Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - Trail of Tears Edition

I was all set to come here and tell you about my 10 mile run on Saturday, complete with a huge dead snake in the parking lot, running in the rain, chocolate GU - all things crazy and fun, right? Well. What I haven't mentioned in my previous posts is that my right ankle has been bothering me a bit - it made itself known during a 9 mile run, really came alive during mile 7 of last week's 10 mile run, and hello, there it was again on that 3 mile treadmill run. So I have been resting, icing, and Motrining it. I didn't say anything because I just wanted it to be a non-issue, you know?

But from the first step on Saturday morning, it hurt. I mean hurt-hurt, not muscle soreness. I figured it would hurt a little, and had planned on powering through the run - I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and hey - after the run, I was going to put on my sweats, climb back into my warm bed (that I left at the too early hour of 5:00 am) and hunker down for a day of Netflix. I could deal with a little pain for a couple of hours in exchange for all of that, right?

Wrong. Y'all, this hurt so freaking bad. I stopped running at .82 of a mile - I had to, because I couldn't put any weight on that foot. I started limping my way back to the parking lot. Coach Erica caught up with me and walked with me as I cried both tears of pain and frustration. This is not supposed to happen! I have TRAINED. I have not added too many miles too fast. I have been doing what I was supposed to in order to get to Austin on February 20th. Plus I have the Armadillo Dash half marathon two weeks after that! And the Dallas Rock and Roll half the end of March. I have plans! An injury does not fit into my plans!

After I got home and was elevating, icing and Motrining it, I texted and emailed with my running guru, who advised getting it checked out by a doctor. Well, the practice that the doctor who I'll never see again has Saturday hours, so I made an appointment. Luckily, the doc working that day is a triathlete. He understands runners and injuries and wanting to get back to running and racing! Yay! I felt much better. However, he wasn't super optimistic about Austin and sent me for xrays. I limped there - unfortunately Jeff was out of town, so I was on my own. It would have been nice to have him driving and dropping me off at the entrance of all of these places, but oh well.

Then I limped into Target, to get my prescription filled:
I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs...but I DO do candy.

Oh wait...I got this, too:
Basically cheap, strong Aleve.

Here is a comparison shot - and by the way, when did I end up with Madonna's feet?

(I'm just assuming that her feet are as vein-y as her arms) Left - normal. Right - see that bump of an ankle bone? That is the problem.

I spent the rest of the weekend lying around, watching Netflix instant streaming movies on our Roku (I feel like I just typed a foreign language) - that Christmas gift from our kids has really been nice! Ate a bunch of candy and felt like crap - apparently, you can't go home again.

Monday, the doctor called. Wanted to get me set up with an orthopedist, to get me "back to running as quickly as possible" - I have to say, I was just so amazed to be taken seriously by a doctor. But that is a post for another day. Long story short (yeah, yeah, too late I know), I saw a sports medicine orthopedist yesterday - a runner. He listened to me. Did some more xrays. Found some bone chips around my ankle. Which would explain the inflammation and pain. What is weird is that he said the bone chips were not recent, and since I never broke or sprained my ankle that I can remember, I can only conclude that my body is disintegrating, chip by chip. I may have aggravated this by all the kicking I keep doing to my ankles when I run...I've whacked myself hard enough to draw blood, and have taken to running with band aids on my ankles so when I kick, at least I'm not wrecking my socks. He gave me an air cast to protect the ankle while it heals:

I put on my fancy socks for the picture!

And I'm supposed to ice it every time I workout, from now until forever. Good thing UPS just dropped this off last night:

MizFit recommended Artic Ease. I'm thinking it will be less awkward than trying to hold an ice bag to the side of my ankle.

So. Today I will go to the gym (good thing I joined it last week, eh?) and workout on the recumbent bike. Once the swelling in my ankle goes down and it stops hurting, I can use the elliptical, and then I can try running again. I'm holding out hope that I will still be able to run the Austin half marathon, which is 31 days from now.

