Sidelined…

Remember all that writing about Tendonitis I did back in 2011?  Well, I’ve had on and off pain in my foot since my first marathon in November 2010.  My Boston doctor had diagnosed it has tendonitis in my foot.  I’ve been dealing with it ever since and when I moved to SF the pain flared up again so I saw a doctor here.  After reviewing my MRI he told me I had a build up of scar tissue in my ankle and he didn’t think it was actually tendonitis at all.  He gave m a cortisone injection in my foot which made a tremendous difference!  I went back this summer and received a second one which once again relieved my pain.

I knew this wouldn’t last forever and when my pain came back late this fall I had to make a decision.  I could opt to have surgery on my foot and removed the excess scar tissue or try and keep running on it.  I decided to have the surgery to hopefully resolve this nagging pain once and for all.  It’s a minor surgery called a ankle arthroscopy and would need minimal recovery time.  (Crutches for 5 days and no running for 4-6 weeks)  I scheduled the surgery for January because I have no planned races coming up and I could recover stress free with no set timeframe to run again.

I had the surgery this past Thursday.  It went well and I’m now recovering.  I was told I would be put in a “splint” for 5 days while on crutches.  This is what my foot currently looks like:

IMG_2487

It’s a bit more than what I envisioned as a “splint”.  Haha.  It’s been an interesting 3 days.  I don’t envy anyone on crutches.  I only have to be on them for 5 days and I can’t wait until I can walk again.  I should be walking out of the Doctor’s office on Tuesday.  Fingers crossed!

My friend Kate has been really great to me.  She brought me to and from surgery and hung out with me Thursday afternoon.  Yesterday was a beautiful day in SF and she drove me down to Fort Mason for a picnic lunch.  Our friend Kendra joined us and we just laid out in the sun people watching from 12:30-4pm.  It was a great day!  This afternoon I went over to her house to watch the Patriots and she cooked a pot roast.  (The game was depressing, enough said about that)  It’s great to have wonderful friends here to help me out!  I was worried about being so far from home but I did well!

So for now, no running, biking, swimming, walking, etc.  The most exercise I have gotten is up and down to flights of stairs on crutches which is actually much more work then I thought.  I’m hoping that I’ll be cleared to swim next week, I need to wait until my incision heals.  I’m also hoping that I can maybe get to the gym and do some upper body weights and maybe some legs at some point.  I think it will be hard to aerobically keep in shape if I can’t spin but I’m determined to get my heart rate up somehow.  So for now…just doing all I can to make my recovery go as smoothly as possible and stay positive.  I will survive 4-6 weeks without running….it won’t be easy, but I’ll survive.  As my mother says, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” so I’m hoping to come out of this stronger than ever!

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Why are you running the Marathon if you are injured?

I was talking to some of my co-workers yesterday about the Marathon.  I was getting all the usual questions…

  • You already ran 20 miles on Sunday? (yes)
  • All at once?  (yes)
  • How long did it take you?  (A little over 3 hours)
  • How long will the marathon take you? (Last one I ran in 4hrs 18 minutes)
  • How long will it take you to run Boston?  (I hope around that time if not a few minutes less but given my injuries, I just want to finish)
  • How much do you run during the week? (Depends on the day, anywhere from 5-8 miles a day)
  • Do you run 26.2 before the marathon?  (No, just up to 22miles)
  • How do you feel the day after?  (Like I never want to run again and if the building was on fire I would never survive, going down the stairs is just too painful)
  • Why do you run if you are injured?

Wait, what?  I have never actually gotten that question before.  I’ve gotten it in other variations or maybe more like statements.  Things like, “Are you sure you should do this?” or “Maybe you shouldn’t if it will hurt you long term. ” or “It’s not worth it if you can’t ever run again?”.

So when a non-runner actually asked me why I was running if I was injured, I was stumped.  Runners (athletes) get it.  Even my Physical Therapist said that as a PT she would never tell me to run 10 miles in pain, but as a runner she gets it.  I explained that although I’m injured, I have been told by my Sports Orthopedic Doctor and Physical Therapist that I’m okay to run.  I have basically trained for this marathon by spinning.  I have done most of the long runs, but have missed at least 2 that I can think of.  Instead I sat on a bike for 2 or 2 1/2 hours (pure torture). I explained to my colleague that I was being very careful with my training.  With the exception of my 20 mile run I have never pushed through severe pain.  I spin, and run and spin more.  Looking back I really haven’t had many “runs” except my long runs.  It’s kind of crazy when you think about it.

I also tried to explain to her that running the Boston Marathon has been a goal of mine since I was a young kid.  I  remember coming home and watching the finish of the Marathon with my Mom.  I was amazed by the Elite athletes but I think I was inspired even more by the regular people running.  The training and dedication that goes into running a marathon was mind boggling.  I always would think about how those people felt after crossing the finish line.  The feeling of accomplishment must be surreal.  It’s doing something you never thought was possible.

If their is one marathon finish line I want to cross, it’s Boston.  It’s the most prestigious

I might be more excited for the Boston Marathon Jacket than the medal - you don't wear your medal when you run! 🙂

marathon in the world but even more importantly, it’s my hometown Marathon.  Running down Boylston Street past my office, my “local” Starbucks, my favorite bar and into Copley Square with ALL of my family there is going to be a feeling that I can’t even imagine right now.  I will be able to say “I ran the Boston Marathon”.  That’s why I run even though I’m injured.  I run for the ultimate runners high.  (And of course, the Boston Marathon jacket, the finish line picture, the foil blanket, and medal)

No workout today.  Yesterday was 35 minutes of spinning followed by a quick mile on the treadmill during my lunch.  Tomorrow a run and weights.

Tendonitis

I’m going to share a little bit about a recent injury in this post.  It will help explain some of why I’ve been mixing a lot of spinning into my training.

While training for my last marathon I had some pain in the arch of my foot .  I ignored the pain because it would be fine after a mile or two. (For the record – not a good idea).  I told myself I would go to the doctors after the marathon and get it checked.  So I did. stay true to my word because when I got home from the marathon my left foot/ankle was REALLY swollen. I saw my sports orthopedic doctor and had x-rays.  They didn’t say much so I was sent for an MRI of my foot.  He was concerned it might be a stress fracture.  Fortunately, it was not a stress fracture.  Unfortunately, it was sever tendonitis in my left foot.

  • My boot...

    Treatment:  No running and I had to wear this awesome boot for two weeks(through Christmas and a major snowstorm) and then a light brace for another week.

I was able to spin during my break from running and it really kept me in great cardiovascular shape.  I was cleared to run again Jan 6th. It was awesome to run.  I tried to take it easy and boy was I sore.  About 10 days into running I went out running with Meredith and the L Street running club.  The run that day was 13.6 miles but I was planning on doing 8-9 to ramp up slowly.  Well let’s just say runners are bad influences on other runners.  They convinced me I could do the whole run and I was feeling good so I did it.  (It’s not their fault – I’m mostly to blame, I should have stuck to my original plan)  Two days later my foot was sore again.  Since then I’ve been doing one run during the week, long runs on weekends and spinning 2-3 other days.  It’s been working out pretty well.