Monday, February 16, 2015



Yep, that lovely white stuff is coating VA, which means I get a snow day Tuesday, so lots of blog reading will be happening between laundry and cleaning ")

I know you all are probably sick of hearing about my injury already, so I apologize right off the top. 
I tend to work things out in steps through my blog, and I feel it will be helpful to me to be able to look back on it.

This post I am sharing the background about what occurred. My next post I will tell what I've learned from this experience. 

"What did you do?" "How did that happen?"  

I wish I had an absolute answer and could pinpoint the time of injury but I can't.  However, I have thought a lot about what transpired, and I do think the problem happened before the Richmond half I ran in November. 

Looking back: 
In September I was struggling trying to get my half marathon training rolling. It was still very humid here and I ran several runs with very heavy legs trying to get my groove back. 

During August I mostly ran inside, and not more than 5 miles at a time, and transitioning back outside was not going as easy as I hoped. 

In October, I remember I felt overwhelmed thinking I was never going to feel okay while running again, and early in November my left calf was particularly tight. I mentioned it in a post. 
Old Post About My Burning Calf

I had a strange burning sensation that usually happened when my calf was feeling tight, but it would come and go.

I kept rolling and stretching and it would feel a little better, then a few runs later, bother me again. 

I was really worried the Richmond race was going to be a mess. 

Mile 10 - November 15th
When I ran the half, my legs felt good, and I was thrilled. I thought whatever it was got better during my taper week. 

Two days after the half marathon I ran a two mile shake out run - legs felt good - 
5 days after my half marathon I ran 9 miles. I felt great that day, I ran very easy paced and picked it up on the last mile (about 40 seconds).
I wrote in my notes that my leg started to feel really tight during that speedier mile.

In December I ran 111 miles. I recorded on two runs that my leg was bothering me with a tight burning sensation. It was significant enough to note it, but again, it wasn't enough pain to really make me worry, most of my miles felt pretty good. 

It wasn't until Christmas when I was sick, and barely ran all week, that I realized the strange burning sensation was completely independent from my calf tightness.  My muscles were feeling great after so much rest, and yet this one little spot on the inside of my leg (inside shin) would bug me off and on. I noticed that it felt different depending how I put my weight on it. I made the appointment, and had to wait 16 days to see the Sports Medicine Doc. I actually felt so fine during that waiting period, I kept on with my marathon training and ran about 58 miles with very little discomfort, and thought about canceling the appointment on January 12th. 
I never had constant pain after a run, just a twinge here and there. I started to think I was over reacting. 

A few days before my appointment, my leg gave out on me while running on the treadmill. 
I had never have that happen before, but even that day it didn't really hurt, it just felt weak, but at least it motivated me to keep the appointment. 

The result was...I did indeed have a tibial stress fracture. It still puzzles me the pain signals weren't bad enough in December to make me realize I had a real problem.

So that is how I ended up in a boot for almost four weeks.

My discomfort during October and November had been very troublesome. The heavy legs on runs, the pace struggles, and the tightness and burning sensations all had me very worried. I thought I had dodged a bullet when I felt so good during my half, I honestly thought taper week helped cure whatever it was. 

Until I actually saw the bone scan, I had a hard time believing a stress fracture was a real possibility.  

Like I told my doctor, I never would have even started marathon training in December if I didn't feel good enough. 

I guess I always believed if I needed a break from running, my body would tell me with pain. My next post I will share what I've learned from this experience. 

This is a really informative, must read article, about stress fractures:

 Tell me about your run today!! 

I am a bit nervous when I think about running again, but I've cycled about 23 miles, and spent an hour on the elliptical without my boot on, and so far ~ no pain ") 
I will be ready to run soon. 


  1. You still remain active even with your injury so I am sure you will be able to jump back into it when u are ready and not feel like you lost any fitness. I have been dealing w IT band issues but lately it has been feeling really good. I hope this isn't a fluke. -L

    1. I hope it isn't a fluke either! It is a pain, literally when you deal with an on / off again issue. I hope you continue to feel good :)

  2. It's so nice to hear at the end of your post that you are slowly getting better and maintaining your fitness!

    The beginning of your injury sounds a lot like what happened to me this past fall. I had major calf tightness/discomfort after my marathon, so bad that I stopped running for a whole week. Like you, it actually started before the marathon but I ignored it, then it was fine on race day, then after the race it came back with a vengeance. I am lucky that it didn't turn out to be more than it was.

    1. You are lucky! I have read many accounts about how stress fractures happena nd that tightness seems to a main theme. The doctor told me usually three full weeks with only non impact when I feel a twinge like that is the cure.

  3. Your running fitness will come back quickly when you are able to start running. Good job on keeping up the fitness! I would follow a plan about returning to running after an injury when you get the green light, our tendency as runners is to overdo it.
    Snow days are fun! What book are you reading?

    1. Surprisingly, I have felt pretty chill about runnning. It's in the teens and has snowed quite a bit so it's curbing my urge to even try lol
      I am in laundry mode now :) I didn't find a book, but have found several accounts and articles either from runners or OT/PT peeps and tried to educate my self a bit. I honestly knew very little about stress fractures.

  4. My ankle stress fracture came out of left field - bam. I had been on a snow skiing trip and thought that was the culprit but the doc insisted it was from running. When I finally got back to running, I made a rule that I would never run more than 3 days in a row. I've stuck to that. At my age, I have little niggles all the time. How can you really know something is wrong?

    1. That's been my biggest fustration, at a certain age things become a little more challenging and I expect it I guess. I have to learn to respect my limits when I figure out what they are lol
      I like your rule, I will work out three days in a row, but always different activites.
      I try to not run more than four days a week, but there are times when a fifth day will creep into my week.

    2. I try not to run 2 days in a row. Every other day. Sometimes because of the weather. I do cheat on this but i have had a stress fracture from overuse and I never want that to happen again.

    3. I try not to run 2 days in a row. Every other day. Sometimes because of the weather. I do cheat on this but i have had a stress fracture from overuse and I never want that to happen again.

  5. I would think a stress fracture would hurt more too! But I never had one so I don't know. :(

    Nice elliptical miles! Have you ever done the Arc Trainer? That thing kicks my ass when I can't run.

    I totally know what you mean about going through a process sharing on your blog. I do the same thing! And we are not sick of hearing about your injury- we want to know how you're doing!

    1. Thanks Megan :)
      I did the Arc machine Monday and it felt pretty good! Maybe I will be able to get to it again today :)
      I am so confused by the pain signals to this day - I ran a lot of miles on that fracture or I did it just before I went to the doctor and it happened that day my leg gave out...weird!

  6. It's always good to look back and learn from an experience (good or bad). It's a healthy way to process it all. I was nervous to start running again too. I completely understand! Just take it slow and day by day. It will happen!! :)

    1. I hope so much this is a one time occurrence in my journey and I can manage myself better from now on :) I am very nervous to take those first steps.
      You really did good taking a break when you needed it.

  7. Isn't it great that you had all of that documented so you can look back it put it together and learn from it? Ahh, the wonders of blogging and keeping a training log! :)

    So happy to hear the XT has been going well! :)

    1. I am trying to keep even more detailed notes now, because I always I think I can remember, but I found I don't.
      So far so good :)


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