That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Sunday, April 1, 2012

blah, not again

Peroneal tendon has been feeling near 100% again. Last week was my longest run since the Air Force Marathon - 18 miles. It went pretty well. I was a bit bored by the end, and naturally a bit tired, but I did it at the prescribed 30-45 seconds/mile slower than marathon goal pace, and I felt like I had more left at the end.

Later that day, my left leg was way more sore than my right, and I had to limp to get around. My calf especially felt very tight. Strange, but I chalked it up to, well, running 18 miles. I mowed the grass the next day (with a push mower, uphill, which seemed to loosen things up a bit) and did yin yoga. The day after, I knocked out 6 miles at marathon goal pace. After the first 2 miles of suck (calf was tight and the first 2ish miles of my route are a net uphill), I felt AWESOME. Wednesday was speedwork, and I killed it. Thursday I did a brick, and though my leg was a little tight, running was still ok. One bad moment came when I stopped to pet a friendly cat and had trouble getting up off the sidewalk, but I foam-rolled that night and felt better the next day.

Yesterday, I ran 15 miles with the group, again at marathon goal pace + 30ish seconds. After the initial tightness subsided, I felt fantastic. I felt like I could run forfreakingever at that pace, and I was telling other people in the group how AWESOME running felt that day. It felt great. If only it had been a 7-8 mile run.

...because at that point, the tightness started coming back, but it was bearable without changing my pace or gait. Then it started getting worse, but only when we stopped. If we stopped for water or traffic, it would lock up and take a few minutes to feel normal again. That's when a coach noticed that I was favoring my left side, but my stubborn butt decided to test it out a bit longer, and a few minutes later, he said I seemed to be back to normal.

Around mile 12 it started to affect my running when we hadn't stopped. Grr. Running got a bit harder at that pace, but still far from impossible, and I wasn't limping that I could tell. Two miles later, while running downhill, the leg locked up. I had to hobble to keep it moving, so at that point, I walked the rest of the way - just a mile or so. Walking was a little owie but overall fine.

Got back to the running store, wasn't thinking too much of it other than I need a massage ASAP. Stretched, gave myself a charlie horse in my thigh that had me screaming all sorts of foul things, hobbled to my car. Hobbled around while running errands. Booked a massage for Monday.

Later that day, things got worse. After I sat on the couch for a while, I seemed to lose all ability to walk. Putting weight on my leg activated a screamy spot on the inside of my leg, not quite at my knee, about at the top of the calf muscle. My husband actually carried me to the bathroom at one point. I fell asleep on the couch and I had to crawl to get to bed after I woke up.

Next morning, still way gimpy. Couldn't walk without leaning on something. Could only stand with the majority of my weight on the other leg. After agonizing about what to do and talking to the PA on call with my doctor's office, we ended up at the ER. The not being able to walk thing was freaking me out a bit - not to mention that I can't go about my life being immobile!

After 4 hours in the ER....I got nuthin'. I am walking better now, and I discovered that wearing shoes helped that quite a bit. (Yeah, I know, duh.) I think it may be muscular, but my bloodwork came back a bit funny. There's something called a d-dimer that indicates the presence of a blood clot, and my levels are 3-4x higher than normal. It can also indicate other things, including run of the mill inflammation/injury and pregnancy (so I got to pee in a cup to rule that one out for 'em.) When they came in with the cup, I thought maybe they decided I was acting crazy and wanted to drug test me! So now I have to book an ultrasound in the morning to make sure that isn't it. (A blood clot, I mean, not pregnancy. That has been ruled out. Pregnancy would also not be an explanation for leg pain.)

Ugh. Not how I wanted to spend my day, and running is all a bit up in the air for now. The doc said no marathon...then again, so did my podiatrist a few weeks ago. He was also in the "running marathons is bad for you" camp and was telling me about cardio studies of marathon runners and how it can damage your heart and so on. So is it bad that I want to take his advice with a huge grain of salt? Especially since he couldn't tell me what IS wrong if it's not a blood clot? Our first 20 mile run is scheduled for next Saturday and I'm not super hopeful about it. Best case scenario, I'm thinking of maybe running with the run/walk group that day, and that's not likely, considering how craptastic my leg feels now. At least there's another 20 on the schedule 2 weeks later. If I can get that in, I'll be good with the idea of the marathon. If not, maybe I can do the half...that's assuming I can run.

Arrgh. My husband said to take it one day at a time but I'm sooooo not good at that sort of thing. And I'm dipping into my HSA/Lasik fund once again to pay for the fact that my body apparently does not agree with my brain that distance running is an awesome thing.

35 days until the Pig. Heal, body, heal.


  1. Oh goodness. First, find out about the blood clot thing. That is serious business. Second, switch doctors. Honestly, when I look for a doctor, I read online bios, etc, to FIND doctors that are runners so i don't get a bunch of BS. Maybe find a runner doctor and get a second opinion on some of the other stuff - but rule out blood clots first! Sending you lots of good vibes!!!

  2. I got the ultrasound this morning. No blood clot. What pisses me off is that I told the tech why I had the referral and she said, "You don't have a blood clot. That doesn't sound like a blood clot." I may have gone off a little about my high deductible insurance and why the HELL am I paying for an ultrasound if she can tell me I don't have a blood clot before they even do the test.....

    The doc in question was the ER doctor, who, ironically, said he is a runner but he hates every minute of it. Ha. I'm supposed to see an orthopedist Wednesday - the same doc I saw for my dislocated finger, actually. And I'm getting a deep tissue massage today by a triathlete. I think I strained the crap out of my calf, really. I keep telling myself it's not as horrible as last year's injury but a calf strain is still not at all a fun injury to deal with. :(

  3. So glad it's not a clot! but damn the cost. grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Sending lots of healing vibes your way!!!

  4. Thanks dear. :) I actually cancelled my doctor's appointment. The massage therapist agreed with me that it's a muscle strain and there's nothing the doc is going to tell me about that injury that I haven't heard before. The massage therapist was also much more optimistic about my recovery prospects than the doctor, so I will choose to listen to him!! My plan is a cautious return to running once I'm done being hobbly (and extra swimming and biking in the meantime) in the hopes of at least doing the second 20 mile training run (cautiously) on the 22nd. (There is also a 15 miler on the 15th.) How that goes will depend on whether I decide to run the pig or not. If I'm not up to 20 by then (and that's two weeks out from the race), I have the option to switch to the half.

    If I can do the full, I may have to adjust my time goal, which makes me a little pouty but it's better than being knocked out entirely!