Ok, so yeah, I have been so slacking in this blog thing. Honestly, I really have no excuse. For the handful of those who email subscribe, follow on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and follow on Instagram....... thanks for hanging around! Much love to you guys! XOXO
***sigh*** lots of catching up to do!!!!! As many of you are aware or have figured out, I did not run the Albany marathon. Training seemed to go extremely well until the last 4 weeks!
The beginning of my rapidly fraying rope....
Training was going so well!!!! I was checking off all my training runs and making paces! I was literally awaiting something to happen. I was walking around on egg shells. I hoped that I would not get sick..... in retro spect, maybe getting sick would have been a great thing.... I mean... one would be better after about a week... then back to training.
Then...... I started to have this tightness in my right hamstring. Something that I have had problems with in the past. I was able to keep running. Then, about 4 weeks out, I started with calf tightness! A tightness that I have never experience before. About a week later, the tightness turned to pain!!!!!! I was able to run one day, and then literally the next day, the pain stopped me in my tracks!!!!!! I would do the proper warm up by walking and stretching, but as soon as i started to run (actually jog), the pain in my calf would make me hobble. I would hobble for about a tenth of a mile, and then I could run. However, I would periodically feel a pressure sensation like someone taking their thumb and pressing on my calf. I could run through it. The following week, there would be running fine one day, only to have to skip the next 1-2 days because of the calf pain. This is when I ended up stretching more than I was running, foam rolling, going to chiropractor, getting massage, and finally a trip to ORTHO specialist.
Not PMS after all.......
I really thought I was experiencing, what I like to call PMS (PRE-MARATHON SYNDROME). Yeah, I have always been told about about how right before running a marathon, and especially with tapering, that you experience all these pains you haven't ever noticed. It is like you become hypersensitive to every little thing!!!! Perhaps, one starts to over-analyze every little sensation. Like my coach has said, you even can tell "when a single hair is out of place."
Well, a trip to Ortho verified that I was not suffering from PMS at all! The doctor was concerned about a stress fracture. I did not feel I had a stress fracture.... as a Nurse Practitioner, I had already had my husband help me do the tests for that.... all NEGATIVE! Even when the Ortho Doc performed the tests..... NEGATIVE! But, the doctor pushed to have a MRI performed to rule out a tibial stress fracture. I saw the Ortho on a Thursday and actually refused the MRI that was recommended........ that was all until on the following Saturday, I awoke with pain to my shin area and a bruise!!!!!!!! First thing Monday, I called the ORTHO and said that I was now willing to have MRI performed! And, so I did.
If you area thinking "how can you go against a doctor's recommendation?" Let me give a little bit of some back ground information........ A few years back, I had to have a MRI of my C-spine (neck). I was scheduled for an Open MRI. At the time of the MRI, the tech moved me into the MRI machine, and I didn't last 30 seconds! I was like, what the heck?! I have never been claustrophobic in the past! Then, we tried again.... NOPE!!!! I immediately told him I needed to be brought out!!!! The tech was very patient. He offered a cloth for my eyes...... whoa, this was maybe good in theory, but holy crap...... I don't even think I was all the way in the MRI machine before stating that I needed to come out. The open MRI was much more closed than I thought! The cloth really freaked me out, and I couldn't even bring my arms to remove it! There would be a couple more tries.....and, then the sweet tech recommended coming back medicated! HA! HA! And, I agreed. I was sooooooooooo incredibly embarrassed! I mean, for goodness sake, I am a health care provider that orders these kind of tests! Much respect for my patients that make it through an MRI. I did finally make it through the MRI.... medicated of course. And, not just medicated.... now, for the really embarrassing part.... my previous boss (who is actually a dear friend of mine..... maybe more like family) went with me..... okay, she drove me too! LOL! She literally stayed in the MRI room and talked to me the entire time! And, when I say she was in the MRI room..... she was not behind the partition glass... she was in the room!!!!!! Andddddddd, the tech would tell me when each section of the MRI was completed and when the next one would start---- even told me how many minutes to expect! Roll your eyes, laugh at me, think I am crazy.... but, I am only being transparent about this! The MRI showed a large herniated disc pressing on my spinal cord.... yeah... so, it was only surgery for me! No physical therapy was going to be of any help. I had to rock quite the neck brace after surgery (see below). I had been having pain to my right upper extremity from the nerve being compressed.... the weakness to my right arm and not being able to brush my hair made me pay attention. None-the-less, this is way I hesitated on the MRI recommendation. Come to find out, I didn't even have to go all the way into the MRI machine. Therefore, I made it through without being medicated! BOOM!
