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IM with hernia
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This week I was diagnosed with a "bilateral inguinal hernia" which will require surgery. I went to check with the doctor after a couple of weeks of feeling a "pinch" every time I cough or the first couple sit ups when I am training. This is a real set back as I am preparing for the IM Barcelona, October 4th, and hate to see the training time and registration fee going to waste. My doctor (also an IM) tells me he does not see a "real risk" to continue with the plan and plan for the surgery after coming back from the race, however I am uneasy putting more $$ into travel and so forth and risk that things get worse in the six weeks to go and having to pull out last minute. In any case, at this point I am 50/50 on what to do... Any one out there that has gone through this and can share their experience (this seems to be more common that I initially thought...)? Thanks!
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Re: IM with hernia [Camastan] [ In reply to ]
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Have not been through this, but am an ER doctor. I would race if I had an inguinal hernia, I think. People live with hernias all the time, and choose not to pursue surgical repair. HOWEVER, be aware that if suddenly it hurts a lot more and persistently, you get a "bulge" that you can not push back in, start vomiting, or the area gets really red and tender, seek medical attention immediately. These may be signs that this hernia(s) are incarcerated (bowel stuck) or strangulated (bowel stuck and losing blood supply). Otherwise, if you just have some brief discomfort when you cough or sneeze or bear down, and thats it, then carry on!

Colorado Triathlon Company, Denver Fit Lot
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Re: IM with hernia [Camastan] [ In reply to ]
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I had open inguinal surgery done last November. It was originally diagnosed earlier in the year. I had two IM's planned for the year. My doc said the same thing... that it was small, it will get worse, eventually I would have to deal with it in a year or two, but I should be fine through IM training and racing. I got through the season without it becoming an issue but it started to bother me a lot around October. Went to see the doc and it had progressed a lot faster then he had predicted. He said I could still wait a little longer but with it being off season I figured I might as well get it fixed.

Odds are you'll be okay but pay real close attention to it. But I'm not a doctor so take that for what it's worth.

2017 Races:
Texas 70.3 April 2nd | Canada 70.3 July 30th | Augusta 70.3 September 24th | New Orleans 70.3 October 22nd | Cartagena 70.3 December 3rd
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Re: IM with hernia [Camastan] [ In reply to ]
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Did IMLP with an inguinal. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, it was miserable. Swimming was OK, riding was bearable, but running was not going to happen. I walked (that was the plan) the majority of the course to a 5:18 and it was pure misery. Much worse than what I expected. if you can run, I'd say go for it. If you can't, make sure you do some walk training between now and then. Obviously listen to the doc above regarding signs that you need to shut it down and get to medic.
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Re: IM with hernia [Camastan] [ In reply to ]
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Did Ironman New Zealand with one this year. When talking with my surgeon, he said the same things as above - as long as it is reduceable (you can push it back in) you're fine. If you can't - stet medical attention immediately.

My luck was that I don't luft my knee when running (more like slogging along), so the bike was the iffy part of the race.
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Re: IM with hernia [boilerup] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the advise...!
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Re: IM with hernia [GMAN19030] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for sharing... Did you keep your activities to running, swimming, biking, or did you keep doing any strength work out?
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Re: IM with hernia [TimeIsUp] [ In reply to ]
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Were you having problems with running before the IM race? At this point I haven't had any problems (pain) swimming, running or biking, nor I have any "bulge"... Thanks!
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Re: IM with hernia [Camastan] [ In reply to ]
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Yes. Sorry, should have been more clear. I ran very little during the last several weeks of "training" because of the pain. Mine happened further out than yours and knowing what I know now, I would opted for surgery.
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Re: IM with hernia [Camastan] [ In reply to ]
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Camastan wrote:
This week I was diagnosed with a "bilateral inguinal hernia" which will require surgery. I went to check with the doctor after a couple of weeks of feeling a "pinch" every time I cough or the first couple sit ups when I am training. This is a real set back as I am preparing for the IM Barcelona, October 4th, and hate to see the training time and registration fee going to waste. My doctor (also an IM) tells me he does not see a "real risk" to continue with the plan and plan for the surgery after coming back from the race, however I am uneasy putting more $$ into travel and so forth and risk that things get worse in the six weeks to go and having to pull out last minute. In any case, at this point I am 50/50 on what to do... Any one out there that has gone through this and can share their experience (this seems to be more common that I initially thought...)? Thanks!

