Running when injured is stupid.
The doctor told me yesterday at my first follow up appointment that I was healing appropriately. In fact, X-rays also confirmed I had a small stress fracture and it was healing. My stress fracture appeared on the X-ray! The doctor had to squint a few times through his glasses but it was there. Personally, I couldn’t see anything except that I had a foot and that is had been x-rayed …but once again that is a reason I’m not a doctor.
He said if everything heals appropriately then I could be running in early October (Roughly 6 weeks after the initial “break”). I jokingly said I would go run today, rebreak my foot or worse (and a high possibility )shatter the bone. Then in two weeks I could confuse him more when I came in and my foot was more broken and required surgery.
Just kidding, I have no interest to do that and running while injured is not worth it to me. I said this yesterday but I have nothing to train for. My race schedule is as cleared as someone who doesn’t run. I don’t need (or want) to run injured and force a fast recovery only to get more injured later on.
Call me old fashioned, just plain old, or paranoid but I see no benefits to running in pain and running while injured anymore. (Working hard pain is different…but that’s really not fun either)
First, you are not going to enjoy running when you are in a lot of pain. I do not enjoy anything when every step is painful. How on earth is that fun? You are forced to think about the pain you are in, not how much you are enjoying the run.
Second, you are probably slowing your pace if you are running while nursing an injury. You can’t run your normal pace when you are in pain. So is the run helping you the way a pain free run is? No…you probably aren’t preserving that much fitness.
Third, the more you run on an injury (especially a stress fracture) the worse it will probably get. A small stress fracture (as I have now) will only get worse if you run mediocre and painful runs on it. You are running in pain, slow as molasses while not preserving much fitness and causing your body to require more time to heal. If you don’t slowly make the injury worse by running on it, you run the risk of shattering the bone.
So an injury that takes a month to heal (in my case) would now take 6+ months and possible surgery.
So say you need surgery to get a shattered bone fixed? Wouldn’t you still have to take around a month off of absolutely everything in the end anyways? So taking a month off now and not worrying about it, would save about 5 months of painful running (that’s my logic).
Running while injured is stupid and pointless. It has taken me a few tries (tries of being injured?) to get to this point but I’m here. When I was in college, I believed the collegiate races at the end of season were going to define me…they haven’t. Not showing up to Wineglass because I’m two days recovered from a stress fracture won’t define me. In fact, no athletics can truly define you because your life is not a one race definition.
Unless you are in the highest tier of elite athletes (or a college scholarship athlete), the chances are you aren’t getting paid to run. Running doesn’t your bills and not running isn’t going to cause you to be unable to survive in the real world. The world moves on while you rest and recover from an injury. You move on while you rest and recover. Once you are recovered, you begin training again and in a couple of months (or faster) you are back to training regularly.
Maybe I’ve become a paranoid old woman but I enjoy this rest time. I enjoy finding hobbies that don’t lead to surgery.
Question for you: Do you train while injured? If you don’t train through injuries, what do you spend your time doing?
I feel like the past 3 months I have written the month of training didn’t go as planned. This month was no exception. Another reason I’ve accepted I’m injured is because I haven’t had any solid months that I’m happy with. You know what they say…if at first you don’t succeed…
try again… or change…or just get injured and rest.
That being said I’ll still continue to document my training and plans. My month started out really well. I got over my arch injury from July and began to slowly up my miles. I was running solid base miles again and slowly progressing into longer runs. I had cross trained so I started with 20 miles and then hovered between 30-40. I felt fine and running completely injury free.
Paces: All untimed except my 5:50 mile.
Longest runs: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Shortest run: 1 mile
I did one race the entire month of August and that was a mile race. To be honest, I felt slow and like I hadn’t raced in a while (which was 100% true and 100% fine). In August all my runs were injury free. I had so many glimmers of hope to actually run my fall marathon. Then on August 22, I woke up with serious pain in my foot, My foot was swollen and bruised. It was the weirdest thing and still is the weirdest thing. Needless to say from August 22-for at least 5 weeks, I will not be running.
After getting several tests done, I was diagnosed with a minor stress fracture in my foot. It’s a little bit worse than a stress reaction but not quite a “full blown” stress fracture. Not the absolute worst news but still a big deal.
So needless to say I took an entire week off. I joined a pool to actually swim only to find out the pool was closed the week I joined. So I’ll end up attempting to swim today (attempting being the key word…if you don’t see a post tomorrow you know why ;)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really upset I have a stress fracture but there are worse things in life. I have other hobbies and activities that don’t include running and I can catch up on them.
