Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Injury Timeline: Don't Try This at Home

Hey guys!

Thank you so much for all of the sweet comments of support on my return to running... it's been slow, but wonderful!

As runners, most of us have faced injuries that take threaten our training... and our sanity.  I have had a lot of injuries in the past year, and in the crystal clarity that is hindsight, I see that I certainly could have done things differently.

December 2010:  Started running again after a few month break that was nursing still-only-sleeping-three-hours twins.  I started slowly, less than a mile the first run, and ran three days a week for a month or two before I was up to three miles, three times a week.

Foam rolling with help.
January 2011:  I got the ol' shin splints. No stranger to shin splints, I got new shoes, iced, rested, taped, massaged, Sticked, foam rolled, drank beer.  (The last one is critical for recovery... the alcohol... it... ahhhh.. relaxes the inter...connectal......)

February, March 2011:   Cut my running down to one or two days a week due to shin splits... basically just suffering through one long run a week.
Oshkosh Half - the rufflebums
got me through!

April 2011: Hobbled through the Oshkosh Half Marathon.  Finally went to see a sports medicine doctor, who took X-rays, and told me she didn't know what was wrong, but I needed to rest.

May 2011:  Saw a physical therapist.  Diagnosed me with Posterior Tibial Tendinitis, and mandated 6 weeks off running.  Ultrasound therapy, stretches, strengthening with the PT twice a week.

June 2011:  Running again!  Very little to no pain on most runs.  YAHOO!!!

July 2011:  Still running, up to 15 miles/week.  At the end of July, experienced a terrible run with tremendous quad pain.  Took two weeks off... and...

Hey dumbass, you broke your leg!
August 2011:  Ran the Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon.  Went to my primary care doctor, was referred for a bone scan, and found multiple healing tibial stress fractures and a fresh femoral stress fracture.

September, October, November 2011:  Heavy drinking.  Lots of crying.  No running.

I don't think I'll ever know if running through all of those "minor" issues at the beginning of the year caused my stress fractures, but I do know I made three HUGE mistakes.

What being stupid does
to your legs.
#1) Training for half marathon with shin splints.  Not smart.  I should have not run Oshkosh and thrown all my hard-earned money at a physical therapist right away.  

#2) Training for a half marathon with shin splints/tendinitis/stress fractures in six weeks with virtually no running base.

#3)  Running a half marathon when I suspected I had a femoral stress fracture.  Super not smart.  

So there you have it.  I'm an idiot.  So that's why I'm being extra smart about my recovery... with a few idiot moves thrown in... but overall I'm being very cautious.

 I'm going to detail my plan here tomorrow, and hopefully these posts will help someone out there not be such an idiot.

But if you do choose to be an idiot and run through an injury, I'll buy you a beer and we can ice/stretch/foam roll and drown our sorrows together.  :)


  1. Thanks - Great post! I just wrote about how I'm stuggling with an injury. It's SO HARD to rest! ARGH!

  2. You know you have been injured a long time - look how young the boys are in the first picture! Yikes! HEAL BABY, HEAL!

  3. Cool it with the bone breaks, mama! I think you're plan to come back super slow is a good one and yeah you may have practiced some idiocy this year... but you're soooo much wiser now. PANTY RAIDERS!

  4. Hey girl- I understand the stupidity. I ran my first ever half marathon even though I knew I had severe pain in my foot with every step. Turned out I had grown a cyst the size of a finger in there and was under a surgeon's knife soon after. I don't know if quitting when I felt pain could have prevented surgery, but I can't help but think that the fact I ignored it for so long led to some of the permanent nerve damage I get to deal with now.

  5. haha. okay. this really isnt funny. but i can relate. its like how many times can i go through pain or an injury before i just get over my stubbornness and actually STOP running for a bit?!? i KNOW deep down that things would be better in the long run but in the moment i cant imagine not just doing this ONE race, etc etc etc. that was totally my story last spring. and it took till september to feel normal again. awesome. hang in there! love that you are running again!

  6. We have all made these same mistakes girl do not beat yourself up about it.

    I am so proud of you for being smart about coming back to running. We could all learn from your example.

  7. I can so relate to this! INJURIES suck! I've been dealing with PF for a few months now, and it's so frustrating. I definitely pushed through some runs that I shouldn't have...hang in there!

  8. We all make mistakes, the key is to learn from them! :)

  9. best part of this blog? right here: "... drank beer. (The last one is critical for recovery... the alcohol... it... ahhhh.. relaxes the inter...connectal......)

    my inter...connectal is very relaxed. best wishes as you get back out there this winter!

  10. Well, you've certainly had a year, haven't you? Take it easy on yourself - and that means not beating yourself up about what you should have done or could've done differently. File it under "now you know" and ease back into it - you can do it!

  11. Oh man that is not a good year. I need to stop my crying because you have had it sooooo much worse! I am glad you are being smart. I started running again this week and I am trying to be smart...which is pretty easy because I am slow and out of shape now.

  12. Seriously, I do not learn anything until I've made a mistake and suffered the consequences. So, now you know! And it will never happen again. :)

  13. Ugh! You're stubborn like me. Thank goodness for alcohol :) I'm glad you're on the road to recovery.

  14. I KNOW not to be dumb about running through injuries, but somehow still do it. day I will learn.

  15. Oh wow. What a year. It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is in the moment. When you're not even sure what your dx is. Live and learn, I guess. You are so not the only one in this boat. Hey speaking of boat, ARGHH Matey! May we all be healed up and ready to rumble by June!


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