Monday, June 6, 2011

Rambles of Discontent

(I'm not trying to play the pity card with this post - I'm just writing this because it helps me work things through in my head.  Posting it because, well, this is where I'm at when it comes to running.)

I put on my running shoes Saturday morning for the first time since May 7th (thank you running workout journal for helping me remember that date).  Instantly, my ankle twinged.  What the heck???  Seriously, I'm not imaging this.  It was so noticeable that I dug out an older pair of running shoes and tried them on to see if that made a difference - nope, same funky feeling in that ankle.  Now mind you, I've been living in the World's Most Comfortable Flip Flops ever since I came back from California, but really, putting my foot into a real shoe should not cause my ankle to feel weird.  And yet it did.  I was planning on walking with my running club, and of course I still did - two easy, slow miles.  And while my ankle didn't hurt when I was walking, for the rest of the day, I was once again reminded that it's still not right.

I got to thinking - while I have a lot of hopes of doing several half marathons this fall, I hardly consider myself a runner anymore.  For example, Runner's World magazine had a really good renewal special going on, and I didn't do it.  Not that my subscription is going to expire anytime soon, but Runner Shelley would have automatically grabbed that deal.  Also?  For my birthday?  No one could think of anything to get me for a gift.  Last year I got lots of running stuff and money to buy running gear (like my Garmin and new shoes).  This year, I'm just meh.  Apparently I'm not that enthused about yoga to buy more than one outfit.  Not like running and all the fun I had with clothes.  I really enjoyed laying out my running gear the night before a run, and I loved that I had the need for and could justifiably buy running clothes - the person who started this blog three years ago NEVER could have seen that coming.  Now?  I look at everything - the cute colors of my Thorlo socks, my running skirts, the bright tops, the different colored visors - and it's all unused.  Sitting in my closet.  I honestly don't know if I'll ever run again.  It's been so long.  And obviously, my ankle is still not right - not if just the act of putting on a stupid shoe causes it to feel bad.

How long is this going to take?  Is it EVER going to get better?  It's just a dumb bone contusion.  It shouldn't be this difficult to heal.  I've done what two orthopedists have recommended - I'm not running; I haven't even walked on it for exercise.  I do nothing that "pounds" on it.  I've iced, heated, Motrined, wrapped and even tried an herbal remedy (symphytum officinale).  And yet, as I discovered on Saturday, it's still not healed.  Still.  Nearly five months later.  I can't go for a simple walk without it hurting.

I miss getting out there.  I miss taking off with a group of people, with the common goal of running a certain distance.  I miss feeling the sweat pouring down my body as I run; I miss the exhilaration of finishing a run, hitting the stop button on my Garmin, and knowing that I propelled myself several miles, kinda fast, for no other reason than because I wanted to.  I haven't done that in so long.  And honestly?  I'm not confident anymore that I'm ever going to get to do it again.

So I I a runner anymore?  Was that just a part of my life that is now over?  Was that it???  I'm beginning to think so.  And that makes me really disappointed.


  1. nothing more than HUGS, commiserating, and understanding.


  2. Shelley, I don't think I realized that your ankle still isn't right! You poor thing :( I really understand how having an injury messes with your head. And how nothing else feels the same as running.

    Five months is a long time - did the orthopedists say it would still feel like this by now? Did they do an MRI? It sounds like they may need to re-visit their diagnosis?

    What about your bike? Is that painful, too? It looked like you used to like biking...or biking and swimming?

    I don't know - just throwing stuff out there...if running is your love, it's hard to replace.

    Big hugs from me - my arms are stretching wayyyyy over from Russia. I wish I could make it all better for you...

    xo Debbie

  3. Can you hop on your bike again without hurting your ankle?

    How did you start before you ever ran?

    Baby steps. Have you asked the doctors if they think running will be possible again.

    Dont give up. Look how happy you are in your half-marathon picture.

  4. Don't give up. Something else is going on here that the DR's are missing. Like the other poster did they do an MRI or is it just xrays? I'm concerned it's something that's not seen on an xray only MRI. hmm I consider you a runner just on the injured reserve list. When you find the answers you'll get back out there. ** hugs **

  5. You know how I feel about all this already but I'm going to say it again: you are an injured runner. Period.

    While I completely understand I just have to say hang in there - you will run again!

