The Injury

22 Sep

So, I haven’t written for awhile, again. Sorry about that guys, I do love you all. And I’ve been trying to keep up with most of your blogs. I’ll do a catch-up post later in the week and then hopefully we’ll be back on track. And I promise to return tomorrow with ‘Fess It Up Friday. But first I have some crappy, crappy news to share.

I’ve been dealing with a recurring case of shin splints over the past few weeks. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I’ve dealt with shin splints on many previous occasions. I knew the drill. Ice, stretch, ibuprofen, rest days in between running, etc. I kept running. I did my 16-miler, I did my shorter weekly runs. I even tackled a hill run which I haven’t done for awhile.

That hill run was last Thursday. Last Thursday was the last time I ran. Over the weekend the pain in my right shin got worse. I woke up Saturday with a sore throat and a runny nose. No big deal, I’ll delay my 18-miler until Monday. I thought it was also give my shin a chance to rest. The pain get worse. It hurt when I walked, it hurt when I flexed my foot. It hurt when I stood around. I tried to think back, to remember if I had bashed into any large object (it’s not unusual, I am extremely klutzy), but I couldn’t recall anything that might be causing this pain.

On Monday I finally gave in and went to urgent care. The doctor was nice enough but totally useless. He prescribed me painkillers told me he thought it was probably a sprain, and asked me three times if I could remember running into something. Then he did the smartest thing he could have and wrote me a referral to a sports doctor.

Yesterday I went to the sports doctor. I knew what was coming but it hurt so much all the same. The doctor took x-rays, asked questions, felt around and then broke the news as nicely as she could. No running for at least a month, probably 6 weeks, and almost certainly no marathon, unless I wanted to do serious damage to myself.

I’m essentially in between shin splints and a stress fracture. Her words were, “You’re basically a run or two away from a stress fracture.” She told me I could cycle and swim, I could continue to lift weights, but only upper-body stuff. No elliptical and absolutely no running. If the pain is gone in 3 weeks then I can start using the elliptical. Return in 3 weeks for a follow-up and to discuss recovery strategy.

I made it through the rest of the appointment without crying. I asked questions and nodded my head and said I understood, but I was holding back tears the entire time.

As soon as I left the office I started to cry. At the receptionist desk I had tears streaming down my face while I handed over my credit card for the co-pay. I walked to my car and sat and bawled my eyes out for a good 20 minutes. I finally got my shit together and drove myself home where I sat on the couch and did nothing all afternoon.

The pity party won’t last. By nature I’m an optimistic and happy person, and in a few days I’ll have dealt with the news, I’ll get over. I’ll realize that as long as I continue to work-out through the healing process I’ll be able to come back as a stronger and smarter runner. But right now it hurts. I am completely crushed.

Eighteen months ago I was basically a couch potato. I wasn’t overweight, but I was on my way, I hated the way I looked, I felt awful all the time. So I decided to change. Eighteen months ago I couldn’t run for longer than a minute at a time. Now, I’ve completed three half-marathons, nine races and I was WEEKS away from my very first marathon.

I have poured my heart into training for the Marine Corps Marathon. I’ve trained through rain and heat waves and hurricanes. I ran 14-miles on a freaking treadmill during a hurricane. I’ve turned down invite after invite to go out so I could go to bed early on Friday night to wake-up for my long run on Saturday. I’ve ingested more peanut butter and pretzels than a normal person should. I’ve paid through the nose for shoes and fuel and practice races. I asked more of my body than I probably should have and it delivered again, and again and again. But not this time.

And so, with two long runs left to complete in my marathon training I’m dropping out. I’ll defer my entry to 2012. I know there will be other races, other marathons even, I’m young and healthy and will have plenty of opportunities. But to have come so close to crossing that finish line at the end of 26.2 miles and to have to quit now is breaking my heart. In the grand scheme of things this is not the bad, and I know that, logically, but it hurts all the same.


8 Responses to “The Injury”

  1. Sarah September 22, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    I know you have been working your ass off and this injury couldn’t have came at a wose time, but you will have many chances to cross the finish line of another marathon…. healthy!

    Plus on the upnote, it sounds like you have fallen in love with running πŸ™‚

  2. Victoria (District Chocoholic) September 22, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    This is crappy. I’m sorry.

  3. Coach Brian September 22, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    So, I assume you’re not running Ragnar either?

  4. Liz (@RestonStyle) September 22, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    I’m sorry that you’re not allowed to run the MCM! I actually had a stress fracture at the beginning of my running career (about 4 month in) that kept me from running for 8 week! I would highly suggest getting a float belt and aqua jogging! You can do up to 60% of your mileage in the water!! πŸ™‚

    Hope you feel better!! And maybe you can volunteer for the MCM to still be part of the event!! πŸ™‚

  5. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas September 22, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    I’m so sorry you’re not able to do MCM this year. I hope you heal up even stronger than you were and come back and kick MCM’s butt next year.

  6. Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland September 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Oh no! I am so sorry this happened to you! I had awful stress fractures in both my shins sophomore year of college. It was terrible. I hope your legs heel quickly!! I didn’t follow my doctor’s orders and my stress fractures ended up getting worse – like 6 months no running worse! Take it easy and hopefully you will be running again very soon!!

  7. Liz October 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I was in your exact position in February 2010. I was 3 weeks from my first marathon and was diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture. I know it sucks A LOT right now, but trust me when I say you will run a marathon one day. I can look back at that time now and think how it made me appreciate being able to run.

  8. Erin October 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    I am totally behind on blog reading so I’m just reading this now – ugh! I’m so sorry! Expectations and excitement being ruined over something happening to your body is the worst feeling. Thinking of you and hoping you’re recovery is going well!

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