Let's hope the needles do the trick. My right butt cheek spent 45 minutes impersonating a pin cushion this afternoon and I get to go back for more proper puncturation on Thursday. Acupuncture really is a very unique kind of pain and if you've never gone, it's a little hard to describe. The actually passage of thin metal shaft through skin is imperceptible, but once the point hits it's mark and the practitioner wiggles it around a little, it creates an intense, dull ache all through the muscles in the area and sharp, almost electrical jolts along the nerve system. I'm not quite sure I really understand how it works, but it does seem a really direct way to inform your insides that they really need to get their act together.
I still don't really know how this injury happened, but my current theory is that it stems from a tumble I took my first night in Havana. I was tromping around the back yard with the dog and I went to leap gracefully over a tree root and somehow missed. I managed to scuff up a shin, a knee and the side of my face, badly jam two toes and apparently land with my entire weight on a small area of my right quadricep. And then I lay stunned in the dirt long enough for a biting ant colony to discover and attack my left calf! Not the way to begin a vacation, by any means. I cleaned up the blood and iced my thigh for a while before going to bed and tried to be grateful that I hadn't broken anything. I jogged 4 miles at about 10 mile pace the next day so I could still say I got in a 70 mile week, but then was smart enough to take the next day off. The aches and pains faded through the week and even though I really did feel fine running, I still took two full rest days. Then back in New York, three days into my return to higher mileage, the back thing started aching.
So who knows if it's related. Everything in my right upper leg seems tight and achy, so it's quite possible that it's all connected. It's just funny that such a violent muscle bruise took a full week to really affect me and then when it did, the pain showed up in an entirely different location. Either that or the cause is something entirely different altogether, but it's quite possible that I'll never know for sure.