Recovering from Rhabdo (Read 601 times)

Holly Pockets

    Just curious if anyone on here has experienced exercise induced Rhabdomyolysis.  I had a scary episode last April 3 weeks after a tough marathon.  It was the land of the unknown, and it seemed no one, including my doctors, could tell me safely approach returning to running.  One said "Your marathon days may be over" 3 minutes into meeting me.  When my bloodwork tested normal after 2 months completely off of exercise (besides walking), his advice was, "Exercise half as much as you used to."  So that means half marathons, right? 


    I just wanted to encourage others, and let you know it is slow getting back, but definitely possible.  Back to 35-40 miles a week.  Focused way more on hydration, and easy running.  Starting back with run/walking, a tiny bit at a time, and built up gradually.  It is fine if I never race again, just so happy to be running safely.  Vowed to take a year off racing anyway.


    For any of you reading this that have no idea what Rhabdo is, it is Rapid Muscle Death.  Myoglobin from your muscles can then harm your liver and kidneys as they try to filter it out.  If you have lasting unusual pain after running, go to the doctor!


    Run safe, Run happy,



    12 Monkeys

      How high was your myoglobin?

        Holly, were you given any information by the doctors as to how/why you were hit with rhabdo? Dehydration + ibuprofen?  Muscle injury?  Not that all marathons aren't tough, but was there something about this one that was different?


        This is usually an ultrarunners problem, with several big stories in the past few years:  Eric Skaggs in 2009's Where's Waldo 100K is probably the most well-known.  Ultrasignup.com has listed several results for him in the past couple years showing that he is still competitive but has not raced farther than 50K according to them.

          I actually had it back in March, not from running though. It was in my arms from a Crossfit workout. I didn't actually make it in to a doctor until a week later when my arms had swollen up all the way down to my hands (starting in my triceps). Luckily however, my DH is one of those who thinks water will cure anything, so I had been chugging water the whole time which kept my kidneys functioning normally. Since mine was in my arms, running was one thing I could still do. 


          Glad to hear you're on the mend and back to running again. Any idea what caused it to begin with? Be safe and take care of yourself. 

          Holly Pockets

            My cpk was 11,000.  Like Iloverunwods I waited a week to go to the Dr., thinking it would go away.  We all deal with pain once in a while.  When she got the 5,600 results (2 days after my visit) she told me to go to the ER.  Oddly, then it was up to 11,000 at the ER.  This was with zero exercising since the pain started nine days earlier.  My liver was effected, but luckily not my kidneys. At the ER they checked me in for the night, with a special IV.  I was released the next day when it was down to 3000.  This was Thursday, but I must have walked too much Sat. (felt like I was doing nothing!), and Sunday the pain was bad again.  Went back to the ER Monday, and it was 3100.


            I went to a rheumetologist at that Doctor's advice because things were not adding up.  Tested for all kinds of things, all negative.  It was all odd since symptoms started 3 weeks post marathon.  Took my first ambulance ride after that marathon though, due to dehydration.  Trying for a BQ on an unusually hot March day was not smart.  But my muscles felt healed sooner then after my previous 5 marathons.  Odd.  The rhabdo pain showed up the day after my first 10 mile run post marathon, and I must not have been ready.  Could have had something to do with the cold I had for a few days also.  No statins, no ibuprofen. I have read there may be a genetic predisposition.  Hope that is not the case.


            We should all be thankful for health, above all else.  My perspective has changed.  Strange things happen, we don't know why.  Our bodies are amazing, and healing is what they are designed to do.


            Thank you for reading.  Continue to love running!