A Lark Became a Dream…

And the dream of running the 2014 NYC marathon died when my bone scan lit up like a Christmas tree.

It looked like I’d gone through an airport body scanner with round bags of drugs shoved into the heel of my shoe and the front of my tibia.  Such was the “uptake” of activity in those bones.

I knew the odds were not ever in my favor when the tech took the initial blood flow pictures (before the injection) and remarked, “Wow!  Look at that.  That’s a very intense area of blood flow going into your heel and tibia.”  She cautioned me that things were not looking promising, then sent me on my radioactive way for a few hours.

The bone pictures didn’t look any better.  Two big bright circles in my heel and at the base of my tibia.  She said it was up to the radiologist and my podiatrist to interpret, but I understood.  Me smart!

I still ran 8 miles that night (last Thursday), keeping to my training plan until I heard from my doctor’s nurse.

Then she called, and she said that the doctor didn’t get a full copy to look at, only the radiologist’s report, but that he/she reported “stress reaction changes” in both areas.  My doctor wanted to see me ASAP.

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Of course I asked what that meant and if I should keep to my plan of running 4 miles that afternoon, 8 on Sunday and 17 on Monday.  She said that it was my call, given that my doctor hadn’t seen the actual images herself, but that if I attempted it I would have to stop when I felt any pain.

Well, that meant not running at all.  So I shut things down, and met with my doctor yesterday with a disc copy of the scan.

And the fat lady is singing.

If not fractured, both the heel (calcaneus) and lower tibia are stressed to the point of fracture.  Since I came in relatively early with the pain, the bone scan is only showing early stages.  Later scans or x-rays would show the line of the break better as it heals.  Of course, that made me feel like maybe I would be a quitter to stop…like a better person/runner would keep going.

But I know that’s not true.  I am making a choice to stop, but that choice doesn’t categorize me as weak or uncommitted.  I know I could continue, and I could live with the pain.  I just don’t want to make that mistake.  The peak of my training is still ahead–it’s not like I’m even into the taper phase yet.

I don’t define myself by one race, and I will not run myself into the ground/a boot/a cast/no exercise for 3-4 months.  I risk fracturing both bones clear through by continuing, and if I do that, I will be sidelined from running far longer than if I rest now and let my body heal.

So I am done and out for this year’s NYC marathon, and I am resting my foot and leg for at least 4 weeks.  I guess there isn’t much more to say.  I will add another post in the next few days with some great links I’ve found and want to share along with more of a description of how this injury feels compared to plantar fasciitis–in other words, how I knew this injury was different.  Maybe the info could be helpful to other runners…

But for now, I’m sulking a bit.  This isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of my life, and I am keeping it in perspective, but I am allowing myself a day or two to be pissy, because this SHOULD NOT have happened.

I have been a runner for over a decade.  I log regular weeks of 20+miles, and I build mileage properly.  I can’t help but wonder what caused this injury, because it shouldn’t have happened, and though I know random injuries do arise, I have my blaming eyes squarely set on the one thing I’ve done differently during this training cycle compared to previous race training (one marathon, and too many half marathons and other races to count)…

THE FUCKING DREADMILL.

Looks like I picked the…

wrongweek

Happy running, peeps!  Enjoy your ability to get out there today…now that I can’t run, all I do is see runners (isn’t that the way?)!  I will be here at home, gorging myself on Game of Thrones books and cross stitching (almost done with my niece’s birthday present…a Paris scene)!

LaurenParis

 

 

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Dreadmills and One Less Egg to Fry

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s red wine served room temperature third world problems snow in late March Poise pad wedgies treadmills.  I know I’m not alone in this.

Other than the time a few months back when I tested out my new shoes on a 3-mile run so I could return them if necessary, I haven’t been on a treadmill in at least 4 years.

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I’d rather bundle up and crack off snotsicles or get soaked in the rain than get on one of those things.  I just despise them.  They don’t feel right.  I don’t keep my balance well and always feel like I’m going to fall off, so I end up right on the front bar with my arms up too high.  I don’t run on a treadmill with a natural gait.  I hear myself bouncing.  I feel my badonkadonk.  You just don’t run the same on a treadmill as you do outside.  They’re boring on steroids.  Boredom kills, you know.

But I broke yesterday.  We’ve had more snow (my god, the snow!), and the streets weren’t looking that great.  My grandfather ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, so I took the boys up to see him, which we followed up with a yummy lunch at Winstead’s (a hamburger joint here in town.)

It was technically my second lunch of the day, but I couldn’t resist.  I scarfed my food down like a pro, then saw this on the ceiling…

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Hmm.  Ick.

By the time we got home, it was close to 5:00, the streets looked a little icy, and (BONUS!) it was snowing again. I parked the boys in front of the Xbox like any loving mother would and made a decision.  I would go to the gym and knock out my 5 easy miles on the morosemill, the dredgemill, the very thing I despise most in the world next to ignorance and poverty.

Of course the mills were packed together.  Of course the gym was blazing hot and pumping stinky recycled air, like some hulkster was standing in front of the vent forcing all air to pass through his hairy pits.

I found a car across the street that I could focus on for balance and just started cranking it out.  I felt much better when a young chickie hopped on next to me and had trouble keeping a 5.5 mph pace for three miles (yes, I feed on others’ weakness, and no, I won’t apologize.)  I felt much worse when some NBA-height player hopped on my other side and started loping along at what seemed like a similar pace and effort but was really an 8.2 setting compared to my lowly 6.0.  I hate tall runners and curse my Native American genes for keeping me at 5’7″.

I finished, but that’s about all I can say about the experience that’s positive.  Oh, and I was a sweaty mess after thanks to the broil setting of the heater.  

I admire the ladies who leave the gym looking all pretty and enthused, perhaps dabbing their underarms gently with a cute little towel.  I looked like this…

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It’s my sweaty bitter face.  You’re welcome.

I’m headed out to see my grandmother at the nursing home today, then I will crank my 5-miler out on the streets, thank you very much and ice be damned.  Seriously, I think the roads are better, so it should be fine.  Anything’s better than the treadmill—and to the runners who are forced to run their miles on treadmills for childcare/weather/location/scheduling/whatever kind of issues, you have my respect and admiration.  I salute you.

In other quick news, HH, dude magnet, left yesterday for a long time.  It seems there’s some trial in Florida and he’s expected to do his job and be there for it.  So now I do my job and keep up the fort here.  I am missing him already and singing lots of Marilyn McCoo and The Fifth Dimension to myself.

One less man to pick up after.  Boo.