  6. Exactly what Helen said, YOU ARE AN INJURED RUNNER, and you will run again.
    But, I am very sad reading this, really, I felt it. I am sad for you. I do think that you will run again, and I would make a call to one of the docs, just to see if you can gather more info.
    Thinking about you.

  7. This isn't a pity post AT ALL. You raise the right questions you must ask of yourself. If you didn't, if you buried it and refused to think about it, what would be the alternative? What else would you do? Eat? Treat yourself poorly? No, you chose to get it out there and share it. This has to be extremely frustrating and the sadness you feel is out there for the rest of us to feel, too. Sending you much love and empathy, my friend.

  8. Like Helen said you're an injured runner! I can feel you however, since my runs have been so poor lately I feel like I have to start from the beginning again.

    I'm absolutely sure that once you will be able to run again you will. You might have to start all over again but you will.

    5 months is a long time, is there any chance you can get another opinion? Because you did everything they say and nothing has changed.

  9. Shelley, I'm so sorry your ankle isn't right. It is frustrating when we want to exercise and our body won't cooperate. How about a big 'ol healthy distraction? I love to ride my bicycle. Could cycling help ease the pain of having the run taken away? I predict that the running will be given back to you with time.

  10. No self-pity evident in the post. Just some statements of facts about how you are feeling. I'm so sorry your ankle hasn't healed as quickly as we would have all liked. I echo the sentiment that you are a runner, albeit an injured one at the present time. I think it's understandable to feel frustrated and question things.

    And on a completely different note: OMG - your granola is heavenly! I've had to do some serious talking to myself to keep me from just sitting down and scarfing up the whole thing. Thank you for your generous and delicious giveaway. You and your granola totally rock!

  11. Someone above said you were on the injured reserve list...that is exactly right! You ARE a runner who just can't run right now because your ankle is being a brat (I yell at my feet all the should try yelling at your ankle). For there to be no change in your ankle after 5 months something else must be up. Stress fractures are very difficult to see on xrays so if that's all they did, I would ask for an MRI. You'll run again...and you'll still run faster and further than me :-)

  12. You are still a runner and it's not over. It can't be!

  13. You are an injured athlete and running is off limits at the moment. Hop on a bike outdoors if you can or suspend yourself in water to jog with either a float belt or two noodles ridden like a horse. The walking at least will come back and maybe its time to be fitted for your running shoes at a specialty store, that made all the difference in the world for me.

  14. I'm so sorry. I know how frustrating injuries can be. Have you considered that it's possibly the *type* of shoe that your running (waking) in? I battled feet & ankle problems for YEARS ~ every time I'd start a training program, I'd get injuried and have to stop. Finally I threw all reason out the window and went and bought a completely minimalist style running shoe (Brooks Green Silence) and *slowly* got back to running (and lots and lots of strength training). No pain. Nothing. Nada. I wear Vibram Five Fingers or go barefoot all day long and when I run, I run in my Brooks.
    My ankles were super weak and I was putting too much strain on the joints and tendons because my lower legs weren't strong enough ~ neither were my upper legs and my core. My whole body was out of alignment. I've been doing the "New Rules of Lifting for Women" and there is such a HUGE difference in EVERYTHING. It doesn't hurt to run, it doesn't hurt to stand all day and my feet and ankles NEVER hurt anymore.
    And FYI ~ my Drs told me none of this would help.....
    Just some thoughts. I hope you find your answers soon :)

  15. You are still a runner. That is why I suggested you run in the pool. What you will find is that when you get back to running, it will be hard because your brain remembers how you ran before but your body isn't at that same spot and you got an inkling of this when you put on your running shoes.

    You didn't take five months off and that is why it is taking longer to heal... I would love for you to be running but I would suggest you think about doing a triathlon before doing a half marathon.... the goal is to run and racing doesn't make you a runner, running does... I would want you to be able to run every day rather than just for a race and from what you have written, you miss the running not the racing.

