Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much running going on over here at “Fox Runs Fast”. Right now a more appropriate title of this blog would be “Fox Cross Trains a lot and Tries Not to Go Insane”. But that would be awfully long. So we’ll just stick with what we’ve got and hope that I’ll be back to running more miles soon. The leg is feeling….better? Kind of? Maybe? It’s hard to tell. It’s definitely improved from the weekend after Patrick Henry (3 weeks ago), so that’s encouraging. But it’s not improving as quickly as I’d like, given the amount of time I’ve taken off/cross-trained. After seeing the sports doc two weeks ago, the area of soreness seems to have moved from the posterior tib region on my left leg (where the doc thought the problem was) to the lower part of my calf – almost where the calf meets the achilles. But the soreness kind of radiates through my lower leg so it’s tough to pin down where it hurts. This makes me a little nervous that it could be not just muscle, but something a bit more sinister that’s lurking (stress fracture!), so needless to say these past 3 weeks have been a bit of a frustrating exercise in trying to determine if I can/should run, how much I should run, and my next step. I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to self-diagnose if this is muscle or bone, and made this handy chart of my symptoms and if each symptom is more characteristic of muscle (tear or strain) or bone (stress fracture):
So, as you can see, I’ve got points on either side. While I do think that it’s most likely muscle since I am able to continue to run on it (albeit in a limited capacity), I know that stress fractures can be sneaky. KrisLaw (one of my favorite speedy ladies) recently had an injury that sounds eerily similar to mine and unfortunately, she has confirmed a stress fracture. So on Thursday of this week I finally got fed up with trying to diagnose myself and made an appointment for a bone scan on Monday.
So hopefully that will confirm if it’s a stress fracture of not, and then I’ve got an appointment to see the sports doc on Thursday to determine next steps. I’m hesitant to get the scan since it’s quite pricey, but if it IS a stress fracture, I don’t want to be running on it and making it worse. Plus, I’d like the clock to start NOW on any total rest I need to take so that I can hopefully ramp the training back up in time to run a spring marathon. And that brings up the confirmation that….
I will not be able to run the Harrisburg Marathon this fall.
Ugh. Just typing that sentence makes me a bit sad. Even if my bone scan comes back clean and my leg magically felt better immediately, I know that 8 weeks is not enough time to get in a solid enough block of training to race Harrisburg. But all is not lost! I am going to use this time to build a solid base and to work on two goals I’ve had in my mind for a while now:
1) Studying for and completing the ACE Group Exercise Instructor Certification process
2) Taking (and passing!) the training to become a Les Mills Body Pump Instructor
Having some goals outside of my marathon training will hopefully help me get through this period of time where I’m unable to run as much as I’d like to. It’s been tough to miss my group runs and to hear about how well everyone else’s training for Harrisburg is going. But I know that this is only temporary and that I’ll hopefully be back out there soon enough.
In the meantime, I’m going to focus on getting these certifications. The fitness industry is a totally new direction for me, as my background is in technology and project management. But I’ve very passionate about physical fitness and I’m hoping that by getting these certifications they will help educate me more about being an all-around athlete and will provide a solid background as I build my running credentials in hopes of one day helping to coach others.
And just for kicks, here’s how the running (or lack thereof) shook out during these past two weeks:
Week of 9/1
Monday: 4 miles (a.m.) + 5 miles (p.m.) – tested the leg a bit on the treadmill – felt okay in the morning, but the afternoon was rough
Tuesday: 1.35 miles - painful, so I shut it down.
Wednesday: Elliptical + Core
Thursday: Body Pump
Friday: 4 miles – easy run to test the leg. Didn’t feel great, but wasn’t horrible.
Saturday: Sweaty spin class (25 miles on the bike)
Sunday: 5 miles easy (leg still the same) + Body Pump
Week of 9/8
Monday: 8 miles with a friend – leg actually felt a bit better! Encouraged, but later in the day it was tender.
Tuesday: Body Pump
Wednesday: 7.35 miles – still sore, but holding steady. Not any worse, but not better.
Thursday: 6 miles – leg less comfortable than the day before. Could be two days in a row is too much.
Friday: Spin class to give the leg a break + Core
Saturday: 10.3 miles with the group – leg better than Thursday, but could still feel it on the run.
Sunday: 8.3 miles with the group - I could tell I ran yesterday as the leg was slightly more sore. I'll be taking tomorrow off to cross-train and get the scan.
Up Next: An Answer?
Bone scan is scheduled for Monday and I go back to the doc on Thursday to get results and discuss next steps. If the bone scan is clean, she’ll do more diagnostics in-office to try to determine what muscle is giving me the trouble and how badly injured it is. Depending on what we find out this week, I’ll know if I’ve got several weeks of cross-training ahead or if I might be able to jump back on the running bandwagon (in some capacity).
How was YOUR week?