The only thing i can equate an injury to is being a prisoner in your own body. You look fine but, SURPRISE (said with the utmost sarcasm), you’re not!
I am a perfect example of that person that walks around with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The angel side of me is my perfect compliance, my need to please (yes, i even try to please my doctors), and my sometimes unbecoming responsibleness. The devil side of me is my extremely strong stubbornness. So, when you’re struck with an injury, these 2 sides really go to battle.
I’ve been suffering from some injuries for a few months so i’ve really been extra careful. I have limited my running to 3 times per week, have spent more time on the bike, and have even started going to the pool to water jog, despite how stupid i feel when i do this. I consider this all very responsible but some people i know may consider this stubborn 😉
When the Couch to 4 Miler began 4 weeks ago, I was pretty stressed about having to take to the bike on occasion but was really trying to be smart about everything. After doing that a few times i realized that’s actually a great way to do it- i’m able to see more people more often on the runs. It’s been a little bit of a strange thing for me though. I feel like i’m more involved because i do get to see everyone, rather than just run with the same few people, but i feel less involved because i’m not actually running. Most running coaches ride bikes for the very reason of getting more places during the run but i’m just such a hands-on person, it’s been a weird transition for me.
Anyway, i thought i was doing everything right but apparently an injury is an injury regardless of how “careful” you’re being. After some pretty excruciating pain in my left tibia (aka- shin bone), i decided to make a visit to my ortho. Fortunately, once you’ve spent a lot of miles running, you learn the difference in a pain (even a severe one) and an injury. Unfortunately, i kind of knew what he was going to tell me. I’ve also been down this road before- left tibial stress fracture about 6 years ago. I have iced and ‘alleved’ my butt off for weeks and just continued to push through (hello, stubbornness). I just knew this pain was not really a pain. I hoped and hoped it was a muscle but i just knew it was a bone. Bone pain is different.
So, thursday i succumbed and went to see dr. ortho. Three x-rays and 30 minutes later, i’m diagnosed with a left tibial stress fracture and told to “shut it down.” Here’s how the next few minutes went: “What?! Shut it down? What exactly do you mean by that? I can run a little?” “No, shut it down means shut it down. 6 – 8 weeks, possibly 12.” “Well, no disrespect, but you need to come up with another solution! i’ll drink more milk. I’ll wrap it. I’ll do anything.” Laughing, he says “ok, shut it down for 4 weeks and let’s go from there.” Smiling sweetly, i say “ok, i’ll give you 3 weeks and we’ll go from there?” Apparently smiling sweetly works. He said i could stay off of it for 3 weeks and then do a short run and see what happens. That’s a plan!
Here to the next 3 weeks! Fortunately i do have my running groups and that keeps me motivated. I will be on my bike for all runs for a few weeks but i’m telling myself that’s ok too. I get to spend more time watching peoples’ form, chatting it up a little bit, and hopefully making myself more readily available to everyone in the groups.
I will also cross-train my butt off so, hopefully, i don’t get too far behind. I am a very compliant patient- the 3 week period is marked on my calendar. I will listen to my body, get new shoes for running and even for working, since i’m on my feet ALL day, but i will not be a prisoner in my own body! CY 4 Miler, San Antonio, and St. Jude, don’t count me out yet. I’ll be back in no time!