Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Injured Runner

     As many of you may already know, I have been suffering from a recent injury to my shin. I was scared to death it was a stress fracture! It all started last Tuesday while I was going for what I thought was an easy run on the treadmill. I had just PRed my half marathon distance the previous Sunday and had a training run of 23 miles the next weekend so I knew I needed an easy week. I had even taken a full rest day on Monday!  About 2 miles into the treadmill run at a 10 minute pace, I started to really feel pain in my left shin. I should have slowed my pace or stopped running but my ego said “finish the last mile!” So I kept going. That was potentially a very stupid move!
     I went home and iced my leg and took some Advil. The pain did not subside. The next day, it was still hurting. This was very unusual for me so I knew something was up and of course I feared the worst! I immediately called my orthopedist and made an appointment. Unfortunately, I could not get in until after the weekend. No 23 miler for me!
      As the week went on, the pain started to go away. It would be gone and then come back as a dull ache. By Saturday, I was not really feeling much pain or even dull aches at all! I continued to rest, only attempting cross training exercises like Pilates & yoga. Sunday morning I woke up and did my regular yoga routine then decided to go for a test run. My thinking was that there was no point in going to the doctor if the pain wasn’t still there and I could run fine! So off I went. I even put on my new shoes so there would be no issues with old worn out shoes (same model shoes I’ve had and have been fitted for – shoes were not the cause!).  I got about a half mile into my run when I began to feel “something” in my shin. It wasn’t a pain yet, just an awareness of my shin. At three-quarters of a mile the pain was back and by about a mile I was DONE! I was unable to run because the pain was so bad. I walked the mile back home. Walking doesn’t hurt it, thank goodness! But I did have my phone handy in case I needed to call my parents to come pick me up!  I tried to run a little after walking for a bit but there was no way I could do it.  I returned home to ice my shin and pop an Advil. Well, at least I had more info for my doctor visit the next day!
     Monday afternoon rolled around and I was so ready to find out what was up with my leg and how long I would be out of commission. I was also very nervous! I tend to be overly emotional and dramatic about things I’m passionate about. So as I drove towards the doctor’s office my thought was “My whole life hangs in the balance of this diagnosis!” See? Dramatic! But I love running. I love my running friends and to be away from all that I love – well, I didn’t really want to think about that… ~channeling Scarlett O’Hara~
     So they take an x-ray of my leg – I ask, why?? You can’t usually see stress fractures on x-rays! Well, they might see something – ok, whatever! So I wait… and the PA John comes in and takes a look at the x-rays, talks to me and says the x-rays look ok, but Dr. Lancaster might see something. (Let’s hope not!) Finally, the doctor comes in. Have I mentioned I love my doctor?? He is great! I have been to him before for issues with my knees and feet. He also has been my mother’s doctor for YEARS and just did her double knee replacement back in August. So I trust him completely! He looks at the x-rays, examines my leg and talks to me about the pain. Because the pain has not been constant, I can walk without limping and stand without pain, he does NOT think it is a stress fracture! He called it tibial periostitis or basically a shin splint. I need to rest for three weeks and take some anti-inflammatory meds and then I can try again with the running. I was so overjoyed! The news could not have been better! As I left the office I began to cry. See? More dramatics!
     I texted and Facebooked and Tweeted to all of my friends right away. I had so many who were keeping me in their thoughts and prayers. I’m telling you folks, prayer works! I am so happy that I will hopefully really be able to run the Disney Marathon in five weeks. I was soooo worried! I WANT THAT MEDAL!!! I’ll never have another chance at this special 20th anniversary medal and I WILL get it! I will run/walk/run and I will finish, even if it takes me longer than my first marathon – Gulp! But I am coming off an injury, so it will be a miracle that I am even running a full marathon! Let this be a warning, overuse injuries do exist. Watch your mileage! I hit 100 miles in November (68 miles in October! Oops!) and while it was quite an accomplishment, I think I really did too much too soon! G-r-a-d-u-a-l mileage increase! Learn from my mistakes! And I’ll…

See you at Disney!!!


  1. Hoping and praying all continues to be fine. I know how incredibly frustrating this can be. ((hugs))

  2. Praying for a speedy recovery and a finished race so you can earn that beautiful medal. I wish I was running that race as well, I will be running Tinkerbell in January however.