Incidental Problem found.....
Yeah, so the MRI showed a marrow edema (swelling) which indicates medial tibial stress syndrome grade 2 (I will do a separate post on the different grades later- this post is already kind of lengthy)..... guess you could simply say a really bad shin splint. Ortho said that I was on my way to a possible stress fracture! So, no.... I don't think that the right hamstring and calf thing was directly related to MRI findings..... I do believe that everything works out for a reason. If I had not had the pain I was experiencing that prevented me from even trying to run, I would have probably never realized what was going on in my tibial area. So, maybe an incidental finding, but one that needed to be found! Very grateful for this!!!!!! 6 weeks of no running and I should be able to ease back.
It is all about Prespective.....
Injuries do suck! I won't pretend that they don't.... but honestly, you must have perspective. Yes, I trained hard! Yes, my running improved beyond what I would have expected. Yes, my marathon chance to PR (personal record) was ripped away..... but, come on! There are many people dealing with chronic medical conditions that don't allow them to be physically active. I am blessed to know that I will return to running or at least staying active. Anddddd, there area so many positives:
*with 6 weeks on my hands, I can focus on my weak areas which happen to be my arms and core...... this will only be a big benefit when I return to running Also, more stretching time! Maybe I will be able to touch my toes again! LOL!
*I can still maintain cardio work outs with biking and other low impact activities
*Yes, trying for my goal marathon time was taken away, but there are other races!! That is the beauty! There is always another race! Look at Shalane, she backed out of Boston only to go on and win the NYC marathon!!!!!!!!
*Lastly, I can get back to blogging. In fact, I will be able to outline things I would like to talk about and discuss........
So, there you go....... not the end of the world! Let me tell you, it was a big decision to back out. It was a really hard decision! However, above all else, I DID NOT want to gain an injury that would make my return to running even longer! I have had some question if I was having too much outside pressure.... I do want to say, this was not the case. Trust me, I don't give a crap about what people think about me and my running status! I am not seeking to qualify for the Olympics. My running is MY journey!!! I am the only one on this Journey and it will always be that way! That is why this blog is titled "My Time Runner".... I run at my time (pace) ..... I am in no competition with anyone! No one should be made to feel insecure of their running..... we made not all run the same pace, but we are all runners!
I have said it before, the beauty of running is that you can feel like a ROCK star by just achieving a PR (personal record) or accomplishing a goal that you thought was too far out of reach! Running in many ways parallels life..... in life, there are set backs prior to big accomplishments.... there area people who are truly in your corner as well as those who want to secretly see you fail... there are days that running brings so much joy, but other days when running (as Kara Goucher said) "will break your heart." In the end though, it is faith and all heart that keeps you looking forward and not looking back!!!!!!!
I will be honest that the break from running has been welcomed... I haven't missed it as much as I thought I would..... maybe that is because I know running will always be there.... I will have to ease back once cleared by Ortho. I plan to change up training a bit and really looking into heart rate training..... reading up on it now! Excited for the future!!!!! My birthday is Sunday and I have asked for a heart rate chest strap monitor...... so, until I return back to running.... I will be studying this heart rate thing..... :)
More soon....... Until Later........... XOXO
Ever had an injury stripped you have trying for a specific goal?
MRI? Ever had one? Did you get claustrophobic?
Heart rate training? On board with it? Or. not really interested?