I was diagnosed with bilateral inguinal hernia in about March of 2012, and put off surgery until after IM Austria in July. No probs at all. But it depends on your hernia, mine was largely asymptomatic and was found during examination for a sports injury.

Assume at this stage you are doing century rides and long runs in training? If it is alright for that, it'll surely be alright for your race.

On a positive note, I had my surgery done privately and was able to pick the date. I was going to have 2 weeks off work. It is no coincidence that I had it done day 1 of the London Olympics.. :-)

I had laparoscopic repair, and raced 4 weeks later. Not the most sensible thing I ever did, and I think recovery wise I was a bit of an outlier, but it was ok for me. I was back on the trainer doing a bit of zone 2 after about 10 days, bit of easy running after a fortnight, back to tempo runs in the 3rd week. I don't think everyone gets back into it this quickly, I was lucky. Swimming was a bit "interesting"...!
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Re: IM with hernia [Camastan] [ In reply to ]
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Camastan wrote:
Thanks for sharing... Did you keep your activities to running, swimming, biking, or did you keep doing any strength work out?

S/B/R with some yoga for core strength and flexibility.

2017 Races:
Texas 70.3 April 2nd | Canada 70.3 July 30th | Augusta 70.3 September 24th | New Orleans 70.3 October 22nd | Cartagena 70.3 December 3rd
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Re: IM with hernia [knighty76] [ In reply to ]
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knighty76 wrote:
I had laparoscopic repair, and raced 4 weeks later. Not the most sensible thing I ever did, and I think recovery wise I was a bit of an outlier, but it was ok for me. I was back on the trainer doing a bit of zone 2 after about 10 days, bit of easy running after a fortnight, back to tempo runs in the 3rd week. I don't think everyone gets back into it this quickly, I was lucky. Swimming was a bit "interesting"...!

You're a better man than me. First 3-5 days I could barely move. 10 days out I was able to walk around fine but there's no way I could've done any exercise.

2017 Races:
Texas 70.3 April 2nd | Canada 70.3 July 30th | Augusta 70.3 September 24th | New Orleans 70.3 October 22nd | Cartagena 70.3 December 3rd
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Re: IM with hernia [knighty76] [ In reply to ]
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knighty76 wrote:
Camastan wrote:
This week I was diagnosed with a "bilateral inguinal hernia" which will require surgery. I went to check with the doctor after a couple of weeks of feeling a "pinch" every time I cough or the first couple sit ups when I am training. This is a real set back as I am preparing for the IM Barcelona, October 4th, and hate to see the training time and registration fee going to waste. My doctor (also an IM) tells me he does not see a "real risk" to continue with the plan and plan for the surgery after coming back from the race, however I am uneasy putting more $$ into travel and so forth and risk that things get worse in the six weeks to go and having to pull out last minute. In any case, at this point I am 50/50 on what to do... Any one out there that has gone through this and can share their experience (this seems to be more common that I initially thought...)? Thanks!


I was diagnosed with bilateral inguinal hernia in about March of 2012, and put off surgery until after IM Austria in July. No probs at all. But it depends on your hernia, mine was largely asymptomatic and was found during examination for a sports injury.

Assume at this stage you are doing century rides and long runs in training? If it is alright for that, it'll surely be alright for your race.

On a positive note, I had my surgery done privately and was able to pick the date. I was going to have 2 weeks off work. It is no coincidence that I had it done day 1 of the London Olympics.. :-)

I had laparoscopic repair, and raced 4 weeks later. Not the most sensible thing I ever did, and I think recovery wise I was a bit of an outlier, but it was ok for me. I was back on the trainer doing a bit of zone 2 after about 10 days, bit of easy running after a fortnight, back to tempo runs in the 3rd week. I don't think everyone gets back into it this quickly, I was lucky. Swimming was a bit "interesting"...!

Thanks for everyone's input...! I have decided to carry on, but I am pushing buying my plane tickets (pretty expensive coming from Mexico and even more so now with the moving exchange rate!) as late as I can, just in case its evolution makes me change my mind. I was able to do my long training last weekend with no major problems, however I am increasingly "feeling it" with some moves and, interestingly, while swimming at the pool. I hope it will stay that way and I am able to do a PB in the flat course of Barcelona.
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