Hey everyone! Ugh, I don’t want to write this post. At all. If you read this post, you know why. So here was the plan:
Here was my loooooong week:
Monday: Rest day because there was no way I was putting those shoes on again.
Tuesday: My new shoes came and I couldn’t wait to try them out! 10 minutes easy, 10 minutes steady, 5 minutes easy because I was in pain. After I got home my legs, hip, and groin felt worse than they ever have in my entire life.
Wednesday: Called the orthopedic doctor, set up an appointment for Friday, and then cried in my office. Rest day.
Thursday: Yet another rest day. My legs still hurt a lot, along with my hips and butt. I may have accidentally googled “stress fracture” a few times. More crying happened.
Friday: I went to my doctor’s appointment where I was x-rayed and then poked all over by the doctor. After he watched me walk, we had a little talk about everything. To be fair, he didn’t know my life at all. Nor did he ask. In fact, my experience with him was awful and I’m bummed that he’s one of only 3 orthopedic doctors that are covered on my insurance!
Dr: So sometimes people decide to run a longer distance and they rush into it.
Me: Oh no, this is my fifth half marathon.
Dr: Well…sometimes people try to up their milage from nothing.
Me: Yeah, my last half was in September and I did start running less after that, like only three times a week.
Dr: Well…this is your first winter here. How much vitamin D are you taking?
Me: 2 gummies per day!
The doctor definitely judged me for a second and then proceeded to make me watch a powerpoint he made about all the knee surgeries he did that got messed up again because of vitamin D deficiency. After he prescribed 5 times the amount of vitamin D I’m currently taking, he explained that running in the wrong shoes was probably what caused all the pain and encouraged me to throw my old shoes away (he said the new shoes looked good!). Finally, he pulled out my X-rays and pointed out a tiny, long crack that ran along my left inner hip bone. I almost passed out. He said he couldn’t be sure that it was a stress fracture, but that he wanted to get a clearer picture. So he said that I needed an MRI as soon as possible and handed me some paperwork with “STAT” written all over it. After a few hours of attempting to work, I went in for my MRI. I didn’t exactly know what an MRI was, but I soon learned that I would be laying in a tube for 45 minutes while a machine loudly did random stuff to my torso with magnets. I was so confused and scared that I worked myself up into a pretty intense anxiety attack. I couldn’t breathe correctly or stop shaking for hours afterwards. Within an hour I had the results:
And since nothing bad was showing up on the MRI, my doctor cleared me for exercise as long as I feel comfortable and pain-free! He strongly suggested starting off by walking in my new shoes and then slowly moving back into running. But he also told me that he wants to go over my results in person so that we can discuss some things that he noticed. He said I need to stretch more and that he notices something that may need to be corrected with surgery in the future. He also cut me off without answering one of my questions to tell me that he ran a 30 minute 10k when he was younger after taking time off from running so maybe I could still run a fast half marathon. Way to make me feel totally inadequate.
Saturday: This was supposed to be another rest day since my legs still felt weird, but my friend was in town and we ended up walking around on Cape Woronzof for 2 hours to watch the sunset. We also had what I would call “Alaskan Fun”, a term I created to explain the crazy weird stuff that people in Alaska do to have fun that couldn’t be done anywhere else. Our “Alaskan Fun” on Saturday consisted of taking chunks of ice and throwing them onto icebergs that were passing by. It’s more fun than it sounds, I swear! Does ice throwing count as cross training?
Sunday: Final rest day with lots of foam rolling!
So overall, it’s not the week I was expecting. It was pretty emotional and painful! I learned that my shoes were definitely hurting me, and it’s good that I got new ones. I learned that my current half marathon training plan will not get me to this race in one piece and I should probably consider one that includes walking so that I can ease back into it. I learned that my anxiety issues are not totally cleared up. I learned that my doctor is kind of cold – not only did he cut me off a few times and not smile once, he made a snide comment about how bright my new shoes are. Thanks bro. I don’t really want to go back there on Wednesday but I did pay thousands of dollars I don’t have on that MRI that he ordered so I might as well hear what’s on it. I’m worried he’s going to tear me apart but I guess MRIs don’t lie. I do know for a fact that nothing is showing up on it that will prevent me from getting back to running and I’m so excited about easing back into it!
Next week I plan on taking some slow and stretch-filled yoga classes (although my dr. wasn’t super excited about yoga) and trying some run/walk intervals on the treadmill using this training plan. I will be starting in week #7 but think I’ll switch it with week #8 to give myself a shorter long run this weekend so that I won’t have to worry about getting hurt again. If I’m still in pain after a run interval or two I’ll have to step down to walking only on the treadmill and then using the bike to keep up my endurance (the dr. okayed that!). My next 6 weeks will be about being careful, making sure I’m feeling strong inside and out, and getting mentally back in the game. But I’d love any advice on run/walk training plans, ways to stretch more, and tips on recovering from a week off!