I’ve actually kept relatively busy between working and hanging out with friends. The less I’m in the house right now, the better I seem to be. So I’m always willing to hang out or grab dinner or something.
So what are my goals for September?
To continue to recover. I’ll swim when I find the time but I’m also working a lot so I won’t have a lot of extra time (or energy). I’m very happy about working a lot honestly, I would rather work and stay busy doing other things. My fitness is something that can be gained back when I am healthy, however, pushing it too quickly is going to further injure me.
The month of September will be a “down” month for me while I recover. I plan to do some strength training, swimming and whatever doesn’t hurt (when I have time). So in reality I’m setting myself up for success and having a good month of training. I’m not doing anything painful or any “serious” workouts but I am finding nonstrenuousness activity to eat up a little bit of my time.
Finally, thank you to my two blog sponsors Injinji and Mike (from Fitness Pal). Both are great products that I use regularly (before they sponsored LOLZ). They both allow me to blog freely without paying for a domain and upgraded wordpress, ect. I’m glad I found two products that I personally use that are willing to sponsor LOLZ, that’s like hitting the lottery.
Questions for you:
How was your month of August?
What are your plans for Labor Day today?
Last week I posted about having a possible stress fracture. I was pretty postive due to the nature of the feeling and my doctor’s remarks that I had a stress fracture. His remarks were: Although it hasn’t shown up on the X-ray, I’m confident you have a stress fracture so we will do more tests.
Since I woke up in this pain (I never felt any pain while running) I had some sort of hope it was just a bruise. On a side note I really did wake up on the wrong side of the bed last Friday.
My X-ray last week came out clean. No abnormalities. My doctor and I were still confident that I had a stress fracture so he ordered some more tests. It was more difficult since I had just had both an X-ray and an MRI on my other foot.
Long introduction short after getting some more indepth tests done, I do have a second metatarsal stress fracture. I thought I was being careful coming back from my arch problem last month (other foot). I didn’t start running until I felt good so I wasn’t overcompensating. I didn’t up my miles to fast and the only speed work I did in the last two months was a 1 mile road race.
Last Friday was the first day I felt the pain my foot. I literally just woke up in a lot of pain. My previous run on Thursday felt fine. At work the previous day I told my coworker I planned to race in a Labor Day 5k since I was injury free.
But I do have a minor stress fracture and no amount of questioning is going to heal my bones any faster. (but a bone stimulator will…hint hint…)
I have deffered my fall marathon. I don’t plan to do any fall marathons. I don’t know if I plan to do any spring marathons. The only one I would really consider would be Shamrock in VA Beach…but who knows my recovery rate.
Or maybe I’ll wait even longer, marathons are abundant and I like the half marathon better.
Shockingly, I didn’t cry when the doctor told me “You have a stress fracture”. I thought I would. I don’t really even feel sorry for myself. I don’t really know how to feel. I feel like when you are too shocked to really know what to think. Almost like when a relationship is ended so abruptly you are still in the processing phase.
If I was having a great training cycle, I would feel more mental pain. The fact is I wasn’t having a confident cycle and my body probably just needed more rest and time away from running. I never had any terrible runs but since April I haven’t had any runs that really stuck out to me either. It was just meh.
Being injured stinks and I’m not happy about it (at all) but at the same time my life is not over and I will keep moving on. In November and December, (knock on wood) I should be running again. Hopefully I’ll be running happy and with a new found (from my long lost) passion. While I’m upset I’m not devestated. It’s more obnoxious because it’s harder to walk (at the pace I would like too).
So what is my recovery timeline looking like?
I’m currently 10 days into recovery. If I heal appropriately it will be between 4-6 weeks to heal. It’s not a full break, in fact it’s not bad break at all. Two days ago I stopped taking any pain meds. I could be running again by early to mid October (running being a mile or two). I won’t be running any sort of consistent mileage until November. This is all reliant on healing appropriately though.
Finally, what has my training been like since being injured? (The point of this post…)
Since Sunday’s are my normal training post this is easy enough: I haven’t done anything since last Friday. I joined a pool only to find out the pool was closed for rennovations until next week. I’ll get into the pool next week. I guess I could have just written that paragraph and had the shortest “training” post ever.
Questions for you:
Have you ever had a second metatarsal stress fracture? Or stress fracture in general? What are your healing secrets?
What is an activity you like to do outside of working out?
How does one recap a mile? It takes you longer to type a mile race recap then to type it. I’ve done the mile a couple of times all down here. While this was my slowest time (and slower than I’ve taken some 5-10ks out in), I raced a hard mile without my arch or anything bothering me.
