I went back to the doctor today since the ITB pain in my knee was not getting better with physical therapy and, in fact, was getting worse. My hope was to get some real drugs and potentially a MRI to confirm the diagnosis for the outside of my knee. While I was there I figured that I would have them take a look at my hip and interior knee pain that started up a couple of weeks ago (prehalf marathon) but also seems to be getting worse. There was a screw up with the appointment and the doctor I initially saw wasn't in. I asked if I could see his partner (I don't have any sort of life commitment to a doctor I've seen only once). They hooked me up.
They took xrays of my hip and then he moved my leg into many positions that it wasn't meant to be in. After looking at the xray he said "your running career is closer to the end than the beginning." He didn't seem to care too much about my knee (ITB is ITB) but it was all about the hip. The xray shows I've got arthritis, bone spurs and hip impingement (femoroacetabular impingement). He gave me drugs, an exercise routine, and said stop running. Completely.
Gentle bike riding should be OK (he said don't do anything crazy like a spin class or something that is hard). Anything in the pool should be OK. If the drugs work, I can try walking on a flat surface (no hills at all). If not cured, come back in 6 weeks and we'll talk next steps (most likely MRI with contrast and/or pain injections). He said don't plan on running multiple marathons or the like pretty much forever.
As you can imagine, this didn't make me happy.
I moped around for a while but then started thinking (which is always dangerous). I decided to give this no running thing a chance to cure me. I'm going to bump up my weekly swimming sessions and will ride only gently for a few weeks. If that doesn't work, stopping exercise and gaining back the weight aren't options. I've got to figure out what I can do and then do it.
The journey just got a little harder. Time to earn the rock star status. Somebody has to do it so it might as well be me.