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?