make claims like “birds are lighter than people, and can also fly, whereas people cannot.” Accordingly, when Bird Bones occur in a fleshy, human meat body, disastrous outcomes unfold.
One in six Americans are born with this condition. The burden of hefting around a human on a structure meant for a bird is akin to letting your chunky nephew sit on your K’Nex rollercoaster. Something’s gotta give. And that something is a bone or two. These problems are exacerbated by running, because–need I remind you?–birds are meant to fly, not jog along at seven-minute pace.
As runners, we are all well versed in the pitfalls of iron deficiency. You feel weak, you’re obsessed with naps, you can’t hit your workout splits. The doctor makes you buy a $160 bottle of liquid iron. You’re spending a fortune on orange juice for the sake of proper absorption. If you’ve tried this with no noticeable improvement in performance, it’s time to consider Giggle Fist, perhaps colloquially known as Morning Hands.
What is it specifically? It’s the prolonged sensation of weakness that results in the inability to grip things properly. Instead of fancy iron tablets, you need only to buy yourself a tennis ball and carry it around in your jacket pocket, periodically squeezing it throughout the day. Problem. Fucking. Solved.
A lot of fuss is made over things like your IT band, or your achilles tendon, and some other connective tissues that keep your muscles taut, yet springy. Much like a vehicle, however, these belts need to be replaced every 30,000 miles or so. What happens if you try to keep the engine running with these Creaky Belts? I’m not sure, but here’s a video of a car suffering from creaky belts that I’d like you to use as a metaphor for the human body.
Tim Riggins Syndrome
Have you had marginal success in your running career? Are you a big fish in a small pond? Has your ego inflated because of this? Then I’d like to issue a warning on the potential dangers of the Tim Riggins Syndrome. One day you’ll be waving your blue ribbon to the adoring fans, the next you’ll be held at gunpoint in a small Mexican pueblo while a witch doctor demands you fork over the money for your friends experimental back-alley spinal tap procedure. I gotta tell you, this will not bode well if you’re trying to run 4:40 at the district meet the following weekend.
Think you’re too young for gout? Think again!
The Lunch Pail Blues
Any number of blue collar ailments fall under the diagnostic umbrella of the lunch pail blues. Blew out your shoulder from too much hammerin’? Lunch pail blues. Upset stomach from swallin’ too much chaw? Lunch pail blues. Tripped over your pair of blue jeans when they slipped down and around your ankles, weighed down by all the rocks you were storin’ in the pockets? Lunch pail blues. Fell in a hole in the ground chasin’ your favorite cap after a gust of wind blew if off your head? Lunch pail blues.
There is no known cure for the lunch pail blues, as it’s more of a lifestyle than an actual affliction.
We’re not talking about the cellular growths associated with various cancers. Those are tragic and well-documented medically. We’re talking about “tubers,” as in girthy root vegetables like potatoes. “Tumors” is how you confusingly pronounce “tubers” if you have a mouth full of raw parsnips or rutabaga. You’re not going to run a fast race if you have glob of half-chewed starch in your gullet, obstructing your ability to breath.
Doctors frequently misdiagnose this as asthma.
I’m sure you’re thinking that by tremors we mean an unintentional rhythmic muscle movement. But you’d be wrong. We’re actually talking about the 1990 Kevin Bacon box office smash hit Tremors, about a town infested with city bus sized worms. You may think that you have a run of the mill tape worm, but you should really ask your doctor about a 1990s style Tremor worm. You’ll likely look like a fully formed larvae at this point, and your athletic performance, especially at longer distances, will see a disastrous downward trend. Nip this one in the bud early!