I consider it my most successful.
My future father in law Paul as well as my dad and I, all headed down to the race. I got to the race and was happy to see of all my friends. I wish I had been able to talk to more people but time got away from me and I needed to warm up. Kellie and I went for a 2.5 mile warm up around the track. I’ve always known I need to warm up more for shorter races. For half marathons I warm up nothing while 1 mile races I need at least 2-4 miles.
After warming up Kellie (Who won overall!) , we lined up in our sub 6 minute heat.
I went into the race with two goals:
- To finish with no arch pain (I have been doing decent mileage with longer runs having no pain so the last item in the check box was a “speed” workout…or race).
- To hopefully break 6 minutes. I would be lying if I wouldn’t be somewhat upset if I didn’t break 6.
In the sub 6 minute heat there were 3 females (Kellie, myself and a 6 year girl). I took my rightful spot in the back. Then we were off!
I ran on the inside right behind Kellie the entire race.
Lap 1 thoughts: Wow, that was a blur…on to lap 2.
Lap 2: thoughts: OMG we still have two more laps…so painful.
Lap 3: You go on without me Kellie in an overly dramatic I might peel over type of way(as she pulls away).
Lap 4: OMG breathing is so hard. Running is so hard. Everything is so hard. Wait is the clock really under 6 minutes? Kick Hollie, kick! Throwback to trying to pass the gym class mile.
Crossing the line: Thank god that’s over with. Does my foot hurt? No. I am alive? Yes. Okay, success.
After the 1 mile, you have the option to do a “random relay”. They assign you a team based on lottery. You could be with the high school stud or walkers but no one cares because it’s all in good fun. Why this couldn’t be like high school gym class….I don’t know. Anyways I was lucky that my team was all my friends! We nicknamed our team 2F@st2BSlOW (ha). We ended up getting second overall. Everyone does a 400 (1 lap around the track).
So as I said before this race was one of the most succcessful races I’ve had all year. It confirmed that my foot is feeling better and it doesn’t hurt while racing fast. I’m hoping it’s the gateway to race a 5k, then 10k, then half…then Wineglass…HA! All in all I had a great time and it feels even better to actually be able to post a race recap.
Questions for you:
Have you ever raced a mile?
I’ve only ever done this one. It’s never worked out that I’ve been in a PRing shape (or what I feel is my highest fitness mile shape). I think I’m capable or running a 5:20.
I normally begin writing my training posts on Monday. Each day I fill in my workout and then glance over it the morning before. It’s just easier for that way and I feel more motivated to actually talk about my training. However, life got in the way this week and I never recorded anything. Now I’m sitting here trying to remember how long I did run for. All I remember from this week is that I ran 100% injury free.
But here I am on Sunday am (killing a bit of time) before my long run. I had no idea how this week of training would go. Last weekend I ran my longest run, then immediately after I was rushed to get to work. Work was extremely busy and I found myself on my feet for another few hours. As I said on Friday, running is a 24-7 sport so I found myself more tired that evening and sore (versus if I had laid around the entire day). Long story short I was extremely exhausted.
On Monday morning I expected my arch to be in a lot of pain. I had essentially spent 10 hours (including my long run) on my feet…but on Monday morning I woke up with no arch pain. My arch pain left as mysterious as it came. 0% I planned a rest day on Monday because it would be dumb not to (after a long run and being so exhausted).
On Tuesday I ran. My foot felt 100% better…the same went for Wednesday-Friday. I knew the real test would be on Saturday. I did my first race since June. The mile race went better than expected. I finished it injury free and in 5:50 (I’ll recap the day on Tuesday. While that is 20 seconds off my PR, I was more than elated to see friends and run injury free.
So where does this take me?
Today I’m going to do a long run (2:30-2:45 in length) and continue to build up my miles. Next weekend I’m hoping to do a 20 miler. If I can continue to run as I have been I don’t see a reason that I cannot do well for myself in the Wineglass Full Marathon.
So in cliffnotes version this is the first week since June I’ve had no nagging, niggles or arch pain. I’m hoping next week will be the second week as I continue to build up my miles.
Edit to add: I did, indeed, have a successful (but hot) long run. Too bad I haven’t done anything else productive since.
Questions for you:
What was your best workout of the week?
When is your favorite time to write blog posts?
I feel like in the last month I have tried every pain relief option I can possibly think of or google (or that has been advised to me). Some have worked and some have not worked. I would rather be proactive and try everything than not try things and wonder.
