After some x-rays and being bent and twisted every which way, the doc said he didn't think I had a stress fracture. In terms of soft tissue injury I have "a little bit of everything" - tightness and strain in my IT band, my piriformis and SI joint.
"Great!" I said, "So can I run my marathon in 3 weeks?"
For a split second he just looked at me.
I mean, I knew what he was going to say, I just needed him to say it out loud. And the knowledge that he was actually going to say no, didn't make hearing it any easier.
He did say that I could run it, but most likely I wouldn't finish and turn a manageable injury into something much worse. I tried to hold myself together while we discussed our plan: 6 weeks of PT with a focus on core strength and hip flexibility. (I also have to say that I am glad I didn't let my previous experience with a sports med dr keep me from going to a different one. I loved this doctor. He had such a great attitude and seemed to genuinely care about getting me back in my Brooks.)
When the appointment was over I allowed myself a couple of minutes to cry it out and wallow in my self pity. I mean, months of running in the freezing cold just down the drain. Eventually I gained some perspective. This is not a real problem. A set-back for sure, but there will be other start lines. Right now I am choosing to look at this as a lesson that in the back of my head I knew had to be learned: that I can not train for these long distances by running alone.
This winter I half-assed my core work and barely lifted anything heavy. I knew better but I just didn't follow through. So I am picking myself up and pulling up my big girl pants and getting to work.
Step 1: Get Better
My first PT appointment isn't until Saturday. Until then I will be rolling and stretching like a boss. I was using just a regular foam roller but have since upgraded to the Trigger Point roller after many recommendations. I bought a lacrosse ball to get the oh-so-hard to reach piriformis. (I had to look up YouTube videos on exactly how to do this. I don't recommend that. It was kind of creepy.) The stick comes with me to work, much to the chagrin of my office-mate who asked why running is my hobby when I need to use torture devices to do it. Some people just don't understand.
Step 2: Cross train
Running alone just isn't going to cut it anymore, especially if I want to run longer distances or improve my speed. Definitely going to put more emphasis on core work and strength training.
|Did you know that "Go For It" by the Hot Sundaes is |
not available on iTunes? WTH?
Step 3: Nutrition
While I am working on the bigger picture I can not ignore the vital role of nutrition. If I can focus this rebuilding period on cleaner eating and perhaps even some weight loss, all the better.
Overall, I am surprised at how quickly I have come to accept my current situation. I mean, crying and self pity is not going to change anything. It turns out I already had a back-up plan. Last week I found out I was accepted into the Marine Corps Marathon. I couldn't be more excited. It will be my biggest race by far. I'm ready to do the work because in 7 months I am more determined than ever to make it to this start line!