Hello again! I had to look back to see what the last thing I wrote was…oops? Luckily, it was basically what I thought it was, so I’m somewhat on top of things over here.
Things have been going pretty well over here minus the injury nonsense (we’ll get to that soon enough!). I had spring break, and Eric and I headed to Amsterdam for just under a week. Amsterdam has been high on my list for awhile, and when I saw that flights were super cheap, we couldn’t say no! (Our flights were $407 each, round trip. Which is way less than my flight to New Orleans, which I’m leaving for tonight!) Such a deal. I’m going to write a post about Amsterdam later (maybe on my flight…?), but it was a great trip and highly recommended!
On the day we left (we had an overnight flight), I met with the physician assistant I see to review the imaging I’ve had on my calf. I haven’t run in five weeks (as of tomorrow), and my calf really feels about the same. I thought that the huge knot in my calf had gone away, but it has returned and Eric definitely noticed it when I asked him to roll out my calves yesterday.
I had an MRI on my calf that showed bone marrow edema suggestive of a stress reaction. It’s supposedly Grade 3, which is right below a stress fracture. (Cool?) The odd part about it is that it’s on the posterolateral aspect of the tibia, whereas stress reactions/fractures in runners are most commonly found on the posteromedial aspect. I also have a stress reaction in the fibula, which isn’t a weight bearing bone, so it’s not common to have one there. We think it’s most likely from muscles/tendons pulling on it. (I am a medical professional, but this is out of my realm of knowledge, so don’t take any of this as advice….disclaimer for you!) I highly suspect that this all started from some sort of compensation from my left hip pain, although I still find it all very odd that running a marathon on it didn’t actually cause it to fracture and that my extensive periods of rest didn’t heal it.
I actually went through my running logs since May 2015 to review my mileage and see if I did anything too crazy. I first had hip problems in March 2015, took time off, and started running again in May in preparation for the NYC Marathon. I really didn’t do anything crazy at all and most of my mileage was in the 20-30 miles per week range. (Okay, the only crazy thing may be that I peaked at 36 miles and ran a marathon……maybe that’s why I ran 4:20, hahahaha. Or maybe that I apparently was mostly doing long runs with 2-3 other shorter runs sprinkled in?) My PA keeps asking how my mileage was, so I’ll take it to show her next time I see her….and she’ll probably think I’m nuts for having all this data, haha.
Anyway, my other imaging study was a bone density scan. The report reads that I have low bone density, but only one parameter was just slightly out of normal range, so no one is actually worried about this.
I’m seeing an endocrinologist on Monday to monitor my hypothyroidism and see if there’s any sort of metabolic bone disorder going on that might prevent healing. I highly doubt that’s the case because all my labs have always been fine outside of my thyroid. (And occasionally my cholesterol, which could be thyroid related as well? Or I should eat better. Probably that.)
My PA didn’t want me to get a follow up MRI until after I meet with the endocrinologist, and I figured it’s probably better to wait a little longer away just to see if it’s actually making any progress toward healing or now. Soooo I scheduled my follow up MRI for Monday evening and hopefully this time next week I’ll have some news. My calf feels the same, so I have no idea. I might try acupuncture, but I’m not totally sure if it’s covered by insurance or not. (They cover chronic pain not relieved by other methods, which I would like to think this fits…) Other things that run through my mind are dry needling (which is mostly like acupuncture?) or trigger point injections. I’d love to see if it would break up that knot! Can a muscle knot cause this dull pain? Ugh.
I did deep tissue massage last year and it didn’t do anything to help. But it felt miserable, ha.
the not running
Hopefully it’s obvious that I haven’t been running. As I mentioned last post, not running hasn’t been too bad because I got pretty sick right after I was told to stop running, and we had a bazillion exams so I just didn’t run and studied instead. We walked a lot in Amsterdam, which probably wasn’t the best, but you gotta live your life, right? It doesn’t hurt to walk, so I think it’s okay.
