Crawling Out from Under the Injury Rock

Oh hi! Remember me? Yes, it’s the injured runner.

Injured?! You heard it right. If you follow me on Twitter you would’ve found out about 2 weeks ago, but since I’m horrible with blogging lately you’re finding out right now.

Since the end of August I just haven’t felt right. However, I still managed to grab 3rd in my AG at the Altamont 5K on August 25th. I wanted to PR since this is my home turf and I never in a million years would’ve thought I’d place. While I had been having some nagging pains in my lower right leg for about a week prior, it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t manage with stretching, icing, and compressing. Running to and from the race plus the race itself allowed me to get 6 miles in that day (was supposed to do 6 @ MGP but figured the 5K pace of 8:16 made up for that) and 9 the day after. And that was it. Just like that I was DONE.

I managed two additional, painful short runs later that week and I knew something was horribly wrong. I was favoring my right leg and every single muscle hurt, not to mention my shin was ON FIRE. As a result, I immediately made an appointment with a local sports medicine physician on August 30.

It wasn’t good news. He looked concerned and I choked back tears in his office (such a wimp I am) when he told me it was a tibial stress fracture in the upper portion of the bone. It was mild, but I would have to wear a boot and see him again on September 20. Absolutely no running – only cycling and swimming (“You mean I can’t run?! Not even a LITTLE running??”). Per his orders, there would be no Saratoga Palio half marathon on September 16, no Ragnar Relay September 28-29, and no Mohawk Hudson half marathon on October 7 which is where I desperately wanted to come in under 2 hours (so close last year with a time of 2:01). While he didn’t rule out Philly, we will reassess on the 20th.

New state-of-the-art running boot. And yes, I have thought of ways I can actually run with this thing on.

And, just like that my fall racing prospects were blown completely out of the water. This sucks, is all I kept thinking. But after 2 days of being a miserable wretch I snapped myself out of it and just hopped on my bike and started ticking off the miles.

Of course, we never plan to get injured and I’m seeing this as a giant wake up call. While it feels like the worst breakup in the world (seeing other runners is like listening to Taylor Swift’s songs about failing relationships – depressing) it’s only temporary. I’m using this time to get reacquainted on the bike which I can foresee leading to a duathlon in 2013. My main concern is getting back into the swing of things in time for Philly (hopefully) and if I’m not ready for the full, I will run the half against my will. And, if that plan doesn’t pan out, there’s always some redemption seeking at Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans in February. For now, I’m putting my big girl pants on and ladying up!

Have you ever had a running injury? How long did you last before going insane? Any tips on how to integrate your running routine/mileage back into your life post-injury?


6 thoughts on “Crawling Out from Under the Injury Rock

  1. I can relate some. The day after my first ever half is when I started having issues due to cellulitis. I didn’t run for 2.5 weeks. I was FINALLY able to run a little last week and felt normal. THEN, I sprained my ankle during the obstacle course race. So once again, no running. (bangs head against wall) I start going crazy as soon as I realize I can’t run but the symptoms of my craziness progressively get worse. haha! Unfortunately my displeasure soon starts driving my husband crazy also.

    I’m thinking of you and really hoping your body heals up quick.

  2. I hurt my knee in mid July doing a mud run in Philly. When it didn’t get any better after a week off, I saw my doctor. I lost about 3 weeks from my training plan for the MCM in October. I started PT 2 days a week and incorporated bicycling into my plan to take some stress off my knee. Fortunately, it was early enough in my training that I’ve had time to catch up. I’m also thinking about doing some duathlons now that I’ve gotten back in my bike.

    Good luck!

  3. Oh no 🙁 I didn’t realize you were injured! I’m so sorry!

    I was injured right after our first half marathon and it drove me nuts immediately. I pushed it and then DNF the Stockade-athon, so you definitely need to ease back into it.

    I hope you are able to still run your marathon!

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