Monday, March 25, 2013

On being injured.

Remember when I told you I was injured?  After almost three weeks of no activity and the pain still lingering, I knew it would ease my mind to go to the doctor.  I found a new practice where both are the doctors are runners and have a specialty in sports medicine.  My suspicions and research were accurate; it was a stress fracture.  While the X-ray didn't show it (even after approximately 3+ weeks with the injury), my doctor didn't think it would be necessary to spend the money on a MRI when the treatment would be the same.  The treatment?

The boot.  And only upper body work outs and swimming.  Cross training.  I hate cross training.  As of now, I'm in it for two weeks, and then I have a check-up from there.

My fears?

After accepting that I was not going to be able to run the RunRaleigh half (that had already been paid for) and achieve that PR I had been hoping for, I'm scared of losing all the endurance and speed I've worked so hard for.  I'm scared of gaining weight back that I've worked so hard to lose.  I'm scared my leg will never be the same.  I'm scared of this happening again.  I'm scared of how long this might take to heal.  I'm scared I may not be able to run that 5k for BFW in May.

I'm scared of a lot.  Being scared adds to stress.  My primary form of stress relief is running.  This has been a really difficult time for me.

[My last long run prior to the injury.  Pushed through calf tightness which was likely a precursor to/sign of the fracture]

How did this happen?

It wasn't the shoes.  I was running an average of three days a week, two short runs and one long run, which I don't consider overtraining.  I was cross training at least one day per week.  I was running exclusively outside (no treadmill).  My only guess what that I was pushing myself too fast and not resting and stretching enough.  My running partner pushed me to be faster (not by telling me to be, but just by being quicker); therefore my long runs were at a quicker pace than I was used to.  My short runs were all quick.  Even running three days a week, I was constantly pushing myself to be quicker.  Since many of my runs were during my lunch break, I didn't stretch properly after.  My routes always involved hills.  I'll never know for sure.

Where do I go from here?

Swimming.  I'm open to any and all resources on aqua jogging.  I did one session last week, prior to seeing my doctor, which involved alternating between kick boarding, backstroke, and aqua jogging.  I didn't feel like it was a work out at all, and I felt a dull ache in the "bad leg" after (possibly due to the increased leg effort with the kick board).  I'm a terrible swimmer, but I don't have a problem trying (if I can get over the judgement of that lifeguard always watching me ;)).  Since I thrive off of training plans, I am going to try to (as strictly as possible) follow this plan from Peter Pfitzinger.  Biking is out for the time being, especially while I'm in the boot.  I'll also be pulling out all those pinned workouts that I have yet to try.  I'm guessing I'm looking at another four weeks before I can comfortably do anything else...

Tell me about injuries you've had!

How did you get through them?  What swimming or core/upper body workouts would you recommend (even Pins!)?


Beka said...

Last fall I was out of running for 7 weeks with a hip injury. I was mentally drained when I found out I couldn't run AT ALL. I was in the same boat as you, too. I hated to crosstrain - which was why I ended up injured (weak core/hips) but during that time I did every kind of crosstraining I could. I learned to love it and now I enjoy it a lot more knowing that it has a purpose and to keep me from re-injuring myself :)

Hope you don't have to spend too long in das boot!

Meghan said...

I feel for ya, girl! I've had my share of injuries, including stress fractures and stress reactions. I promise you though that you will get back to your peak running form, and you will come back stronger than ever. Just make sure that when you do return, you do so slowly. My PT always said you should either focus on increasing speed or distance - not both at the same time. You will get through this! Until then, try as many different exercises as possible! This is how I fell in love again with the barre!

Alex Byer said...

Girl, I feel you. After my half marathon last May I was out for a while due to IT band issues. But after you rest and recover, you'll come back better than ever. Your body remembers, and as long as your cross training and building up strength, you won't need to worry about adding on weight or losing any muscle. But hopefully through this you'll find that cross training isn't so bad :) It definitely aides your training!

Brittany said...

I know how hard it is to be sidelined! I recently was diagnosed with an illness and haven't been able to run for a few months, and its killing me. I don't have any inspirational words or advice, but I can say: Me too. We will get through it!!! We both will be running soon!

applesandglue said...

Oh no, not the boot! Good on you for getting an actual diagnosis though, probably was a good idea. You make me nervous though, it seems like it's just so easy to get hurt running (I should know - ha!).

Anyway, hope you rest up and heal soon!!

Holly said...

So sorry to hear this. My hubby broken his foot last May and in the last couple of months is finally feeling back to normal. I've never had a stress fracture, but I can completely understand your fear about being limited to only certain workouts when you've worked so hard. As long as you stay active, hopefully all your hard work will not be for nothing! Good luck, woman!

Alicia said...

So sorry, Girl. Stress fractures are the worst. I've had two, and because of that I am SO paranoid about them happening again. Any twinge I feel in that leg sends me into a panic. But I can't let it stop me from doing what I love - running! I spent the past year doing lots of strength training to build strength - I make sure to get ample calcium and vitamins. And I try my hardest not to overtrain and listen to my body. It's not perfect. And you can't prevent anything, but there are things you can do once you're out of that boot to get stronger than you ever were before!

Try and see this as an opportunity to build your body back up to one that will be more resilient than before, so that you can do all the races you want to :)

Hang in there!

Oliviaaa said...

i've said it before... and i'll keep saying it over and over again. YOU GOT THIS!

I know it's a setback. I know it's depressing... but you're going to come through this back on top.

Plus... I'm sure you're going to rock that boot like it's nobody's business!

I can't wait to see how the aqua jogging goes. It still sounds pretty cool to me. :] Sorry! don't hate me. :P

Jessica said...

I am so sorry to hear about your injury. I hope you heal quickly and are back in your regular routine. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be someone so active to have a stress fracture. I have never broken my leg. I did break my arm twice when I was in elementary school.

Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

Jo said...

Look at this as an opportunity to train parts of your body that normally get the back burner. Swimming is amazing for your shoulders. (I was a lifeguard back in the day). It's also a really amazing tool for learning to control your breath. Don't worry about what you're feet are doing. Focus on your upper body and breathing. Look up some yoga postures to strengthen the core without utilizing the legs.

If you improve your core strength and breathing techniques, I guarantee you will come back an even stronger runner than before. Be patient. I know it's hard. Also, don't worry about gaining back weight. Swimming is also an excellent low impact cardio workout. And, hey, if you want me to detail some swimming strokes and yoga moves for you, feel free to email me.

Unknown said...

oh, I really hope you heal soon enough to do the 5K. I'm sorry about the half, that's such a bummer! Good for you for keeping at working out though, no matter what you have to do.

Anonymous said...

Ah geez. Not being able to run is the worst. I have some really bad ankle problems (I probably shouldn't be trail running). The longest time I went without running was like two months to actually let myself heal.. it was worth it even though it sucked at the time.

Have you thought about weight training? It burns fat like crazy and you would be maintaining muscle.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're hurt! I tore my Achilles Tendon in my right leg a few years back and was in one of those snazzy boots for 4 1/2 months... I also had to bow out of a half marathon (training is what did it) so I know how you feel, and I am sorry you are going through the whole injury thing. And I also run an aquatics department and swim all the time. I promise you the lifeguards aren't staring at you (or judging). Swimming is my running. You just might end up loving it!

Elizabeth @ livingrunningcooking said...

Injuries are just stressful... these is just no way around it. I have an on and off battle with my IT band. It really sucks. But, I have learned to love other forms of exercise through it... strength training and yoga are my favorites. I think the biggest thing with injuries is to just accept it, figure out what happened, and do what the doctor says! I am so glad you found a practice that you like.


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