MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 15, 2010

Spring Break? Really? You Don’t Say

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:32

Ughhhh. Now before I say this I’m going to preface it with: I know that some of you have it worse and get up wayyyy earlier than I did today. But when you have been naturally waking up on your own for the past 8-10 weeks (even if it’s still sleep deprivation as I physically can’t sleep in) an alarm clock sucks.  I don’t care if it’s 0400, 1000 or even past noon. Alarm = suckage.  So I won’t try to have a pissing contest to see who gets up earlier.  Suffice it to say: it was earlier than a natural wake-up, dark out (stupid DST) and incredibly painful.

Butttt I felt the need to get a good hard run in before my sports med appointment this morning.  My mentality was a stupid one: god forbid the doctor tell me I can’t run for a bit, I wanted to have a solid run in. Go ahead: berate me all you want but I know most of you would have done it too. (That said, I wasn’t entirely stupid about it and if I actually thought I was seriously hurting myself then DUH I wouldn’t have.  But I was really freaking myself out the past two nights over the what-ifs so I went into today with the above mentality)

Alas the monsoon still rages outside.  That coupled with absolute darkness made the gym a good choice.  So I pulled on some cute gym clothes (because even in the wee hours of the morning you never know who you’re going to run into *coughhotboyscough* at the gym).  AKA I threw on a lime green bra and a white t-shirt which would subsequently show off said bra when I got all sweaty (aka 5 minutes into the run).  Go ahead: call me a lady of the night or something similar 🙂

The run went really well.  Yesterday I think I noted that there was absolutely no shin pain and I’m likely to think the cause is that I started off the run slower than a typical TM run.  So I did the same thing today.  There was still calf soreness (interestingly in the OTHER calf aka not the shiny-shin-shin one. Compensation for something maybe?) but nothing that changed my stride.  I cruised through some miles (while watching Angel and Charmed. Ummm how could I forget how awesome those shows are?!) until it was time to head off to my appointment.

I also did some corework.  I usually do core when I lift on Mondays but since today was so jammed packed I knew I wouldn’t have time to get back to the gym to lift.  Not such a big deal (I mean I HATE skipping workouts) but I figure core = most important part, so I still got that in.

I had just enough time to inhale a breakfast, change my clothes into something dry (still in workout clothes haha) and dash off to my appointment.  I might have been able to shower butttt I hate being on-time (in my opinion early = on time and on-time = late. If you’re actually late, don’t even bother showing up at all) so I nixed it.  Good call because all the flooding closed some roads and I arrived just in the nick of time (aka 10 minutes early hahah)

SO. This is the part you’ve probably wanted to read.  The Appointment.  The doctor was really nice and first did a visual exam of my right ankle/shin (affected) compared to the left (normal).  I explained what I was training for yada yada yada (including my mileage and intensity as well as my goals for the race) and told him my concerns: that I thought it was just shin splints but it’s been going on for 3 weeks, changing shoes didn’t help and now I’m worried that it could be more serious.

He made me do some toe walks, heel walks, heel stomping etc. and asked about pain level.  No pain, but it feels all bruised and tender.  Comme d’habitude. He then started poking and prodding trying to elicit a “jump off the table” response.  I mean, I could feel it (felt like a bruise and tender but nothing painful).  I was sent for x-rays (yes I know stress fractures don’t typically show up BUT from working at this very department last summer I know doctors have to do it.  Mostly for insurance purposes so that the companies will pay for pricier tests down the road. It shows that the doctor tried to go alternate routes. Lame but whatevs.)

The x-rays were negative (duh).  He said that it was highly unlikely that it was a stress fracture though given the results of what he had made me do prior to the x-rays weren’t in line.  I knew this deep in my gut but it was really nice to hear a medical professional say it. Regardless: BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

He did say that because there’s swelling and inflammation in the area that he thinks I sprained it at some point (very minorly though, just enough to cause an acute inflammatory response) and that the restriction in my motion has caused the other problems. Aka shin tenderness on both sides of the ankle.

The fix? PT.  I walked out of there with a ‘script and I know that someone is going to “yell” at me (insert eye roll here) but I’ll start that next week when I get back to school and can see a therapist on a regular basis.  I was also told to keep ace bandaging it during running, icing, ibuprofen (as long as my stomach can handle it).  In addition I was told to ace bandage it a couple times over the course of the day just to try and push out the inflammation.

Exercise wise…he told me to basically start the taper now.  At this point he said that it was a risk vs reward and while he certainly isn’t telling me NOT to go through with the next two weeks as planned, he said to play it by ear. I asked what workouts I could do if I had to not run and he said the whole thing comes down to (running and XT)not being in pain (which I am not in at the moment). If it hurts, stop. If I get localized pain, stop and come right back to him. He said that it also comes down to what my goals are.  Clearly I want to race Boston sooooo….yeah.

