Sunday, December 18, 2011


...I did it again.
Another stress fracture. In the same leg. My poor left side has really gotten a beating throughout my life -- I broke my left collarbone at age 5 and at age 10. At age 16 I had knee surgery on my left knee. At 25 I had my first stress fracture in my left tibia, and now at 27 I'm onto my second. At least the injuries seem to be making their way down my body and hopefully will be out of my life forever soon -- crossing fingers that this one is the last one!

When this pain first started (maybe a month before the marathon) I really didn't think it was a stress fracture. The pain was in a completely different place than it had been in when I had last one, my tibia wasn't sore or tender to the touch in the least, and I was convinced it had something to do with a tendon. 

But it didn't get better, and actually felt like it was getting worse. I went back to Dr. Metzl in early December and he decided I needed an MRI, which I had almost two weeks ago (side note: December is flying by way too quickly). I got a call from the doctor's office the day after the MRI and they told me that the doctor wanted to see me and also that I was not to run...definitely an indicator that something worse than tendinitis was going on.

I went in last week and got this lovely image that indicates the stress fracture. Crazy as this might sound, I actually like to see that the stress fracture shows up on the image exactly where the pain is -- it tells me that the pain I had wasn't imaginary! 

I got in a few great runs when I got back from my trip, so I'm definitely grateful for that! And I got through the NYC Marathon with a PR, so that's pretty awesome, too. And honestly? I wasn't feeling all that excited about the March marathon. I mean, I'd come up with a good training plan and was going to run the crap out of the race, but I was feeling a little bit burned out on running. But I still got in a few awesome runs before this happened -- including a really great tempo run in Central Park and a run around my beloved reservoir. For those, I am grateful. 

I have to take off six full weeks from running (a week and a half in! Only four and a half weeks to go!) and have another doctor's appointment. Stress fractures are tricky though, because even when it's "healed", it will still show up on an MRI as not fully healed -- it's not as black and white as an X-ray that will show when a bone has healed from a break. It's more about feel, so in 4.5 weeks I'll see how I'm feeling and see what the doctor says.

I asked him WHY this keeps happening and what I can do to prevent it in the future. He asked me a few questions about what I did in training for the NYC Marathon, and when I said that I was running five days a week, he said he thought it was definitely more related to volume and that I should just run four days a week in the future. Easy problem to fix!

In the meantime, he says I can do everything except for run. Which is awesome! Because last time I had to wear my sneakers everywhere I went (including work!) and could only ride the stationary bike and swim (which I did ummm once...) for two full months. And that was not great. This time, I can spin, elliptical, swim, strength train, etc.

So I feel like I'm in a pretty good place with it! I've still been getting my sweat on five or six days a week and am staying upbeat and positive about the situation. I can't defer the race to another year, but I will probably switch to the half-marathon. Fingers crossed!

Another thing I'm doing in the meantime? Baking. And cooking. My latest creation is a pear and prosciutto pizza with Swiss and mozzarella on homemade whole wheat crust
I also made some delicious pumpkin bread (no idea where the recipe came was so amazing though! I'll link it if/when I find it).

So that's what's going on in Have a Good Run land. I'm going home for Christmas Dec. 23-Jan. 2 and I'm definitely looking forward to it -- baking, cooking, sleeping, Christmasing, etc. Should be great!

Have you had an injury before? How did you deal with it?

1 comment:

  1. Nooooo! SO sorry to hear about your stress fracture. I had to go through that during my first marathon, it was pretty painful. It was on the femoral head. 3 months to recover from that puppy.

    Good luck in your recovery!