Also this blog has been quiet because I’ve been busy brooding over being injured, but the good news is that the foot is feeling pretty good except for some mild bouts of soreness. I can walk without the boot without pain for short distances. Going back to the podiatrist tomorrow to get fitted for orthotics as well as some more laser therapy. While I don’t feel ready to run yet, hopefully he will have some good news about when I can get back on it. I’m hoping for this all to be behind me by the end of the month.
My friends indiscriminately refer to races as “marathons”
No matter how many times I explain the different distances.
One of our friends is running the LA marathon on Sunday and we are going to support him.
One of them just turned to me and said, “I’m surprised you didn’t want us to come and support you when you did your marathon"
….it was a 5k.
I explained the difference between running 3.1 miles and 26.2 miles. Namely, 23.1 miles.
To which another friend chimed in, “they both sound impressive to me!”
to celebrate my unexpectedly good prognosis, here’s a weird video of my foot convulsing during laser therapy.
Got the Foot Checked Out
I got to the podiatrist today expecting the worst, but actually got way better news than I was expecting.
First off, no stress fracture. So that’s a huge load off my mind. I do however have pretty severe tendinitis that’s causing some nasty swelling and keeping me off my feet.
Apparently I have “somewhat fallen arches” meaning my feet are not quite flat, but pretty close. So there goes my ballet career. But apparently that also explains my shin splints. He said that I’ve likely been this way my whole life, there was just never a reason for it to be pointed out (which seems a little strange because I was a very active kid and had a pretty nasty recurring case of Sever’s, but c’est la vie.)
The good news is that orthotics will likely correct for the problem and keep me fighting fit to train for more races at longer distances. Does the word “orthotics” make me feel like I’m 85? Yeah, a little. But it’s worth it if I can get through this bout of injuries and go back to joyful, healthy running.
As for my current pain, he did several rounds of laser therapy to help reduce the swelling and minimize some of the pain and gave me an injection of traumeel, which is a homeopathic alternative to cortisone (and is apparently sold in a gel which is a great addition to your running kit for helping speed up the healing of sore or tweaked muscles.) I can start phasing out the boot on Sunday and slowly move back into normal activity. Next week I’ll go back and get fitted for orthotics and we will start talking about when I’ll be able to run again.
So this is a definite bump in the road, but it’s way less severe than I’d feared which is really fantastic news.
The Post I’ve Been Dreading
On Saturday night cooling down from my long run, I felt so good that I was inclined to take a post-run selfie, which would be very out of the ordinary for me. Instead, in that spirit in a moment of intense appreciation and pride for what I had just accomplished, I snapped the above photo of my tired legs. It didn’t end up in my run recap post, but I kept it anyway for posterity.
The photo seems so ironic now because, less than 48 hours later, my legs look more like this:
Just a few minutes after writing that run recap I was stretching and icing some little aches and sore muscles from the run when I developed a searing pain along the outside of my left foot. I iced it, hoping it was just a little tweak or irritation and went to bed.
I woke up on Sunday barely able to walk, found myself in the ER and was tentatively diagnosed with a stress fracture and sent home with a flat soled shoe. Today the pain was only getting worse and walking was absolute murder, so I went into the health center and was given the boot along with a referral to a podiatrist who specializes in treating dancers and runners (and apparently is always strategically positioned at a medic station in the last few miles of the LA marathon because he’s especially adept at patching up hurting runners enough to finish the race.)
Now that I can walk with some functionality and a manageable amount of pain the running implications are sinking in more. Things have been going so well and I was so relieved that I was finally out of the woods that this setback really hurts. I’m just really upset about the whole thing. Especially because once again this is a “your fault” kind of injury. And I keep getting “well you overdid it” and “this is why you shouldn’t run” type comments and it’s really frustrating because I’m fully aware that none of my friends have run 130 miles in four months and none of them are hobbling around in a boot right now. But I also know they’re not as fit as me. They don’t get that source of stability. They don’t get that sense of pride. And it kills me but I have had moments over the past two days where I’ve wondered if this really is my body trying to tell me that I’m just not cut out to do this. That I can follow all the truisms and train conscientiously and listen to my body and still end up with an injury because I “overdid it”.
What really kills me is that I didn’t feel any pain during the run. None. At the end of the 6 miles I was actually considering going further because I felt good. The idea of foot pain never crossed my mind, not in that run or in any of the runs leading up to it. And here I am with a stress fracture.
So I’m upset but doing my best to stay positive. In a day or two once the swelling has gone down a little and I’m feeling more myself I’ll put some time in on the stationary bike. And then I’ll just have to see what the podiatrist says and hope I can get back out there soon.
“Good things come slow, especially in distance running.”
– Bill Dellinger (via runningfurtherfaster)
10k Countdown Run 2: Long Run Edition
Tonight, alone on the road with tired legs and cold sweat as the Southern California fog descended around me, I became a 10ker. My legs were heavy from the start and it was a fight, but I knew I had to do it. It ended up being one of my slowest runs ever, but I just had to embrace it and focus on the distance.
Once I hit mile 3 it got easier, if for no other reason than that it didn’t feel like I had an insurmountable distance left to cover. I had a GU shot which I had grabbed as an afterthought on my way out in mile 4 which I was really glad for.
The last part of the run was actually way easier than the first. Once I passed 5 it was clear that this was going to happen and by the time I hit 6 I had enough of a second wind that I actually felt like I could have gone further than the 10k.
But anyway, my legs will be very happy for the rest day tomorrow (and maybe Monday depending on how I feel) then I’ll do some shorter distances through the week and focus on staying loose and healthy to race on Saturday.
Feeling accomplished, tired, and very very hungry,
I ordered 2 different colored rolls of kt tape at the exact same time. This is how they came. Wut.
10k Countdown Run 1
Altering my plan on the first day, I was reminded tonight of a coach I had in high school who used to joke that no matter what he threw at me I always wanted to change something- not necessarily to make it easier or harder, just to do something different.
But anyway, I didn’t manage my time very well tonight so I ended up going out knowing I didn’t have time to get in the 5.5 I had scheduled. I figured I would do the 3 I had scheduled for Sunday and rearrange accordingly, but once I got going I realized 2 things: 1 was that there were a lot more people on campus than usual at this time so running was pretty unpleasant and 2 more importantly I still had the 5 from Wednesday on my legs. So I decided to just do one easy mile to loosen up my legs then follow it up with some stretching and a little bit of strength.
So today was essentially a rest day, then I’ll do another long run tomorrow or Sunday. That will be at least 5.5, but if I’ll see how I feel in the moment about doing a full 6. Then I’ll have more days to do a gentler taper before the race which, based on how my legs are feeling today will be good. Could I do 6 right now? Yeah, probably. But I don’t want to go into a race that is already a push for me tired. I’d rather have a lower mileage week and be fresh on Saturday.
So loose plan, but mostly just going with the flow. The only real goal is to be fresh and confident by Saturday. And maintain some level of confidence in my sanity.