Still paused

I got an update on my foot injury today. The good news is that it’s not a stress fracture. But, there is some damage to the ligament between the tibia and fibula…the right distal (outer) tibiofibular syndesmosis (The point just above the ankle where these two bones meet is called the syndesmosis). (Thanks Google for the help figuring out what all these big words mean!)

I have an appointment with the physiotherapist tomorrow to figure out how to make it all better so I can run again, but for now, it’s still just stationary bike and water running. I’m also focusing on upper body strength training more, and working on my pull-ups (a long-standing goal for me).

I’ve also decided I will not be running the marathon this year, even if I can get back to running fairly soon. I had a goal in my head. I’ve been off training for almost three weeks. It will be hard to get back to where I need to be to meet my goal, and I don’t want to push myself and risk further injury. It was a hard decision to make, but I know it will be for the best in the long run.

So, continue to stay tuned. I will know more after physio tomorrow.

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Going Nuclear

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I had my fingers crossed that I would turn into a superhero yesterday, but alas, I’m still me. And still not running. But I am getting shit done to find out what’s wrong with my foot.

After x-rays last week (didn’t hear anything back from those), I paid a visit to the physiotherapist who told me to get the bone scan done that the doctor had given me a requisition for. There is no point continuing with physio until we know what we’re dealing with. So I made the appointment and went through the procedure yesterday.

My comment about becoming a superhero? At the beginning of the bone scan they inject your with some nuclear fluid. I figure it’s kind of like Spider-Man, but planned. So, I got the injection and they took some photos of my feet. Then I had to go away for two hours for the nuclear juice to work its way through my body, and then went back for more photos (same ones as at the beginning), and then 360-degree photos. It was a long afternoon – just over 3 hours total – and I have a follow-up visit with the doctor next week to find out the results. The whole thing was painless…other than having to lay perfectly still for all the photos. It’s hard, especially when your muscles are twitching and then you start worrying that the twitch ruined the image and you’ll have to start all over again. Luckily it was fine and the twitches didn’t register in the images.

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This isn’t exactly what the bone scan cameras look like for me, but it’s pretty close.

There has been pain in my foot over the past week, but it moves around a bit. Sometimes it’s in the arch, sometimes it’s at the base of my big toe, sometimes it’s along the outside of my foot, sometimes it’s in my shin. I’m trying not to stress about the results, because there is really nothing I can do about it. I’m riding the stationary bike and getting in the pool, and doing some non-leg focused strength training. Honestly, the hardest part is keeping my mind occupied and to keep myself from getting bored. I am slowly realizing that the races I had planned for the summer are likely not going to happen, no matter what the results. I had a goal time for the marathon in my mind, and I don’t think I’ll be able to reach that goal this year, so I don’t want to start training again only to know that the goal won’t happen.

Anyway, until I get the results back next week, it’s low impact activities for me.

Stay tuned…

Pause

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I’ve been lucky. I’ve never been an injured runner. I’ve trained for three marathons since 2011, and my body has held up.

But now I’m one of them. The injured. The frustrated. The upset.

Mind you, it’s only been 4 days. It happened on my 12 mile run this past Saturday. I had just started mile 11 when my right foot started hurting really badly across the top and into the inside of my arch. I finished the last mile and went home. Stretched. Elevated my legs. Went on with my day. Took an Advil before going to bed that night.

Sunday wasn’t too bad. My foot wasn’t that sore. I had some pain in my right shin, but just thought of it as the natural soreness I get after running that many miles. A little niggle in my right calf, but nothing to be worried about.

Monday, a little pain in the arch of my foot, the shin, the calf. Again, nothing to be worried about.

Tuesday. I got up at 5 a.m. to get my 6 miles in before work. Foot felt ok. Shin was a little sore, but I figured it would loosen up along the way. Nope. As soon as I started running, my foot hurt, my shin hurt, my calf was talking to me. I made it a mile and had to turn around a go home…walking.

The Edmonton Marathon is in 11 weeks. I wanted to nip whatever this is in the bud right away. I went to the medical clinic on campus this morning and saw a doctor. It could be a stress fracture. It could just be something with the muscles. Go get an x-ray and a referral for physio. Rest. Don’t do anything that puts too much weight on it.

X-ray done. First physio appointment tomorrow. Fingers crossed this isn’t anything major. My biggest fears are already swirling around in my head. But I know I shouldn’t panic yet.

Stay tuned…

Round 2

Let me tell you something. Taking it easier than scheduled on this cutback week and really listening to my body was a great decision on my part. By not pushing myself too hard, I feel ready to take on round 2 of this training cycle and to continue to increase mileage and other workouts to prepare me for a strong finish on August 20.

I skipped a run at the beginning of the week, but I didn’t beat myself up over it. I did my strength training workout when I got home from my hill repeats workout, and loved that decision when I had another rest day built in to the week (I will be continuing that plan going forward!). I napped every day while in Vancouver this weekend and have no regrets about that (partially because I wasn’t sleeping well at night). I ate a third of a Mars bar before my pre-conference run this morning because I didn’t want to get out of bed any earlier to eat a real breakfast (even though I was awake well before my alarm went off.) The advertisers were right – a Mars bar a day, a work, rest and play – it was the perfect amount of fuel to get me through my five-miler this morning! 

This is my fourth marathon training process, and I think I’ve finally realized that while I may want to be perfect and complete every scheduled workout, eat the right foods all the time, and get 8 hours of sleep every night, that life happens, and the most important thing to do is to listen to my body. The more I push too hard, the increased chance I will end up hurt and sidelined before race day. I don’t want that. And I don’t want to hate the process to get to the start line in Edmonton. 

I feel good and ready to tackle the next 4-week cycle. It’s going to hurt. I’m going to be tired. And hungry. But when it comes time for the next cutback week, it’s going to be amazing!

From the shores of the Pacific Ocean, at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia

Cutback 1

These first 3 weeks of training have been tough. I feel like my legs are tired all the time and I just can’t get moving. The funny thing is that that feeling isn’t reflected in my pace while running, which I guess is a good thing. If I feel slow, but I’m not actually slow, that must be ok. I’m trying to keep at least one strength training session each week, but that seems to tire me out even more. Anyone have any suggestions on how to find that balance?

This week is the first of three cutback weeks. I have a 6 mile run, some hill repeats, and 8 and 4 mile runs. Seems like it’s going to be a piece of cake right now, especially since two of those will happen in Vancouver. I love running in Vancouver because I feel so speedy at sea level. I’m hoping it will boost my confidence a bit…and that confidence won’t get harshly torn down when I return home to Calgary and start running at a higher altitude again…talk about heavy legs!!

I will say I am very proud that I have already run more than 60 miles this month. It’s been a long time since I’ve run that many miles in a month…which as I write this, I realize probably explains the feeling of heavy legs…

Until next time!


Jumping for joy because I got my long run done on Friday and could totally enjoy the long weekend!