I’m torn though.  And I feel like I want to put that out there.  I debated for quite sometime where or not to be honest with those feelings or just grin and bear it on the blog because I know many of you are going to be harsh and whatnot when I say that (even if it’s not intended that way, it’s the internet and it’s how I perceive it).  But I want this blog to be honest.  I’m not saying I’m going to disregard what the doc is telling me (I was very impressed with him both researching him online as well as in person.  He’s even giving a lecture at Boston!) butttttt I’m sure you guys “know” me well enough to know that this is a hard thing to wrap my head around.

So here’s what I’m going to do: play it by ear but I’m not sure if I can mentally handle going into the taper 5 weeks from the race.  Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure I can wrap my head around a 3 week taper. But rest assured, I’m not going to do anything stupid.  I mean, as much as I liked this doctor, I think I can live without having to see him again. 🙂

I will say that despite the torn-ness over the whole taper issue, I am feeling very optimistic about the whole appointment.  And I’ll say this again in big bold letters: I AM NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING STUPID. I am going to play it by ear.  And work with a PT.  So please know that I am taking care of this thing. (Can you tell how much I don’t want to be “yelled” at haha?). Your advice, as always, is welcome.  But please don’t bash me.

Side note: And I think it’s important to note that even if I do “severely” cut back (which I don’t have to do at this point) I’m still going to be logging huge miles simply because I’m at such a high level now.  This past week was…112.7. And a double side note: I know that there’s not way I can keep that up, ankle or not.

After that appointment (and hooray if you’re still reading this marathon of a post haha) I grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to my massage.  And boy was it glorious.  I told her to really only work on my calves.  Yes the butt, hamstring and quads need (and did get) work but with my calves being as tight as they are I wanted the focus there.

It. Felt. Glorious. I mean, my calves were as hard as rocks and soooo tender but a lot of work was done today.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling it in the morning and I tentatively scheduled another one for Thursday (provided that she’s free then).  The last 20 minutes of the session she even dedicated solely to my “bum” ankle.  By the end there was no swelling at all.  Sure once gravity took over it was a bit bigger again butttt I know that getting the old “gunk” out is a good thing.

Wow. Long ass post.  I guess today was such a busy day and I had a lot to say about.  Since getting up I’ve spent a grand total of 1/2 hour at home between appointments and whatnot.  That means that pretty much since getting up I haven’t showered.  Ewwww I am stinky.  So I’m going to go do that and then head over to a friend’s house for some 24 action.  It should be fun because, since the semester was so crazy busy so far for the both of us, we haven’t been able to watch 24 together (or really do much together!). Andddd her family is my family.  It’s going to be a good night!

And (gosh MM, can this post get any longer?!) I apologize to those who have emailed me lately.  I really haven’t had the time to thoughtfully reply (that also goes for replying to comments. I have read them but I haven’t had a chance to reply yet!).  Or really had the time to do much lately so I apologize for those blogs that I couldn’t comment on today — I didn’t turn my computer on until 1600 and the volume of unread blogs was staggering.  Y’all keep busy!

And it’s spring break?! This busy-ness needs to change haha.


  1. I totally get having a run in case the doctor told you you shouldn’t be running, even if it was more sensible not to I almost certainly would have done too!

    Comment by Laura — March 15, 2010 @ 19:00

  2. No nagging or harping here, just hugs. Oh man, I’ve said this before, but I think you the junior version of me, just a much better athlete at your age! You are going to rock Boston; it’s official now!

    Comment by Rebecca — March 15, 2010 @ 19:20

  3. I can totally sympathize with the “run before the doctor just in case he says I can’t run” thought, haha.
    But yeah, sounds like you’re going to be okay! Keep plugging and listening to your body!

    Comment by BostonRunner — March 15, 2010 @ 19:25

  4. Glad to hear it is not *too* serious. Have a fun 24 night! 🙂

    Comment by tmart — March 15, 2010 @ 19:42

  5. Lady, you are the one in charge of your own bod! You will do what’s right for you! So high five for nothing super serious or sidelining. If I was in your shape, I’d be rocking the green bra too 🙂 But no one wants to see that on me while running 9 min/miles haha.

    Comment by Running on Faith — March 15, 2010 @ 20:30

  6. You’re extremely smart when it comes to handling injury and the trip to the doc was wise. Sure you can hear what your body is telling you and the goal ahead is getting very large now, too. You know what is best for you and will carry it out. You’re a great athlete, keep going and stay strong!

    Comment by Ian — March 15, 2010 @ 20:31

  7. *claps* Glad it’s not anything too serious!!!! I know you’ll play it safe/smart. I just wish my mom would!!!! She tries to go too hard, too fast, and run too soon after being injured.

    And BOOO on rain and this new morning darkness…but I’m loving the daylight till 7pm deal!


