Recovery Training

This week for recovery seemed to go extremely well.  I feel like my foot has been making really good improvements since we talked last Wednesday.  I had been over thinking my running, my ability and just everything about running.  I was throwing a pity party for one and I think my blog post reflected that.  It seems like every time I post something on my blog, the opposite happens so maybe I should just never post anything again. My last indicated my foot was hopeless and showed no signs of recovery. Since I posted it has been doing a lot better, I feel like a bad version of Katy Perry’s hot and cold song.

All kidding aside, my foot has been feeling a lot better than Wednesday.  Realistically I think the doctor made a mistake and my bone was a lot more damaged then he thought 6 weeks ago. It’s hard to diagnosis anything from an x-ray that shows minimal things on your foot. This seems to be a much more serious injury then previously anticipated. I don’t have anything to race my recovery for, so I would rather spend a few more weeks nursing my foot.

Today is the day of the marathon I was training for, the Wineglass Full.  Am I upset to be missing it?  Of course, but there are more marathons to do. Hopefully I’ll make it to the starting line to one of them soon.  I’m trying not to think about it too much.  I know after my first issue with the arch of my foot, I mentally checked out of the race. On that note, good luck to my good friend Kevin and everyone else running the full marathon.  I would love to see some support for him!

Monday: 1 hour elliptical

Tuesday: 30 minutes AMT/30 minutes strength training

Wednesday: 1 hour AMT

Thursday: Off

Friday: 1 hour elliptical

Saturday: 1 hour AMY.  I wasn’t going to go to the gym on Saturday because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed but I’m glad I ended up going later in the day.

Sunday: 30 minutes AMT/30 minutes strength training

As with all of my weeks during recovery (this is week 6), I have no rhyme or reason for when I go to the gym.  I just go when I feel like it.  I feel no pressure to work out and if happens great, if it doesn’t happen then it means I’m resting.

My plans for next week(workout wise) are to possibly get a short (less than 10  minutes run) on the alter G treadmill. I’m going to ask my doctor more about it but in the research I’ve done, it should be fine. I don’t feel any pain (or anything really) when I walk. I can hop on one foot pretty normally. I feel small twinges but other that am fine. This is similar to how I felt two weeks ago before I went for a full weighted one miler.

I have a doctors appointment on Tuesday so I’m going to see how I’m recovering.  I’m also going to try and schedule a second opinion and new set of eyes.

During week five, I felt like I took three steps backwards.  Week six I feel like I’m making progress in the right direction again.  I’m also planning to get a second opinion on my foot.  I don’t think my doctor was aggressive enough in the beginning.  That being said, I’m a much more cautious runner than a lot of people.  For some people, they might “feel” completely healed.  I can walk normally, jump relatively normally and I only feel small twinges occasionally. I do not feel completely healed. I do believe I will be running by the end of the month though.  Some injuries take longer to heal than others.  It’s important for me to take a step back and realize that I am recovering well. Typing this out I feel like I’m walking myself through that process. I feel like I’m reflecting on my foot and how I’m recovering. I am making progress, it’s just slower then I would have liked. I started my blog to be able to think out loud with life events and I feel like this post allowed me to do just that.

Questions for you:

Are you a cautious athlete? Do you have a pain tolerance? 

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  1. I’m very cautious – perhaps a little too cautious. If I feel like something is off and different, then I reduce or stop running. One of the big reasons I was able to just take 6 weeks off from a stress fracture and bounce back is because I knew something was up early and just stopped running. It took a month to diagnose the stress fracture too, so while waiting, I did not run. I kind of know the difference between regular old pain and something is wrong pain. I’m not sure of my pain tolerance – I think it’s just regular, I just get worried about getting a bad injury.

  2. I don’t think I’ve been cautious enough. Even before I had any injuries I always pushed to the extreme, right on that edge. I’m learning though.

    Now that you’ve hit that 6 week mark, the recovery will be exponential daily. It’s so hard to have patience, especially when your past goal race is passing, but you are almost there. 2015 is going to be a great running year for you!

  3. I’m really not cautious at all, but need to start being cautious. I’ve paused mid speed workout to take pain pills for stress fractures, and raced with stress fractures. Then couldn’t even walk after. I know, extremely stupid. That’s with a high pain tolerance. So I’m learnings to be more cautious, but I’m not going to become that runner that skips a run because I’m just a little sore.

    1. We all have our opinions but I see no benefits of running on a stress fracture. It seems so painful and the consequences seem (for me personally) far outweigh any benefits!

  4. Definitely thinking of Wineglass today … first time in 3 years I wasn’t out there. I definitely made the right choice – everything with my family right at this time every year is too nuts to have a marathon on top of it. But the weather is perfect for it today so on my run today I am wearing my last-year Wineglass shirt and thinking of the race.

    I think I am cautious or just very lucky … 25+ years and no injury. I agree with your thought that there is no benefit to running hurt – all you are doing is making a choice to shorten your running career and make your middle aged life more miserable. Seriously.

