Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Running with Scoliosis

I find it funny when I tell people I love to run and their response is, “well you have a runner’s body.” If only they knew my diet, training regiment, and health issue.

Today’s post is about my health issue, scoliosis. Scoliosis can be one or multiple curvatures on your spine. My curvature is right below severe, meaning that I don’t need surgery but I still have back pain. The reason I laugh when people say I have a runner’s body just because I’m skinny and tall like a typical marathon runner is because if they saw me running they would reconsider that statement. One of my legs is longer than the other, I run with my right shoulder forward, and my arm crosses my chest when swinging. While those don’t sound like big issues, when you are trying to run a sub 18 5k and going under 3 hours in the marathon they become big problems.

My right hip and shoulder are under a lot of stress when pushing hard and it deteriorates my posture, taking away precious time that is valuable when looking for PR’s.

One of the reasons I fell in love with ultramarathons is because it teaches you to tolerate pain. After you have been on the trails for a few hours your body wants you to stop but you have to teach your brain to ignore that pain. I brought that thinking when doing road races and my back or hip start to hurt. While you should listen to your body and stop before you injure yourself, I’ve become more aware to ignore my back issues that before were constant pain whenever I moved.

Next time you see somebody, don’t assume they are or aren’t a runner just because of their physical appearance. We come in all shapes and sizes.