And now, the rant:
I am so mad. For the first time in my life, I could go for a run and not be dying after a mile. My legs worked great. I could actually DO this, and got a lot of satisfaction out of completing a long run. And now what? I'm going to lose all of the conditioning I've put in. I ran during the hot Texas summer. I've been seriously training - following a plan - since the end of August. While I am thankful that I reached my first goal, which was the Seawall Half Marathon, I am pissed that my second, and our running club's group goal, the Austin Marathon/Half Marathon, may not happen for me. And don't even get me started about what this means to my weight. I've been maintaining my loss with the running. Take away that, and you know what can happen? Ugh. This is not in the plan.
Rant over.


  1. Shoot, I hate to hear about your injury. I know you can maintain that weight loss with some cross training. Does your gym have a swimming pool?

  2. So sorry about your injury! Don't let it derail all your hard work though, even though you're mad as hell at it. You're just taking a small detour on the way to your goal and that's ok...we women take detours all the darn time :-)

  3. Dear sweet feet!
    Just a blip on the radar screen of a runner's life.
    Get better faster!

  4. Well, I am at least glad you went to the doctor to find out what it was instead of working through the pain.

    If you keep up with the recumbent bike, I think any exercise is better than nothing and will help you stay conditioned.

    I know you feel this is a set back, but you may be fine in a weeks time - take a deep breath - and I think you should just mail me the Charleston Chews! :D

  5. Shelley, I am so sorry this has happened. It must be so frustrating because you have trained right and hard.

    I'm glad you saw a doctor and had such a great experience there.

    I'll be sending speedy recovery thoughts in your direction.

    And remember what you said about not going home again? You won't lose everything you've gained. I know that's the fear, but you just won't. You've already proven to yourself that you are not who you used to be. You will be fine.

  6. You were so smart to seek medical help instead of hoping it goes away on its own. At least you have good guidance to get back into running safely. The bike can be a great substitute for you while your injury heals. Those spin classes burn some serious calories.

  7. Shelley, I am so sorry to hear about your injury - it must be so painful (physically and emotionally).

    I can hear the tone of fear in what you wrote - worrying about gaining weight and going back to how things used to be.

    So I went back in your blog and read an entry from March 6, 2009. You were just 4 weeks into your workouts, and reluctant to let go of the rails to walk on the treadmill ("weaving like a drunk", I think you said). But YOU DID IT.

    Even when you recover from your injury, you will not be starting back at the beginning, skeptical of ever joining a gym (in another post around that time) or marvelling that you were working out at all.

    Go back and re-visit that determined lady who really was starting at the beginning...whether you realize it or not, you are now an ATHLETE with an injury.

    You will never ever be back at the beginning again!

  8. Sorry that you have an injury. I'm sure it's rather frustrating!

  9. OH Boo! But you just joined that gym, and you can still keep your strength up, right? Plus, I'll bet you learn something interesting from not running for a little while. I don't know what that would be, but, these things always have a way of enriching our perspective.
    Sending love your way!

  10. So, so, SO GLAD that you connected with Athlete/Doctors who appreciate the athlete that you are! You be a good girl now and follow doctor's orders and you'll be spanking me on long runs in no time at all!

  11. Hang in there and do what the doctors say. 3/4 of the way into my marathon training I got a bone spur on one foot and PF on the other. I thought I was done, but I wasn't. Hopefully, you'll heal soon, too.

    Sending positive thoughts ...

    Winks & Smiles,

  12. :(
    Glad you saw a dr. immediately!
    I choose wine over chocolate but still wearing a cast is the suck.
    Artic Ease is a revolutionary gem. Works great.
    But does your gym have a pool? How about water running? That will help keep up your conditioning.
    Lot's of hugs.

  13. I completely understand, I almost teary eyed reading this. I am sitting here with an aircast on my right ankle as well. I enjuryed my ankle last year. Major sprain after working out and I couldnt workout for the rest of the year, causing me to gain weight and let all of my success go down the drain. however i believe that my injury is from all the weight I am carrying, it has been a vicious cycle for me.

    I am so sorry you are bummed. Just take it a bit slower and you will reach your goals.

    (I will forever have to use my aircast and ice my ankle as well)


  14. I hate that your are injured. It isn't fair that your cardio is in a place that you can run a half, but another part of your body let you down. Sending big hugs your way to get through this. So glad you went to your doctor and figured out the problem. I hate the elliptical, but it can kick your ass if you let it!