    I know too many people who played some sport or ran and did so through injuries and are now 50+ and will never be the same and can’t go through a weather cycle or take a small bump without miserable pain. So many running bloggers are in their 20s or early 30s and act like they are invincible or that a stress fracture it like a scratch from a cat. Um, no. These things, like a serious sprain or ankle roll, will accumulate and eventually make your joints worthless.

    My philosophy is I will gladly sacrifice speed for longevity. I am never challenging for the podium, really …. but I will be there running hopefully into my 70s.

  5. I have a high pain tolerance and ALWAYS ran through any injury until this stress fracture. Now, I have been more cautious returning to running than I ever would have been in the past. It’s been 16 weeks and I finally hit 3 days of running/27 miles. As I’ve aged it has become increasingly apparent that I don’t heal or bounce back to my previous fitness level as quickly. Years of Female Athlete Triad syndrome also affected those two things as well. It’s definitely not something to just brush off as, “Oh well. It’s just something that happens to female athletes.”

    Stress fractures in the feet are also pretty tricky and require more time than people tend to want to believe simply do to the constant impact, particularly if you weren’t in a boot udring the first few weeks of the healing process. You’ll heal, and you’ll come back a stronger, smarter runner.

    1. Thanks Amanda for your support. I agree completely about just brushing it off, not something that would be smart!

  6. I’ve learned to be more cautious. After I got a stress fracture in February, I kept running through the pain for a few days after until it was so bad that I was limping. When I had pain in my shin around August, I was very cautious and took two weeks off, got an MRI, and it turned out I was fine. Before taking those two weeks off, I had just built to 40 miles per week, but after the injury scare I decided to aim for around 25 mpw this semester to give my body a bit of a break. I ran 10 miles the first week back, 14 the next, 20 the next, and 21 the next… cumulating in excruciating pain in my right foot. I stopping running immediately, went in for another MRI, and lo and behold, I have a stress fracture in my right second metatarsal, approximately 7 months after getting a stress fracture in my /left/ second metatarsal. Something is up with my second metatarsals.

    My doctor told me I shouldn’t run for the rest of 2014 because two stress fractures in less than a year is really not good. I’m still processing this. It sucks majorly. I even had to drop a class because I lost my biggest stress reliever. I’m trying to focus on future years of injury-free running, when these few months will be but a distance memory.

    Also, just wondering – I remember you said your doctor didn’t have you in a boot. Is that still true? Because if it’s worse than he thought, it might be a good idea to immobilize your foot. My doctor told me if I didn’t wear the boot my stress fracture may not heal properly.

    1. My stress fracture was not a full blown fracture. It was between a reaction and fracture. I’ll send you a text Erin!

  7. I know I’ve said this before, but I am really impressed with how you are approaching this recovery and how responsible you are being with your health. A lot of bloggers I read don’t treat themselves right or take off the necessary time from running when they get injured and it lead to a cycle of injury after injury. You are doing the right thing.

    Also, I’ve never heard of the Alter G treadmill before! How cool!

  8. Hey, you should be able to do a lot more than 10 minutes on the Alter G – if you want to! The % body weight goes right down to 20% so if you are walking and hopping pain free, you should be fine to do 50% body weight for 20-30minutes with no issues. I’m a Physiotherapist but also an Ironman athlete who accidentally did a full Ironman on a broken foot (so yes apparently my pain threshold is, er, warped) and after my surgery to put the foot back together (it’s now full of metal) I was on the Alter G a lot, and quite early, with the blessing of both my surgeon and sports physician. It was a life saver and I am convinced it’s the reason I recovered so well (mentally and physically) from the ordeal! Good luck and definitely seek out some medical support you trust – don’t settle for anything less it’s too important 🙂 Kristy

    1. Thanks my friend! I honestly think that might be a little bit too aggressive for me but we will see. That’s so interesting Kristy! How early were you running on the alter G post surgery?

      1. Just trying to remember – I did blog about it [AnaToAthlete] but it was over a year ago now and a lot has happened since! I was in plaster then a boot for a total of 14 weeks, then gradually building from there….the plan was always return to run starting very conservatively at 9 months post-op, but I was on the Alter G at 7 months with no issues at all. I was very diligent with my Physio work up to that point as well. I think I was doing 1-2 sessions/week on the Alter G, 30-40mins with intervals and started at 50% body weight building very slowly from there. I was also doing bike and deep water running by then. I’m pregnant now and still running – my foot feels so good it’s scary! But my miles are pretty slow and steady (I’m nearly 5 months preggo) and I can’t wait to get back into a marathon or Ironman as a new mum…. Feel free to ask any questions I am happy to help out (from a Physio OR athlete perspective!) xo

  9. I’m a little cautious but usually can’t stop myself and end up getting worse! Rest days for me are for total rest, but I usually end up climbing the walls if I take too long off – you are definitely more sensible than me!

  10. I’m just like you…if I’m already putting in time to heal, I’d rather continue that time than go out and set myself back. I do hope you can get on the Alter G soon and that it works out for you. It’s an excellent tool for stress fractures!

    1. I will do my research on it sometime this week and look more into it. Thanks for your constant support 🙂

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