Cycling Stuff Exercise inflammation

Do I exercise too much?

They have the look.  Their faces are chiseled; the cheekbones are easily visible because the body is devoid of fat.  Their eyes speak fatigue.

They are not refugees.

Have they been stricken with a calorie-eating tapeworm?


They are middle-aged physicians conversing in the doctors lounge.  I see them pulling up their scrub bottoms to compare lower legs. Hmm.

Middle age has stricken these two highly intelligent master thinkers with a difficult to control disease. The triathlon disease.  As a younger man, I was once afflicted. Miraculously I was able to conquer it.

The fasciotomy scars from the therapy of lower leg compartment syndrome was the topic of this show and tell.  Compartment syndrome is not mickey mouse.  It is not for the faint-hearted.  It is a gnarly problem, involving internal bleeding into the front of the leg.  The fascia is a really tough sinewy-like layer which encircles muscle and bone.  It is there to support the muscles.

So much running and pounding of the middle age body can precipitate micro-tears in the muscles.  The torn muscle bleeds, but the blood cannot escape the fascial layer, and thus it builds up in the compartment of the leg.  The expansion causes compression of nerves and blood supply to the foot.  Intense pain is a certainty, but worse yet is the possibility of permanent damage to the affected foot.  A fasciotomy is required.  Don’t click on the link unless you have strong stomach.

Turns out that the cause of said compartment syndromes was a 50 mile running race.  That’s right, 50 (five-zero) miles!

“How was the race,” I ask.

“It was really great, except for that searing pain in my shin.

The drill yourself into an inflammatory-storm-disease does not discriminate. It afflicts the highest level of intellectual society, even presumed masters of the obvious can fall prey.

Many correspondences ask how much exercise is too much.  I don’t know for sure, but if it requires slicing a perfectly good leg open, it was too much.

The over-achieving athletic mind continues to impress me.