A Moment of Silence and How I Spell R-E-L-I-E-F

A Moment Of Silence

With embarrassment comes silence. I guess that is why I have been so quiet lately. I don’t know what I did. I don’t know how I injured myself. My most recent runs suck. I’m embarrassed and I’d rather not discuss it.

Have you ever been there?

In desperation, I attempted a few runs early this week starting Sunday. Actually, they didn’t go too bad…but I crept along like molasses. I didn’t even come close to my marathon hopeful pace. In fact, I fell more than a minute short of it. But the positive thing is that I ran it. And I felt pretty OK afterwards. Of course, I did everything I should do, like roll, massage, stretch and ice it. And I did it a few times that day after the run.

Sunday's Run

Sunday’s Run

Monday, I woke up in OK shape. It wasn’t as tight in the morning as it had been recently. I already decided not to run Monday after P90X, but I felt the need to do something, so I opted for a super slow treadmill walk. To be fair, I don’t think it really did me any good. I probably didn’t get my heart rate up enough to make much of a difference. But at least I wasn’t sitting on my ass for the rest of the day.

Tuesday was going to be another run test. I felt really good in the morning and was anxious to try it. And the weather was quite good. Still a little brisk in the morning, but not nearly as frigid as recent weeks. I was able to jog immediately, which was a good sign, and by mile 1.5, I had loosened up enough to pick up the pace. I really had to concentrate on not losing form to favor the calf/shin. And that was difficult. So I turned off my podcast.

Wow! What a difference that made. I actually enjoyed the silence. In fact, I was really able to concentrate on the run and do what I needed to do. I did have to stretch it out occasionally, like every 1.5 miles or so, because that seemed like the right thing to do. Every time I did, I was able to return to form.

Tuesday's Run

Tuesday’s Run

The difference between Tuesday’s run and Sunday’s run is that I felt better at the end of the 5th mile of Tuesday’s than I did on Sunday’s. But later in the day Tuesday, the calf/shin was angry. Angry enough that at my PT appointment, my PT and I made the decision that I should have it X-Ray’d. Not that it would make a huge difference in what I would do from here on out, but just so we had a baseline on where to go from here on out. I was filled with doom and gloom, and pretty much decided on my own that at this point, I’m better off staying OFF the leg in so far as running goes, until the Marathon. 13 days of rest is better than 0 days of rest. And my PT agreed. We tried to come up with other forms of cardio, but since I lacked a gym membership (as of yesterday), that didn’t look optimistic. I’d just have to live with the resistance training of P90X to get my by, instead.

I made the appointment with my general physician on my way out the door and got in the next day at lunch time. Perfect! But in the meantime, as the afternoon went on, the leg didn’t feel any better. In fact, I felt it back up into my calf area by late in the day.

I did some internet research on massaging for shin splints, since in my mind, if it wasn’t a stress fracture, it was a shin splint. And I found a beauty of a video which I followed closely. Funny thing was I found two big lumps in the calf above the point of pain, and one little knot right at the site. So I worked them all out, one by one, and finished the calf massage. Then I applied some Gator Leg Cream and some Magnesium Oil. This morning, I woke up with NO pain…just a little bit of tightness. So already, before the doctor visit, things were looking up.

I had already decided, too, that I would go to the local YMCA and get a membership. I have to do something. They have a pool and ellipticals, and this is what my PT recommended. The good thing about the “Y” is that you can go month to month. And I get a discount through my health insurance. Bonus!

We did P90X this morning, and during the warm up, I noticed that I had no pain or discomfort through the warm up march routine. This too, peaked my interest. If worse comes to worse, I could just march in place to burn some calories and get an aerobic workout of some kind. And I did that after P90X for a half hour. And I was happy to have no pain before, during or after.

So, what happened at the doctor? Well, when I first showed him where it hurt, he immediately said “I doubt it is a stress fracture. Not there…” And that was my first positive affirmation. The second were the x-ray results, and although he said we couldn’t rule it out completely with just an x-ray, he did say that the bone looks great. And that I have great looking bone structure and bone health. And that he is almost certain it is a form of shin splint. Prognosis? He liked my plan to rest it from here on out…continue icing and stretching, and liked the idea of me getting in the pool. He also prescribed a stronger anti-inflammatory for me to take twice a day. And although he couldn’t recommend a massage therapy, since he doesn’t know of one, he said to do it gingerly and that the one time a day before bed is probably best.

I immediately headed to the “Y” and got my membership and got into the pool. I haven’t really researched water jogging yet, so I just opted to swim some laps. The first few weren’t easy, but I quickly fell into a rhythm and eeked out 66 lengths, which according to the sign on the wall was 1 mile. It took me 45 minutes. And I realized after length 50 or so that I really missed swimming. I mean really swimming. Not just getting in the pool and playing around swimming, but lap swimming. And it felt good. And I got a workout. And I didn’t stress my leg.

After a Mile Swim

After a Mile Swim

How do I feel? Mentally, about 75% better. I know that if worse comes to worse, I’ll be running a 5-hour marathon. And that is OK. It is Boston, after all. And if all goes the way I hope, I can at least heal enough to eek out a 4-hour marathon. And that would be nice. And I wouldn’t expect any more than that. And I’d be happy.

How will I feel after? Um, I’d rather not think about it.

My sister, a PT herself, will be there. So I will be in great hands. I gave her the mission to get the latest information on shin splint taping. I’ll be there 5 days ahead of time, so we can try out some different methods. In the meantime, before my flight leaves a week from tomorrow, I’ll be swimming, and maybe I’ll try the elliptical. Maybe…I don’t want to jeopardize anything at this point. In my heart, I know I’m plenty fit to handle this. I just need to heal the leg as much as possible, and heal my mind by convincing it that I don’t have to ditch Boston. There is still hope.

H-O-P-E. That is how I spell RELIEF.

9 Responses to A Moment of Silence and How I Spell R-E-L-I-E-F

  1. that pace is far from a slow one dear…give yourself a break and let your body rest a little…We are all cheering you on! xoxo

  2. Your slow is someone else’s fast! You’re so motivating to everyone else so here’s a little back at you. You have many miles under your feet and you know your body best. Good luck with Boston. Can’t wait to read about it.

  3. Mom says:

    Yes, give yourself a break and rest. The pool should be good for your calf/shin splint. I hope it’s warm though. Love you.

  4. Alexis says:

    Rest, swim and massage. This is taper time anyway. You are going to BOSTON!!!

  5. Jan says:

    Oh T, you’ve got this! I have no doubt you are going to run an amazing race! Just the high of being there is going to be such a rush!

  6. I agree with the other commenters to give yourself a break! The important thing is that it’s Boston and you’ll be there! Listen to your body between now and then and give it the rest it needs!

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