  15. Oh no! I can sense your frustration and anger and I have so BTDT! I lost 70 lbs over the past 2 years and was just getting "good" at running when I was sidelined by some serious knee pain, so I know where you are coming from. Your biggest battle is mental right now - you are discouraged and angry and very very tempted to throw in the towel and give up. Don't! I can say from experience that the rucumbent bike will keep up your cardio just as well as running does as long as you don't coast -- get that heart rate up and keep it there. You may lose some strength in your legs, but maybe the doc will ok strength training for you in the meantime - working on the glutes and hip muscles definitely helps injury-proof your legs in general (though I'm not sure it will do anything for bone chips in your ankles), and since you can't run, now is the time to look into that. Just rest your ankle and keep up the cardio with the bike (or as others have suggested, pool running or swimming) and don't give up -- I know how tempting it is to sit and pout and be angry and go back to your old ways, but you've put too much into this to go back now! Feel better soon!

  16. That's a bummer, missing out on the Austin run, but as Debbie @YoYoDieter said, you ARE an ATHLETE with an injury... and you know how they take care of any injuries they have because it is so important :) I'm sure you will be regaling us all with a new activity discovery because of this - I'm looking forward to reading about it!

  17. Good for the doc for getting you in so fast... you have to make your body last, right? So be good to it, and it will be good to you, most of the time anyway. Best wishes healing up.

  18. Remember when I hurt my ankle and was told to lay off running for 2 whole weeks? It sucked. And guess what you told me? TO FOLLOW MY DOCTOR'S DIRECTIONS. And when I went back? Hadn't lost a thing with my endurance. And you are much, much farther along than I am. So no worries, my friend. You are determined and you're not going to lose anything.

  19. Shelley! I feel your pain and dissapointment!

    Did the Dr. recommend inserts for your shoes? I used to get heel pain really bad, and once I put those in, it went away...

    You can do it, just do what you can and keep the cardio up with an alternative and you'll get back to where you were.

    Sending you a *HUG* from Chicago!

  20. SO sorry to hear about your injury Shelley but every runner I have every known has said to never ignore something like that. Give yourself a little time to heal and you will be back on your feet in no time! :)

  21. I'm an ankle kicker too. I never understood it. I never heard of anyone else doing it either.

    I hate it so much

    Sorry about your getting sidelined, but look at it this way - you found a good doctor or two. In my experience that is invaluable.

  22. OH Shelly, I am so sorry. I know that this is devastating. I can't imagine that you are disintegrating, chip by chip though. Perhaps it's all those ankle kicks? Have you ever had your ankle x-rayed before? Perhaps they have been there awhile?

    I am really glad you are using the recumbent bike and it's lucky you joined that gym!

    I have every hope and belief you'll make it to Austin. Prayers are headed your way.

    I grew up in Oklahoma and went to school in Houston (Rice U, Fighting Owls). Are you a Texas Girl?

    xooxo GP (Vee)

  23. Oh I can see the swelling. Has it gone down any?

    Listen lady, you CALL ME next time you need someone to drive you around. I don't live THAT far away. I'm serious and won't take no for an answer. Hopefully there won't be a next time, right?

    Your body has gone through amazing thigs. I bet you are healed up and ready for Austin. Just don't push it and let that ankle heal.

    Have you talked to your running coach about correcting your kicking? I don't think you're supposed to kick your ankles when you run. ;)

    You're going to be just fine. I know it. :D

  24. Having been there with the injury, the worst part is that you didn't *do* anything. No tripping down stairs, no clubbing with a hockey stick. That is the most annoying type of injury.

    I am glad there is nothing broken. Just do not let your desire to run get in the way of proper healing.

  25. I'm so so sorry. I *do* know of your pain and suffering. Seems like life is going so well and then some horrid diagnosis. I'm crushed for you. I think you need to let me personally coach you through this crisis.

    Please don't resort to eating (not that you would). Read books about other people's horrid problems & that always helps to put things into perspective even though it won't change your problem. It will only change your experience of the problem.

  26. I'm glad you found the problem. Remember what's truly important to you.

  27. Shelley, even in your lament, you make me laugh. And hello, you WILL NOT lose all the training and conditioning you have put in. And also, not to be unsympathetic (even though I am the world's most unsympathetic nurse) aren't injuries a part of almost every runner's life? It just proves you are a real runner.

