If we were having coffee: Laces and Lattes style
Ok. It’s time to interrupt regular posting to have a very frank chat. The blog feature of “if we were having coffee”? We are doing that right now. Except it would be a latte for me.
I have a confession. I am not running right now. At all.
It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just that sometimes I don’t always execute training properly. Sometimes my training is a little bit more “do as I say and not as I do”. I try hard to do my research and give you the best advice I know of on the blog, but I will be the first to tell you that I don’t always listen to it myself.
I sometimes skip rest days because I am an extrovert and I want to be with friends, so if that means running extra miles on trails when I really should be resting, I probably will do it.
I sometimes pull the tissue paper out of shoes on race morning and lose a toenail as a result.
I’m not perfect.
Three weeks ago, I was on my last mile repeat on the track and my coach came alongside me and asked how I was feeling.
AWESOME! – I said. “I feel fully recovered. In fact, I’ve never come back faster after a marathon! The only thing is, my shins still hurt.”
“Oh.” he said. “Up and down the shin or just in one place?”
“Oh, just in one place.” I said, confident that was a good thing.
“Stop right now.” he said and began to feel the bone. He began to apply pressure at different areas and I confidently announced it didn’t hurt at all until he landed on a pressure point and I let out a yelp.
“Go home. You are done running. I don’t want you running all week and I want you to book xrays.” he said.
I drove home feeling really numb. I booked the xrays. They were clear.
I booked a bone scan. It came back with this:
Stress fractures in both tibias.
What is a stress fracture?
A stress fracture is an overuse injury. It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a crack in the bone. Untreated, it can lead to a complete break.
How did I get it?
I don’t know if you guys noticed, but I raced a LOT this year. There is nothing wrong with that, but I didn’t execute it correctly. I raced each one with my whole heart and combined with an aggressive marathon build, it was too much for my muscles to handle. I skipped a few key rest days. I was too focused on training that I forgot one of the most important components of training that I keep enunciating to you guys – REST.
Although it gleans me badass points that I most likely ran my marathon on fractured tibias (imagine how much better I will do when I am healthy?!), it also earns me stupid points.
I also struggle with hyperthyroidism which means that my metabolism is overactive. It sounds amazing, but it really just means it is hard for me to hold on to all the nutrients I need, making me more susceptible to injury. (Again, this is a whole other post!)
I am taking this rest thing seriously.
I am taking regular spin classes with low resistance and working on my swimming and pool running. I am still training hard, but I am doing none weight bearing exercises to heal my bones.
I will be off for 6-12 weeks, which now is 3 – 9 weeks.
This will mean that I will not be able to participate in my fall races, including the Scotiabank marathon, but will return in time to race the Raid the Hammer in November. (More on that later). I will still be at all the races to cheer all of you on, I just will be holding a sign instead of running!
Why did you wait to tell us?
I wanted time to process it for myself and tell everyone who needed to be told first. This was kind of emotional for me, but to be honest, I needed the break. (No pun intended).
I also wanted to establish my treatment plan before announcing it because I find that there are many opinions on recovery out there and I wanted to make sure I had a good grasp on what I was doing. I went to my physiotherapist, my chiropractor, my coach, my doctor, my endocrinologist (for my hyperthyrodism), my naturopath and have booked an appointment with an osteopath. (It takes a whole village for this Type-A athlete…I TOLD you I was serious about getting better!)
I will be sharing my journey back to healthy running and am filing everything I have learned through this experience. 2015 has some hugely exciting race experiences on board and I am setting everything in place to train intelligently.
Thanks guys. Coffee is finished and I would give you a big hug if you were here.
Have you ever had a stress fracture? Tell me about it.
Dealing with an injury right now? What are you doing for recovery?
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says
My favourite part is that we actually DO get to have coffee (well, tea) together IN PERSON tonight! 🙂 Sometimes the only way to learn lessons is the hard way, and I know you’ve learned a lot this year about training and your body’s capabilities. I’m so proud of you for taking the time off and know you’re going to have a crazy amazing race season next year. See you tonight!
I am SO excited to see you, lady. It has been way way way too long. xo
Jen Rawson, RD (@PrettyLilGrub) says
So sorry to hear about your injury. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I’ve dealt with injuries before and its not fun but looks like you have a solid plan of keeping up your fitness.
Thanks Jen! I don’t do this whole “rest” thing very well. Your support is amazing!
Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) says
Bahaha I noticed that your raced a lot this year! I think you are recovering SMART and doing everything you need to. HUGS
Thanks Krysten. You are the best!
Kris @ Canadian Girl Runs. says
I am so sorry to hear about your injury! I know you will come back stronger and this is a good mental break as well as a physical break (oops; no pun intended). Take time with recovery and I am pretty sure you will be the best cheerleader at races EVER! 🙂
Thanks Kris. I am looking forward to cheering on the awesome run community, even though I want to be out there with everything in me!
Sorry to hear about the injury. Hang in there!
Stress fracture…yes, I think you follow me so u know I just got over a four month long pelvic and hip stress fracture. It’s a scary injury but the good thing is bones heal linearly. No real up and down recovery if you do it right. You will notice good improvement on a weekly basis. Keep,your pain at a zero when you are exercising. Give it the rest it needs. So hard. The fact that we tell others to do what we don’t is a big thing. I’m a physio so it’s even worse that I don’t take what I dish out ….or at least I didn’t but I do now!! And I will. I learned big things about myself in this process. Not everyone will go thru that but for me it was a true blessing as much as I didn’t think so at the start. You’ll come back so much stronger. But that November race? Is that as a racer or spectator?? I hope not a racer. You gotta take that return very slowly. But I know you have a team behind you to guide you. If you want to chat at all DM me on twitter or email me . Best of luck in your recovery. It sucks but it happens cuz we don’t like to be told when to stop so we have to be forced to!!
Thanks for the advice, Elise! I have followed your recovery and I SO appreciate the insight! 🙂
Yes – I have had a stress fracture. I could it early enough and healed quickly but it was definitely an eye opener! Now I only run 4x a week, don’t go too fast and follow the 10% increase rule. All in all, it has worked! Am I going to be super speedy in my marathon, no. But at least I will get to run it!
Awesome advice. Intensity is a risk and you never know your breaking point until something like this happens, I guess! 10% rule is key!
Paul Mora (@rungeek) says
Sucks about the injury but you’re a smart athlete and will be healed and racing again in no time! Good luck on the recovery!
Thanks Paul. 🙂