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:

  1. First, denial. "Oh, I'm fine. This is just a small thing. It happens to everyone. I'll run that marathon in two and a half months after not running for two months, NO PROBLEM!!!"
  2. Next up, anger. "AAAAHHH I AM SO ANGRYYYYY I AM JUST GOING TO BE MEAN AND ANGRY ALL THE TIMMMEEEE!!!! WHYYY did I pay NYRR $13 to run an 18-mile race A WEEK before this injury?!?! WHYYY did I increase my mileage?! WHY DID JACK RABBIT SELL ME BAD SHOES??? 
  3. Then bargaining. "Well, you know, maybe, MAYBE if I just keep off the leg for a WHOLE month and just work from home and not move like, EVER, my leg will be OK for October 10! YEAH HIGH FIVE GREAT PLAN!"
  4. Followed by my favorite, depression. Let's just say I cried every day for a week, felt really sorry for myself, and ate a lot of cookie dough. We can move on now.
  5. Finally, acceptance. "Hey, the bike isn't so bad! I can do this for an hour a day! And feel great about burning half as many calories as I would've burned running! That is SO OK! I can totally BE A PERSON even when I'm not running! Look at me! I'm going to be all right! There will be more marathons! It's not the end of the world!"
Do I still get sad seeing people running by, healthy as can be without a care in the world? Yes. Do I wish them pain and injuries? Y...I mean, no, no, of course not! ;) Did I have a hard time reading through Runner's World the other day? Uhh I'd be lying if I said no.

I really miss running, but I know that I have to take it easy in order to get better. This is also opening me up to other sports, like swimming and the competitive sport of stationary bike riding. Maybe I'll sign up for a triathlon one of these days? All I know is that there will be more marathons. And the fact that I made it through all five stages of grief in a relative short span of time is a good thing and means good things for my ultimate recovery.

There'll be a part two coming your way soon. I'm going to do my best to get back into the blog, but let's call it "Have a Good Stationary Bike Ride!" or "Have a Good Swim!" till I can run again, OK?

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