    That said, OUCH. Bone chips moving around in there just makes me flinch. Oh, that reminds me of what I thought was so funny--you are disintegrating chip by chip.

    You'll get better and you'll be running those crazy half marathons in no time. Hey, does your gym have a pool? Because then you could start your training for the ironman. You know you want to do it.

  28. I just felt a little tear in my eye for you. I get it. I get it so much, I especially get the part that now that you CAN do it, you can't.
    As for your prescription....a riot, as usual with you.
    Maybe this is a great time to be writing as you sit on your little ass?
    I want to hug you, and go to IHOP with you!

  29. Oh Shelley I'm so sorry to hear this. This wasn't suppose to happen: not to you! You have ran with so much dedication. Remember you said once to me I was your running inspiration well it's turned around you are mine.

    I am glad to hear to Dr. could see you the same day and that you could go to the orthopedist so soon.

    You won't lose your fitness if you keep going to the gym for the bike and the treadmill, don't worry about that.

    I hope it heals soon and that you will be able to run in Austin!

    Take care my friend.

  30. oh, you poor baby!
    Rest up and be good so you can have the best chance at a speedy recovery.

  31. Shelley!! NOOO!!! I'm so sorry about your injury! Sounds like you're in good hands (and good feet!) so you'll be back running and working out as you did before. Hang in there and take care!!!

  32. I'm a runner and first hurt my knee than broke my toe and now had to have my gallbladder out so have been away from my running shoes for three months..... So that you stay in good shape, think about swimming, it is a great alternative when you need to keep off your ankle and buy a trampoline (the small kind) it will be aerobic.

    Don't run Austin. Let your body have enough time to heal and run the bigger race otherwise you will have a constant nagging ankle which will make running painful instead of fun.

  33. I'm so sorry that you hurt your ankle that just stinks! Glad you got your diagnosis so quickly. Now you just have to give your body a chance to heal. Follow your doctors orders and do what you CAN do now you will get back to running when your body heals.

  34. I'm sorry to hear about your injury - I too hate it when things are not in the plan!

    Sending happy thoughts & wishes for the most speedy recovery!

  35. Ugh. I'm very sorry about your ankle. (Although I had to laugh at the part about you saying your body is "disintegrating chip by chip".) I tend to be skeptical about Doctors and it's nice to hear one listened and responded thoughtfully with your concerns in mind. Wishing you the best of luck and and speedy recovery.

  36. Oh man, that totally sucks so much. BUT, just think ONLY REAL RUNNERS get injuries, right? It's official. You're for real. I hate that this happened, but it's gonna pass and you'll be better off for it. Think of all the gloating you can do when people ask you what happened, "Oh, nothing, I was training for my marathon."

    So much better than "I'm fat and I have terrible balance and I tripped over my cat". Think about it. Ha ha.

  37. I have no real words of advice from a friend standpoint, except that the injury sucks.

    From a more professional, PT, standpoint - you're doing the right thing with icing and resting. Add some stretching when you are able and keep it in the pain-free range. If you have access to a pool at your gym, start "water running" or "water walking" to keep your cardiovascular fitness up. Use some moleskin or other adhesive cushion on your ankles to prevent the scuffs/hits on the ankles from your other foot. Add balance exercises at home (standing on one foot, standing on one foot on a pillow or unstable surface) when you can.

    I really, really, REALLY hope that it gets better before your race.

    Also...did this start up when you switched your shoes? .. just a thought...

  38. UGH sorry about the injury. I've had my share of injuries lately too and it's frustrating because like you I trained well, I didn't add too much too soon, I followed all the "rules" and listened to my body. Still got injured. :(

  39. I just came across your health and fitness blog. Your article about bracing through the pain of an ankle injury was especially interesting. I especially liked your comments about not pushing yourself and allowing your body to heal before straining the injury more. I am adding you to my favorites. Since you and your readers are interested in health and fitness, we thought you would like to check out our ab workout machine called The AbStand. The AbStand is a full-body workout machine that provides an easy way for you to keep your New Year's resolution! Any feedback would be appreciated as well. Thanks!


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