    Comment by pinkcowgirl — March 15, 2010 @ 20:54

  8. I think you are a lucky lady – you obviously have a body that is incredible of withstanding things that most of us can’t fathom. That’s banging, dude! Still, no wonder the average runner person can’t wrap his head around your mileage. I’d be long dead at 3/4 your weekly mileage; you’re clipping along and still writing mighty posts 🙂
    This is YOUR body, you are the one living in it, you make the rules with how you treat it and train it. It seems to be going well. I’m cheering for ya, and really quite fascinated to see what else you can do.

    Comment by sarah — March 15, 2010 @ 21:33

  9. Just remember to train smart and you will be fine.

    If a doctor told me what he told you, I would probably keep with the plan. I am an idiot though 😉

    Comment by Matt — March 15, 2010 @ 22:00

  10. I’m with you on the early wake up. I don’t get up as early as most do, but it’s hard when you go from light to dark. I had an easy time *today*, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

    Comment by Kim — March 15, 2010 @ 22:11

  11. oohhh… the massage sounds wonderful! I think that may be priority one when it comes to finding a boyfriend… 🙂

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — March 15, 2010 @ 22:23

  12. I’m pretty jealous of that massage….mannnnn, sounds AMAZING 🙂

    Comment by Kathleen — March 15, 2010 @ 22:56

  13. Yeah, definitely just playing it by ear! You know the level of exertion that would elicit pain so just try not to get too close to that point. Now is not the time to push the envelope and risk anything. I feel you can log mileage without the exertion level being too high and that probably is the best way to go. If not a full five weeks, maybe a four week taper? Just don’t risk anything that would jeopardize your chances of getting to Hopkinton.

    Comment by The Laminator — March 15, 2010 @ 23:08

  14. Well I hope the massage helped…I think I need another one but they are expensive! I hear you about the ankle. Now my story has no real relation to yours but idk I feel like telling it.

    So i strained my hip flexor about 3 weeks before my big state pentathlon competition for indoor track a little over a year ago. i was upset and I still went to states and I even warmed up! BUT I was in pain and I KNEW in my heart that I wouldnt be able to preform at my best so I pulled out before it started and I cried and it was sad but it was a good choice because I was able to rest and run outdoor heptathlon even though i later had to take off 2 months due to weak hips but thats besides the point and it was after the outdoor track season! Anyway the point of my rambling story is go with your gut and your heart which you are so thats good! Do what is best for you!

    Comment by J — March 16, 2010 @ 09:05

  15. Your massage sounds heavenly, I’m really glad to hear it worked such wonders on your ankle swelling! Playing it by ear is great news as well, just take care of yourself and listen to your body!

    Comment by hogeruns — March 16, 2010 @ 10:26

  16. Glad to hear that you got some good results from the doctor. Let’s hope that the combo of rest and slowly building things back up gets you back to your former self!

    Comment by David Dierking — March 16, 2010 @ 11:04

  17. Glad your shin isn’t too bad. Keep in mind that even if you cut back by 30% (more than 30%!), you’d still be running 70ish miles a week, which is still a substantial number of miles/week. Maybe you need to think about what you feel like you are getting out of running 112 miles/week rather than 60-70 miles a week. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t run the mega miles, but like the doc said- it’s a risk to reward thing. Do you really think that cutting back by that much at this point is really going to negatively impact your race?

    Comment by EarlyRunner — March 16, 2010 @ 12:06

    • Exactly what’s been on my mind post-appointment. I think that long recovery runs are going to go but as long as I keep intensity I’ll be okay. I love how constructive you are btw 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 16, 2010 @ 20:09

  18. can’t believe you were in waltham!!!!!!!! it was a MESS!!!!! so close to me, too 🙂 what doc do you go to? my pcp is at the waltham children’s hospital satellite in family practice, dr. gaines!!!!

    gosh, PT!!!!! i love pT. can’t wait to hear how you like it. it will help you tremendously. add one more thing to your activity / active lifestyle list, huh! hahaha. you are sooooo on the go. hope you feel 110% soon. i think from the way you talk about it you are good to go??? better to be safe!!!

    Comment by Lacey — March 16, 2010 @ 12:13

    • I definitely think that PT will be amazing for me. But youre right: it’s just one more thing on my to-do list. I need to figure out when I can fit in a session! And YES to waltham being a mess. soooo many detours!! And that’s where I was: children’s satellite in the sports med dept

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 16, 2010 @ 20:11

  19. Bottom line, I can’t see you starting the taper now … maybe in two weeks. Maybe incorporate more TM for the recovery runs to avoid the beating on the roads … do LR, tempo and intervals outside? I know you are on top of the ice and stuff.

    Comment by a marathoner — March 16, 2010 @ 15:20

  20. Hey you know I’ll never bash you right? You know your body and you’re gonna do what’s best. That massage sounds glorious. I really need to schedule one for next week.

    Comment by Teamarcia — March 16, 2010 @ 20:48

    • Do it. Sure my legs are sore a bit from it but it was amazing 🙂 And thanks for not bashing hahaha. You’re always so nice 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 17, 2010 @ 18:05

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