Something I have been wanted to announce for a few days now is that my foot has felt completely better. I haven’t had any aches, pains or soreness. The only thing I feel is….out of shape. So hopefully this is the beginning of a new chapter or running. I will slowly add miles and hopefully be lucky.
Maybe some will work for you if you ever find yourself in my shoes…maybe not. Since we don’t share the same body (that sounds incredibly awkward) only you can really decide. I still don’t know exactly what was going on in my foot (and at this point probably never will). I knew it was a combination of inflammation in my arch, possible minor plantar fasciitis but no ripped or torn tendons.
What I’ve found that has worked:
- Foam rolling like a boss. Tim foam rolled my legs as well as my plantar fasicia. He has been incredibly supportive and did it nearly every night. (Even nights he has literally flown across the country or to the UK and back). He wins significant other of the month…or just he is extremely good to me. He can get down deeper into my muscles than I can. I found he was able to dig the massage stick deeper into my calves and arches than when I put full body weight onto it.
- Deep Tissue Massages. They are costly but they work a lot to relieve tension and knots in my legs. I truly believe without this I would not be running. In fact I need to schedule another one soon.
- My foot always felt better after stretching. In fact there was’t one time I didn’t feel a 50% improvement (at least) after stretching. Especially in the earlier days, stretching helped a lot.
- Something I haven’t talked about is wearing proper footwear when I’m not running. I’m not one to give up flip flops right now. When my feet aren’t in tennis shoes (for work, running or cross training) I don’t like them in shoes. I purchased a pair of Reef sandals about 2 years ago that have some of the best arch support. Yes, they are more expensive but I also haven’t bought a pair of flip flops in two years. They are the most comfortable flip flops for woman I’ve owned . (These are the updated version to what I own…”The skinny “J-Bay“). A post for another day (I’ve ranted about this too) is that running is one of the few sports you have to take care of yourself (your feet) all the time, not just while running.
What has not worked:
- This time around a cortisone shot did not work. I can’t say I felt any better at all after getting one (or a few days later). It completely cured me last injury.
- Honestly I iced most nights and I didn’t feel any better once the numbness of the ice wore off. The ice felt good directly after icing an effected area but once the numbness wore off, the pain came back,
- I tried hard orthotics (I have extremely high arches) and I felt like they provided no extra support. In fact, my foot felt worse when I did use them. I have taken them out and felt better. The firmness of the actual orthotic hurt.
- Changing my nutrition. A lot of people have said that nutrition and changing it really helped their inflammation. I was all about trying new things….but it did not work for me. (No cherry juice did not decrease inflammation nor did any of the spices, etc.) I feel silly even typing that out now.
It’s still a work in progress but I’m learning to continue
Question for you:
What are you favorite pair of nonathletic shoes?
For me either my reef sandals in the summer time or my UGG boots (I know, I know…I do put inserts into those) in the winter time. When I went to college in Upstate, NY, UGG boots were critical.
Training this past week was interesting to say the least. I had a lot of things going on “outside of actually running” that pretty much controlled my running.
On Monday I got my MRI.
On Tuesday I heard results of my MRI. Also on Monday I got sick so I took both Monday and Tuesday off from any working out. I have no regrets. On another note, I appreciate everyone who is excited for me to run Wineglass. While I would love too, I have not 100% committed to it. I am still taking each day to make sure I am not getting any worse.
|Sunday||Goal: 2:15 minutes run (last week was 2 hours).|
As I said I’m comfortably getting back into running on my own terms. If my foot hurts more, I stop. If it doesn’t hurt, I don’t stop. There will be a time I post my exact mileage and realistically that will be when I know. Like last week, I haven’t been using a watch. I’ll just check the time before I leave, vary my route so I don’t know and then come back when I feel satisfied. Once I get home I look at the flock and see how long I’ve been gone. That gives me an idea but I couldn’t tell you if it was 6.1 or 7.1….it seems to be working well for me.
As you can see it wasn’t that exciting of week. I would have preferred to not have to take two days off from sickness but that’s life. My training has been boring but that is how coming back from any issue, injury, niggle or whatever should be. As I said before,
I am debating running a (The Tidewater Striders) one mile track race. I have done it the past 2 years. It’s a very layed back and fun time. It’s one mile on the track then fun with friends. If I feel up to it I think it would be a nice way to ease back into the racing scene. Past that, I will probably just log easy miles with a possible two and a half hour long run next week. (Depending on how today goes)
I also was able to schedule deep tissue massage number 6 for Tuesday. I had hoped for tomorrow but my lady had no more spots available.
Questions for you:
What is your method and decision process to working out while sick?
Have you ever raced a mile on the track?