  16. Give it some more time. It WILL get better, and you WILL run again. I've never commented before, but I do check out your blog from time to time. I've had two knee injuries over the years, one took 3 months to heal and the other 9 months. I was limited to walking (no hills) and swimming during recovery. It was tough. But it did eventually heal, and I resumed tennis and jogging. Ankles, like knees, just take a long time to heal. You'll get there.

  17. Keep your chin up Shelley!!! I know you will run again! Sending a hug your way!!

  18. I've been there. There's a lot of pride and identity in being able to say "I'm a runner" and you feel like you have to earn it - and if you haven't been running, injury or not, you feel like you lose the right to say it. I feel for you! Hang in there!

  19. I don't want to alarm you and I don't know exactly what you injured in your ankle but my daughter was a high level gymnast and she went an entire season with an undiagnosed fracture in her talus bone. We would take her to the ortho and it was repeatedly diagnosed as a re-sprain.

    The reason for the delay - it does not show up immediately on an Xray. Once diagnosed, conservative treatment (much like what you describe) plus a cast did not heal it. She needed a very small pin inserted. Once that was complete, she recovered in record time.

    Not trying to scare you but 5 months is a long time. Please insist on an MRI. And believe me, you will probably have to INSIST.

    Good luck!!!


  20. I am so sorry Shelley. Have you had lab/blood work done? Just curious if there might be some other reason for slow healing.

    I feel funny about not running much anymore. I never really thought of myself as a runner, but I still wear all my outfits for walking or doing other things. Get those clothes out and wear them to the gym to go swim or out for walks or doing whatever (like upper body strength training :D )

    Injuries just suck. period.

  21. I am so sorry you feel this way Shelley! I have never been injured for more than a week, so I can't even begin to imagine not doing what I want.

    That being said - while this is taking time - you are still a runner in my book. You think like a runner, you love everything about it, and I have no doubt that you will heal (in time) and get back out there.

    In the meantime - keep swimming and keep your chin up!! Hugs!

  22. I know this must be so frustrating for you. Talk to your doctors and don't quit until you get the answers you need. If what you've been doing isn't working, go back and get another opinion. You are a runner because you want to be. That's all. Hang in there!

  23. Hugs, Shelley!

    I think your injury needs patience and rest, though I'm crap at doing either & it sounds like you are totally frustrating with not seeing results from following the rules of healing. Just give it time, I'm sure that you'll be running again, even if it is taking much longer than you thought it would to heal. :(

  24. My heart breaks for you. :( I feel helpless because there's nothing I can do and I know you love running so much!

    Is it possible to focus on other goals until this heals? Maybe riding a bike for distances (see Lori's cupcake rides) and doing some road rides in the area where you get a tee shirt? It would be someething new to try and might get your mind of that ankle while it heals. Maybe.

    Sorry, Sweet Shelley. I don't understand why it's not healing faster. ((HUGS))

  25. although I have never been through this and can't imagine how you feel Shelley my heart breaks for you.

    You are an athlete my friend...look at you...and you know what athlete's get injured! You put in alot of work and it shows, you will heal, you will come back, I just know it.

    And even if you come back and run just for the simple joy of being able to then that can be an accomplishment on it's own.

    Do you still bike? does it hurt to bike as well. If not maybe this is something you can do in the mean time.

    And just because you can't run right now doesn't mean that you aren't awesome.

    Chin up my friend

  26. Hey Shelley! Late to comment. But I have an opinion (LOL at myself) Right now 5 months seems like forever. In two years you will look back (while running a marathon) and think, now what was it I was agonizing over? I think there are some injuries that you can't recover from. I don't think this is one of them. (this opinion is purely from a lay person.)

  27. How utterly frustrating, and I do understand. But Helen is right: you are a runner. An injured runner.

    So you keep on doing what the doctor says, keep exercising in different ways, and it will heal. It took a long time to chip away at that bone, didn't it? So it stands to reason it will take time to mend too. Hang in there!

  28. That must feel really discouraging. I just read a post on another blog about an anti-gravity treadmill that is now being used in physical therapy and insurance is covering it. Might be something to look into.


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