I knew before the first appointment what the doc was going to say. I was still trying desperately to stay in denial but the symptoms were pretty obvious. Running was clearly telling me that our relationship was moving too fast, that we needed a cool down period.
I left the first appointment in my newly fitted Boot, with a broken heart and an extinguished race season. I had been clinically diagnosed with a stress fracture of the left tibia. The x-ray came back clean but that was to be expected and I’m waiting for a bone scan that could be “a while”.
I’ve been respecting my recovery and not all at the same time. It’s been a tough month of digging deep to keep myself positive. That is done easier at times than others.
“Stay off your feet as much as possible.” Well, this girl who was always moving, taking 10,000 steps on a rest day, racking up KM’s, chasing after kids and loving an active life, brought everything to a screeching stop. 1500 steps a day became the goal and I was upset if I managed to get to 3000. I was watching too much Netflix, driving my kids crazy by asking them to grab things for me, and spending a lot of time on my front porch waiting for a visitor to happen by for a chat. It was all fine at the beginning but I got bored pretty quickly. I am not good at sitting still!
I started allowing myself things I don’t while I’m training. I didn’t pass up a cooler when hanging with friends and allowed myself caffeine again. (In hindsight, that was a really bad idea! It did not help with the sitting still part of recovery!)
I started making trade off’s. I’d participate in weekend fun with the family, knowing that I would do NOTHING in the following days. I needed to have some fun!
I have some great friends who try to keep me motivated and are always reminding me of my love for running. (As I type this very sentence, I just received a text with a random picture of Bon Jovi – Thanks Val!). They remind me that I can still keep my body strong while not running and motivated me to return to yoga. I was forced to really tune into my body as I adapted poses or just stuck with poses that wouldn’t require weight bearing on the injured portion of the my leg. I am so thankful that I had developed my yoga practice before the injury to a point where I feel confident enough on my mat to try to find what feels good. Adriene from Yoga with Adriene’s favorite line.
Just like running, the physical side of recovery is only a portion of the picture. I previously blogged about the first missed race. That was probably the hardest day I’ve had so far. There have been really good days and there have been some pretty bad ones. Overall, I have been trying to figure out how to repair my relationship with running or if it is time to admit that it may not be a healthy relationship for me.
I’ve decided not to make any permanent decisions right now. I’ve decided that I need to learn how to find balance. Right now that balance is between enjoying summer with my family and respecting my bodies need to recover. I’ve taken the watch off. I’m not tracking steps or sleep quality. There are no specific goals on minimal steps to reach now. I am smart enough to know when I’m not taking it easy and need to sit down with my cuddly puppy and watch some Netflix.
I’m nervous as I sit in the docs office for my follow up appointment. Crutches were on the table last appointment. That will change my capabilities as a mom drastically. It was selfish of me to allow myself to get injured. I have a family that relies on me to stay strong. Personal bests and squeezing in as many races as possible is not worth the losses we are experiencing as a family because of the fracture. See, some days are hard, really hard.
Blogging was a great way to keep myself busy while in the waiting room. Doc says crutches are the next logical step as my sweet spot is still super juicy. Let me translate – I still have a very specific location on the bone that is painful to touch and does not like the tuning fork test at all. Good news is that the sweet spot is smaller than last time. The original larger problem area is just tender now. Improvements!
After chatting about it, we decided to use the walking boot when I’m preparing supper ( no extra baking and such) and on the crutches the rest of the day with no weight on my left leg at all. A compromise to allow recovery but also recognizes the responsibilities of my day. Cooking in the kitchen on crutches with a large family is a recipe for another injury!
We shall see how this goes!