Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Stress Fractures SUCK!!!

Yes, it's been forever since my last post, and I have a tendency to not write when I am hurt.  My thoughts are, who cares about someone whose hurt and on the sidelines...?  I'd much rather be writing about awesome workouts and races that have a lasting memory.  But, injuries happen to all of us, and they leave lasting memories on us as well.

My latest injury was another stress fracture in my right tibia.  This time, I felt like a caught it early and took sufficient time off (8 weeks).  My question is, why the heck do I keep getting an injury on the same leg in the same region?  There must be an imbalance or something causing extra stress to that area, but the docs don't really know.  I'm doing physical therapy at Quadra Health Institute once a week, so that seems to be helping my imbalances a bit.  I have also taken the very slow approach of running again.  Or, at least I believe this is a slow approach...

This past summer I felt like training was going really well.  I never got up to 100 miles a week, but I had some quality workouts.  Things seemed on track for a solid half marathon in September and a full marathon in Chicago.  The timeline of events went something like this: end of August I felt a little pain in my right tibia, took 2 weeks off, ran for 2 weeks into early September thinking the pain was an acute injury and had subsided, realized it was getting worse the more I ran, stopped running, went to a podiatrist and continued to not run for 8 weeks, the end.

On November 16th, I ran for the first time for 15 minutes to test it out.  I was out of breath, tired but thrilled to not have any pain in my leg.  For the remainder of the week I ran every other day for 15 minutes for a total of 6 miles in the week.  The following week I doubled my mileage to 12 miles, kinda crazy, I know!  Then last week I kept going with a whopping 18 miles and a 30 minute continuous run.  Everything seems to be going well, I'm not feeling pain in my leg when I run, but I have noticed that afterwards I have a weird feeling.  It's very similar to my last stress fractures, as it's been commonly called "Phantom Pain".  This pain or feeling is typically caused by a build up of calcium in the area of the stress fracture pressing outward on nerves or tissue.  After doing quite a bit of research, it's been reassuring to know I am not getting hurt again, and that this sensation is very common.  However, I am not going to be stupid and go crazy with my training.  Going into my 4th week of running give me confidence to keep training, but only with a conservative approach.  I don't really have a rush to get back into things, so I'll slowly increase my base and race when I feel ready enough to.

To conclude this past marathon cycle, I have failed miserably in an attempt to qualify for the 2016 USA Olympic Marathon Trials.  However, I still feel that my best marathon time is ahead of me, and that I have many more amazing races to come.  I know I can't do the same thing I have in the past.  I've gotten older, so therefore I should be wiser - I know I'm not that wise yet, but am aiming for that wisdom.  So something has to change, which will be my training and training philosophy.

"If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got."
-Mark Twain