Thursday, September 30, 2010

Long way to go

Well, I've started running again...if you count 5.0 mph for 0.3 miles as running (which I do!). It feels like I'm starting all over again -- except instead of huffing and puffing, I have a weird limp and a bit of pain my leg. At least I've managed to stay in shape during this injury!

Trying to run again has been a slow process. I've tried it twice -- the first time I just went a quarter mile till I felt some pain. I had a weird limp (maybe getting used to the treadmill again?) and I think I was really nervous about trying running again, which probably didn't help the situation. The second time I tried to run "normally", i.e. without a limp. It went better than the first time, and I felt like I was running with much less of a limp, but I still felt some pain in my leg. Instead of bone pain though, I found I've had mostly muscle pain throughout this entire injury. The tibia itself has never really hurt -- it's pretty much always been the back left of my calf. Maybe I tore a muscle in addition to the stress reaction? The first doctor I saw did say there was some muscle strain on the MRI, but it's hard to tell what exactly is going on since I haven't actually seen the MRI report for myself...

Anyway, I do plan to keep slowly increasing my mileage and plan on running twice a week. I also want to try running outdoors -- I think the treadmill might be throwing me off a bit with the moving belt and all. I think I need to practice going through the running motions some before I'm ready to let a belt dictate my speed! I still need to run one more race in order to qualify for the NYC Marathon next year (I'm volunteering at the NYC Marathon expo this year to get my volunteer qualification!), so I hope I can find a 5k to do at a super slow pace sometime between now and Dec. 31. Hopefully I'll be able to run that far! However, I did walk a running race as part of my qualifying races...I had signed up for two races pre-injury, the Fitness Mind Body Spirit 4 mile race and the ING Tune-Up 18 mile race (though I wasn't going to be running the NYC marathon this year, I figured it would be inspiring to be around other people who were training for a marathon).
Obviously I couldn't do the 18 miler, but I woke up on the day of the 4-mile race and decided that I would walk it. I did it in just over an hour and even beat 11 people! Woo hoo! It was actually pretty interesting because I was mostly with a bunch of people who were possibly new to running, or running their first race. I was really encouraged to see some of the newer runners running with friends who were maybe a bit more experienced with running -- they were encouraging their friends all the way, taking breaks with them and keeping them going. At the end I overheard one girl who I saw through much of the race exclaim, "I did it! I did it!!!" I couldn't help but smile and remember my first race!

I honestly haven't really looked for any "getting back into running after an injury" articles, but I know that I should. If anyone who reads this has any tips, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's official...

I CAN RUN AGAIN!!! I went to the doctor yesterday and he gave me the OK to run again. He did a little poking, prodding, and told me to get back to it! YAY! When he told me I asked him, "Are you kidding? Are you serious? How do you know?" I just really couldn't believe it. He said the bone was less sore and it was looking good! And I have to say, the past couple days my leg has been especially pain-free. I am PUMPED!

Of course, after that I went to get a vaccine and ended up fainting at the doctor's office (I have needle-phobia). So I haven't yet given running a try. When I do, though I'll be sure to let you know how it goes! I'm going to go slow of course, and not go very far to begin with, but at least I can get back to it!

This time has also gotten me thinking about doing a triathlon one day. Yeah, I only went swimming once in these two months, but I liked it and I think I'll try to make it a more regular part of my routine. And I can tear it up on the bike now. I think it's good to have a few different cross training exercises available for non-running days -- I used to just do the elliptical, but I couldn't really do it while I was injured; I used to think I hated the bike, but it's actually a great way to read while working out!

The next thing I need is a getting-back-to-it training schedule. I know I should start slow, build mileage gradually, not run much, but I wonder if there's a plan for that somewhere?

That's it for now. I'm back!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Injured: Part Two

Needless to say, I decided I needed a second opinion, but not after hobbling around NYC on crutches for a couple of weeks. Let me just say, if you ever feel like you need to get a seat on the bus but are not 85 years old or pregnant, GET CRUTCHES. People could not get up fast enough for me! In fact I might just keep them around for future use...

ANYWAY. I sent to another doctor whom my mom found in the New York Magazine, a running specialist from a town I once lived in, Kansas City. After waiting to get an appointment, the doctor took one look at me and said, "You overpronate. You need support in your arches. Go buy orthotic inserts and come back and see me in six weeks." I mean, he said more than that and was super helpful and supportive, but he also suggested

Let me just say, after running for a little bit in the neutral shoes that Jack Rabbit sold me when they told me I DIDN'T overpronate, I had this itching feeling that I was seriously lacking in arch support. When I asked at Jack Rabbit another time if I should get orthotic inserts, they just said "Those are for people with serious problems." WELL HELLO THERE JACK RABBIT NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN PLEASE SELL ME THESE ORTHOTIC INSERTS SO I CAN GET BACK TO LIVING A NORMAL LIFE AND NEVER SELL ME ANY SHOES EVER AGAIN THANKYOUVERYMUCH!

(Bitter? ME?? Why...yes. Just a little bit. But I can't blame them completely...)

This doctor told me that all of this "stuff" (i.e. the crutches and the CAM walker) were completely ridiculous and unnecessary, and that all I needed was a set of orthotic inserts to put in my sneakers. And that I would have to wear these sneakers for ohhh I don't know, let's see how it goes in four weeks. I'll see the doctor again in two weeks and hopefully have an update for you then.

So far the leg is definitely getting better. There are days where it hurts, but it's more of a muscle pain in the back of the leg. I've been riding the stationary bike and I tried swimming the other day (which I plan to continue doing), and I sometimes do weights (but not nearly enough). I'm hopeful that my leg will get better in the next month or so, but I'm not going to push anything anytime soon. There are more marathons to run, and they aren't going anywhere, but a stress fracture is not really what I need right now! I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. Hopefully I can start getting my butt out of bed in the mornings from now on...I've been SO bad at that lately. Tomorrow! I will get up early! And go to the gym!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Injured: Part One

I have a decent excuse for my disappearance from this site. Barely a week after my last post I set out for a 7 mile speed workout in Central Park. I was sort of dreading it the night before, but decided that that was no attitude to have and promptly decided it would be a fantastic way to start the day and that I would most definitely feel refreshed and accomplished after completing it.

The sciatica in my right leg had been an ongoing problem but my left leg had stood strong and been quite reliable throughout all injuries (except for that pesky hip flexor tendinitis back in March...that can be forgiven though). I ran one mile just fine, then started my speed work. My right leg felt a little funny at mile 2 or so, but I shook it off as a muscle cramp, and even stopped to stretch it out. At mile 3.5 though, I stopped short and was suddenly in absolutely TERRIBLE pain. It's hard to describe exactly what it was like, but it caused me to stop in the middle of my run that was meant to be amazing and forced me to hobble home, tears in my eyes.

Once I got home, I realized that the sciatica pain was gone from my right leg, and thought that perhaps the sciatica had jumped from my right leg to my left leg -- hey, it could happen, right? I called my sports medicine doctor and she had me come in right away. She was going to give me steroids to help me with the pain of the sciatica, but at the last minute did a pressure test along my tibia. Um, OW! "This hurts? Then this isn't sciatic. You have a stress reaction in your tibia." She took an X-ray and nothing showed up, which signaled to her that it was NOT a stress fracture, but instead a stress reaction (to be honest, I'm still unsure what the difference is, but all I know is that I don't have a stress fracture!). And I would have to stay off my foot. Which would involve a CAM walker. And/or crutches. In New York City. Lucky me!

After this injury, I went through ALL FIVE STAGES of grief: