Saturday, February 26, 2011

Long Story Short

So, here's the short story of what's been happening.
January 22, I join the GoRun Runners and headed out to Kingman County for "one hill of a run." 20 insane miles on the relentless hills of Kingman. As one friend said, "those hills were demoralizing!"
That's a big deal for Kansas, ok?
 They were, but it felt good to get that awesome workout in so early in the training season.

A PRE shot before the Kingman Hills
I ran my normal miles the rest of the week. I felt tight in my left calf specifically but chalked it up to the hill run. I stretched more and just dealt with it.
Wednesday, January 26, was my typical morning 10 miler with some speed work. I even got creative and "Stitched" my neighborhood.
My "Stitch" Run

I had to stop twice on this run to stretch out my calf. Again, I just thought the pain was tightness and assumed some more localized attention would do the trick.
That evening I ran once more with the GoRun evening group. I complained that the "tightness" was really bugging me. After the run I stuck around for a great clinic about running drills. I had a great time ignoring the screaming pain and learning to do high knee and skipping drills.
The GoRun Running Clinic
I cycled on the non-running days and kinda forgot about the pain.
I even had a DEXA Scan done at my doctor's office. It revealed some lower bone density levels that we're slightly concerning for a runner, especially a female runner. All the time I was at the docs it never occurred to me to mention the pain in my calf. I just assumed it was a fluke and I went on with my scan. (It also gave an accurate reading of my body fat percentage. But you don't care about that do you?)
My Bones and Tissue

However, by the halfway point of my 18 miler on January 29, I knew something more than tightness was brewing in my left calf. I feared the worse. The runner's kryptonite: A STRESS FRACTURE.

I contacted my PT, Mr. Karl Glick. he told me not to run and come see him Monday, January 31.
I should have taken a wooden spoon to bite down on with me to that appointment. Once he confirmed it wasn't a stress fracture (phew!) he proceeded to try and kill me.
While it wasn't a stress fracture it was a nasty tear in my calf. He immediately hooked me up to an ultrasound machine and treated the "knot." Then he used his hands to "workout the knot." OH. MY.
I can't think of anything more painful in my entire life. Not childbirth (eventual c-section of a 9lbs. 13oz. baby), not a stress fracture, not stitches, not running a marathon, or recovering from a marathon. Nope. Not one thing has been as painful as the therapy for a muscle tear.
I was on my belly, clinching my fist, and kicking my good leg. (I later learned that most cry and that includes the grown men. I feel that earns me some serious street cred.)
I left the office with the strict instructions not to run, cycling and swimming were okay, and to come back on Wednesday, February 2.
Thank goodness for the purchase of a trainer this winter. My butt and that saddle got real familiar this month!
I was lucky to only have to do the ultrasound treatment on 2/2/11, not hand-to-calf contact. That was a nice Groundhog's gift! No more torture.
Karl had me schedule a massage with our favorite therapist, Nancy Korroch, for Friday, February 4. He treated me with another ultrasound and then sent me down the street to her.
She worked that pesky tear over. I wasn't in as much pain as Monday, but sheesh! I found myself on my belly clinching my fist once more.
She also had another plan for me. She's been researching Ion Detox Foot Baths. I got to be one of her guinea pigs. Along with claims of ridding your body of dangerous toxins, it also couples with electrode therapy. So I sat with electrodes on my sore calf, causing it to contract, and watched as my clear water turned into a swamp of supposed toxins.
Nice clean water to start

Less than 5 minutes in

About 15 minutes

The final shot at 30 minutes
 The chart showed that greens and oranges were possible toxins from my gallbladder and joints, I think. Like I said, we're in the research stage of this product. And she figured, it couldn't hurt to try and see if it helped the healing process. Man, it was gross to see though!!

I couldn't run long the next day, so on Saturday, February 5, I replaced my long run with my first 50 mile spin. Whew! Even the best of shows can't make that sort of thing fun. I watched a lot of TV that day and was so glad when the 50 rolled over on my calculator!
Fast forward to Wednesday, February 9. I'd totaled four ultrasound treatments and even was approved to give the elliptical a whirl.
Finally on my feet
But Wednesday was the real test. A bona fide run on a treadmill was on the doctor's orders. Only 3 miles, but I took it. I felt pretty good and I got pretty eager. I felt like a caged horse, dying to run. I probably ran a little too hard, finishing up in sub 7/minute miles. It felt really good.
Wednesday, February 16: PT require a morning 5 miler and an evening 5 miler to see how the legs would do on their first double digit day. I'd been allowed to run several 5's and 6's since the first treadmill run, but nothing higher. All signs pointed towards healing as I finished my day's miles with the Wednesday GoRun gang once more.
Saturday, February 19: First "Long Run" back. Ran 14 with the Saturday morning crew and reported back to PT that there was no pain, just a little tightness. He sent me on to my normal week this week and had me plan to check in on Thursday.
Thursday, February 24: "If you promise to go moderate, no hills, no speed work, and vow to shut it down after 15 miles if there's pain, you can run the scheduled 20."
Saturday, February 26 (Today):
No PAIN to report!

Kids, I think we're back in business!

Anyone want to buy my tickets to Boston?

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I were guinea pigs for that same foot spa thing some time ago via his former office manager's mom's massage and wellness place. I remember the grossness. ;) Very fun re: stitching the 'hood....gotta keep it fresh and fun!