Injury Update

This past week has been quite an emotional one, and I apologize to anyone who has been in my path. After the X-Ray didn’t show too much on my tibia, my doctor decided I should get a bone scan done. So Tuesday morning, I headed off to the hospital for part 1 of my scan. I had never done a bone scan before, so I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. But if it was a way to find out what was wrong, then I was on board.

Around 10am I was called back and injected with radioactive dye. I was scanned a few times, and then I was on my way. It was more uncomfortable than painful, but a lot easier than I expected. I was told to come back three hours later for part 2. Because of the inconvenience of the procedure, I ended up taking a vacation day, so with three hours to waste, I did a little shopping. If you’re going to spend a vacation day at the hospital, you should at least make part of it fun, right?

I got back to the hospital around 1:30 for scan number two. This one took longer, and they did a series of shots. I was told that over time, the dye went from my blood, and was now sticking to damaged parts of my bones. Interesting, and weird. I wasn’t given any results that day, but would have my follow up appointment that following Friday.

Surprisingly, the next two days I had very minimal pain, I was hoping that maybe I just needed an extended rest period, and I would be ready to go back to running. Unfortunately, the pain came back on Thursday, and was still present during my appointment Friday. And then, I got the news. My gut was right. Not only did I have a stress fracture in my right tibia, I had two. One in my upper tibia, and one in my lower, both points where I’ve had horrible pulsing pain. And they’re pretty deep too, which doesn’t help. To make matters worse, my left tibia was a bit weak as well. Had I continued to run, it would have been a matter of time before I had a stress fracture there as well. When it rains, it down right pours.

Not what you want to see.

Not what you want to see.

I held it together for the rest of the appointment, but I shed a few tears as I headed into work. Hearing the news of a stress fracture just tears me apart. I’m in new territory here, and can’t be certain how long I’ll be out. I do know that Coastal Delaware Marathon is out though. They still have a half and 9k 😉 Thankfully the doctor understands how much running means to me, and is helping me get back into running in a safe, yet slow timeline. Here’s the projected path of recovering, considering everything goes right.

Week of 1/25 and 2/1: No exercising. Do abs and lift. Check!

Week of 2/8 and 2/15: 15-20 minutes of bike or elliptical, every other day. Continue to do abs and lift.

Week of 2/22 and 2/29: 15-20 minutes of speed walking, every other day. Continue to do abs, lift and bike or elliptical.

Week of 3/7: Run 2 minutes slower than regular pace for 20 minutes, three times a week. Continue to do abs and lift.

Week of 3/14: Run 1 minute slower than regular pace for 20 minutes, three times a week. Continue to do abs and lift.

Week of 3/21: Run regular pace for 20 minutes, three times a week. Continue to do abs and lift.

Week of 3/28 and forward: Increase mileage by 10% only, three times a week. Continue to do abs and lift.

*Subject to change depending on pain.

I’m certainly devastated to be injured. I’ve had every emotion under the sun this week, and sunk down pretty far into a hole of despair Saturday. But I needed to hit bottom, to let my tears out so I can build myself back up. I’m definitely nervous and a little fearful I’ll slip back into injury, but I have to take things slow and learn not to push myself too hard. I’ve had about two years of running injury free, so my time was due. And after 16+ years of running, I can say that I’ve finally had a stress fracture, and I will beat it.


Any tips on recovering from a stress fracture?


Coastal Delaware Marathon Training: Week Six

Well, what can I say about this week. I planned on running 32-25 miles, increasing my long run to 17-18 and spending some quality time with my running shoes. That didn’t quite happen, it was actually the exact opposite. I ended up with 0 miles for this week, and here’s why.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll have random shin pain that really only lasts a day and I try to take the next day off. No big deal, it wasn’t causing harm or making me miss multiple runs. It was just there, and then gone. So after taking a rest day Sunday, I figured by Monday afternoon, the pain would be gone, just like always. But the pain didn’t go away. In fact, it lingered. From a dull ache to a random burst of mild pain, I decided I’d take this past week day by day. Surely after two rest days it would be gone, right?

Nope. Things got worse. When my shin hurt during my entire commute Tuesday morning (45 minutes of driving), I decided to call a doctor. Hoping that since I made an appointment, the pain would go away. That’s typically how it works, fingers crossed.

I had my appointment on Wednesday morning, and the results weren’t great. With symptoms of a stress fracture, we did an X-Ray. Unfortunately, the results didn’t show much, just as expected, with the exception of a minor faint horizontal line near the base of the pain. With what I’m sure was an absolute pathetic look in my eyes, I asked the doctor what we should do. He replied with treat it as a stress fracture and we’ll get some more tests done.

I took the rest of the week off running and will be taking next week off as well. We’re hoping that with two weeks of rest, the pain will be less and I can slowly get back to normal. But here I am, a week later, and I’m still having a decent amount of pain. No biking, no elliptical, no doing anything that will add any more pressure to the leg. But thankfully, no walking boot, at least not yet.

I have a bone scan scheduled for Tuesday morning, which I’m sure will be a delight. And we’ll be following that up with another appointment on Friday to discuss results and what to do next.

I go through moments of no pain at all, thinking that maybe it’s just in my head, to a dull ache, to random bursts of sharp pain. It’s definitely worse after being on my feet for long periods of time and after driving. I’ve never had a stress fracture before, but in my gut, I believe that’s what it is. If it were typical aches and pains, it’d be gone after a few days, but here it is, still lingering, still preventing me from doing what I love. And what keeps me sane.

I’m not exactly sure where training will be going from here. I’m almost 100 percent certain that running the full will be out. Hopefully this is just a minor issue and I’ll be able to get back into training and run the half. This is definitely not where I saw my spring going, mostly because I felt so strong during my runs, and never felt that pain was limiting me. I’m trying to put a positive spin on everything, which has been hard. So for now, I’ll be taking it easy, working on my core, and counting down the days until I can run again.