I had signed up for a five class ClassPass trial, and I had a couple classes left when we got back from Amsterdam. I signed up for a Physique 57 class because it’s pretty near my apartment. I’d done this class a few years ago and didn’t like it, but it gets good reviews so I figured I’d give it another go. It was terrible! After doing Pure Barre multiple times, it Physique 57 seems so disorganized and uncontrolled. The instructor didn’t demonstrate much and there weren’t many corrections or cues, which you definitely need in barre to hit the right muscles. Will not be going back there.
I also took a rowing class at Row House – I’ve been there before and really enjoyed rowing, plus it’s low impact! It was a HIIT class, so it included a combination of rowing and exercises – squats, planks, lunges, etc. I had to modify some stuff to make it low impact, but overall it was great. After a warm up, we did 30 minutes of a set of exercises – as many reps as possible. This was going great and I was super sweaty. With one minute left in the 30 minutes, I sat down to row once last time. As I went to pull the strap to hold my foot in, something pulled in my lower back and I could barely move. I tried to pull once, and that definitely wasn’t happening. I did what I could through the cool down, and we laid on our stomach to do some stretching. Getting to the floor was hard enough, and I couldn’t push up at all into an up-dog position. My lower back wouldn’t bend back at all.
I hobbled home and laid on the floor (bad idea since it was hard to get up). I asked Eric to rub my back, and I still couldn’t extend at all. Then I laid
because I’m an adult because I feel like I can’t do anything without hurting myself. Running = stress reaction. Spinning = bad for hips. Rowing = really hurt my back. (By “anything” I mean “anything I like doing cardio-wise.” I could swim but can’t yet bring myself to do it. Plus NYC pools are not fun.) I put heat on my back and took a hot shower and that helped a bit. Luckily we had two exams right when we got back from spring break, so I got to study more!
So that happened on Saturday, and my back has gotten better day by day, but still doesn’t feel 100%. My whole left hip/butt also feels tight, so lots of foam rolling. I went on the elliptical for 30 minutes the past three days, and that felt fine. My up dog has gotten better and better each today, and this morning I could extend fully to what I could do before, but I do get a little squeeze right at the end. This all makes me nervous because you may (or may not) remember 2012 when I barely ran for months because of lower back pain. (I had an annular tear and got steroid injections that did the trick!) Hopefully I just moved wrong and this will all pass!
I was talking to my mom, and she said she admired how I keep trying to exercise. (And how she wishes she had that drive!) Eric asks me why I keep doing things that hurt me, haha.
The NYC Half was on Sunday. It’s funny because I thought it might be my comeback race from hip surgery, but I was worried it was a little too soon, so I didn’t end up registering. (I deferred last year after getting the flu two days before, so I had entry if I wanted it.) After my back situation on Saturday, I wasn’t totally sure I’d be able to move far enough to cheer, but I hobbled down to 42nd St to cheer! Jocelyn met me there for a bit before she ran to meet Meggie, which was fun! We happened to see Ashley as she ran into the city – we actually saw her bun bouncing as she crossed the street, so we yelled her name and she came over for a chat. It made me miss the whole running community that’s part of racing and just bumping into people.
Cheering was SO fun! We saw the elites come through – Desi is one of my favorites – and cheered like crazy. Then the masses started, and slowly we saw one person after another. Some people I didn’t even know were running! I broke out the cowbell and cheered for everyone and gave out some high fives. Lots of people were having really great races, and seeing everyone out running made me so happy! Jacy was out killing it like she does, Lindsay, Dani, Michele came by with a huge smile (even though she says she was in a tough spot!) on her way to PR, the Battalion team (Baker, Abbe, Brian, Bojana [I missed her!], Kelly), Meggie, and Beth, who cheered me for cheering, hahaha.
It was really fun to be out cheering for people, and it was only when I was walking home that I became sad about not being able to be out there and not knowing when it’ll be my turn again. But then I went back to studying and heating my back, so the liver and kidneys took over my brain. Hopefully this upcoming MRI will give us more of an idea of what to do next (since rest doesn’t seem to be doing anything…).
The PA actually said I could run if I just couldn’t wait anymore since I don’t actually have a stress fracture. Depending on how I feel after my MRI, maybe I’ll do a short run/walk, although I feel like I should just wait to get the results. What’s a few more days?
Now to focus on the fun – off to New Orleans for a bachelorette party! Happy for some warm weather and delicious eats!