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Archive for the ‘injuries’ Category

Muscles are crazy.

According to the sports medicine doctor, my main problem in running is overpronation. (Well, and overtraining which made my overpronation problems particularly bad).

So here’s the deal: When most people walk and run, they strike the ground with their heel and the roll their foot forward. Rolling from heel-to-toe often starts slightly on the outside of the heel, but ideally ends towards the middle of the front-foot (from my understanding). As an overpronator, I’m rolling from the heel to the toe, but rolling my foot too far inwards, causing it too collapse a great deal, and causing stress on my muscles.

Overpronation in pictures
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So how does what I’m doing in my feet cause stress in my shin muscle? Well, here’s the crazy part. The muscle that’s involved in my problem runs from below the knee, down into the foot. So when my foot is collapsing, it’s pulling on the muscle. And that’s why I’m having pain. (The muscle involved is called the “tibialis posterior.” So now you know).

Here it is. The posterior tibialis.
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Yep, those are the interesting facts about my shin problems. This is also why some people go for minimalist running; by not wearing shoes, they stop heel-striking altogether, therefore preventing injuries such as the one that I’m currently recovering from.

So…at my doctor’s suggestion, I get to wear orthotics. I just think that word is so funny, because it makes me think that I’m a very dorky girl. Like Forrest Gump. I’m sure the Forrest Gump had to wear orthotics.

I’m still really hoping for a quick recovery, but I’m beginning to realize that EVERYTHING seems to exacerbate the problem. The doctor told me no elliptical, no hiking, and no doing anything that makes them hurt. Well, I figured since I’ve been doing the elliptical and hiking that by stopping the problem would be better in no time.

Wrong. Because even the seated exercise bike seems to irritate my shins. And swimming might cause a problem too. I’m not sure. That’s the other problem. I can’t necessarily figure out what activities cause problems since I’m always active. Yesterday my shins hurt badly when I woke up. The night before I had done biking and swimming. So which one is causing the problem? I have no idea. It’s very confusing. Perhaps I should just lie in bed for the next few weeks and never move in order to improve the problem.

This stinks.

But muscles are interesting!!!

Do you already know all about muscles? Do you think I look like Forrest Gump with my orthotics in?

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Given my new instructions to not use the elliptical, Husband Saign and I had to take the plunge and get a legit gym membership at a gym with a pool.

It’s very exciting! Here are my new treats I had to get:

 

Yep. Just when you thought maybe I wasn’t that ridiculous, I take a photo like this, and you have to acknowledge…I am pretty much completely ridiculous.
Also, this is my 2nd pair of goggles. The first pair I wore to the gym one day and promptly lost them.

Sadly, because of my shins, there’s a ton of stuff I can’t do at the gym.

Here’s a list of what I can do:

  1. swim
  2. yoga
  3. bike
  4. upper body/core strength/lifting

Yep. A sad list of 4 things.

Here’s a list of the things I’m looking forward to doing when I get better:

  1. RUN! (Most important!)
  2. zumba
  3. rock climbing
  4. kickboxing
  5. spinning (I should be able to do this now, but so far it’s exacerbated my shin pain)
  6. lower body strength/lifting (My shins hurt so badly from doing legs this weekend that I realized I shouldn’t be lifting with my legs)

I’m so excited! I hate paying for a gym membership, but I really enjoy having a gym membership!

What’s your favorite thing to do at the gym? Any ideas of things I can do that don’t have the potential to hurt my shins?

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I just got home from the sports medicine doctor, and I’m still trying to process what he told me.

When you go to the sports medicine doctor in your work clothes, they give you special stretchy shorts to wear.

The good:

  • He doesn’t think I have a stress fracture. Due to my low amounts of pain, he said he’d be pretty surprised if it was a stress fracture, but if the pain doesn’t improve in 3-4 weeks, he’ll order an MRI
  • He seemed like a good doctor. He was nice, didn’t seem rushed, and really listened to me. He explained to me all about my muscle that was hurting and why.
  • He said I can bike! (Okay, that’s sarcasm).

The bad:

  • He said to keep resting…for a “few” weeks…and then he said a scarier thing “four” weeks. Um, Ragnar is in four weeks.
  • He said no elliptical until I go a “few” days with no pain. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really hate the elliptical, it’s super boring. But it’s better than nothing.
  • I forgot to use my list (which is really not a surprise), so other than resting and orthotics, he didn’t give me much advice. I think this is probably because resting is so super important, but I am kicking myself that I forgot to ask him ANY of my questions.
  • He said that when I do run again, I need to start “gradual.” What the heck does that mean? I hate gradual.

In conclusion: Diagnosis dumb girl. Really. According to him, I got this by being dumb (no, he didn’t say that, but really, it’s true). I injured myself by pretending I am a better runner than I am and ignoring my body. Dumb girl.

People. Don’t be like me.

This is how I feel about the news.

I have very mixed feelings about all of this. I’m not sure how to feel. I’m glad it’s (most likely) not a stress fracture. But I’m sad that his rules are really close to encroaching on Ragnar. I kind of thought he might say, “It’s not a stress fracture, so go ahead and run!”

He did not say that.

Tell me a story of something dumb you did, so that I’ll feel better about my dumb thing. Ready? Go!

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Tomorrow is the big day! The day when I will finally see the sports medicine doctor! I’m really hopeful that he’ll be able to help me. I want to make sure that I give him all accurate information, so I’m making him a list and checking it twice. Thankfully this blog has helped me keep track…even though I’ve been really bad about posting my workouts!

So here’s my journey:

April 5 – R shin started hurting – I mostly ignored it and kept running. Eventually the L shin started hurting too

April 23 – decided to not run for 1 week

April 26 – Ripping feeling in R shin during high impact workout

April 27 – Xray

May 6-16th – Ran slowly 3x/week-ish

May 16 – Last run; decided to not run until I had 2 pain-free days

As of today, I haven’t run for 5 weeks! My shins have slowly felt better and better, but I still have pain a few times everyday. I’m not sure what to make of it. The pain is so minor, but I’m scared that if I run, I’ll make things worse.

This is a rose from my yard. It has nothing to do with this post, but since I believe that every post needs a photo, this is it.

I’ve been having bad luck with doctors these days, so I want to go prepared with questions. Here’s what I’ve got:

  1. What’s my diagnosis? (Are we SURE it’s not a stress fracture?)
  2. How do I know when I can run again?
  3. What are some recommended cardio activities that I can do while I heal?
  4. When I do start running again, how should I build up my mileage?
  5. How do I know when I shouldn’t run anymore (pain-wise)?
  6. What can I do to prevent the pain?

That’s all I’ve got for now. My biggest fear is that he’ll tell me that I can’t run Ragnar. I would bawl my eyes out if he said that. My second biggest fear is that he won’t be helpful at all.

So, we wait. I’ll report back after I know more!

Is there anything else that I should ask the doctor? Do you ever bring lists to the doctor to make sure that you cover everything?

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You know how when someone starts giving you horrific detailed information about their experience with head lice, your head starts to itch?

Well, I’m having that problem with my shins.

See, I was in a physician colleague’s office, consulting with him, when I noticed something on his shelf:

**Re-enactment. My colleague has a Spiderman toy on his bookshelf. The Hello Kitty Snowboarder toy is mine. Also, my colleague has medical books on his bookshelf. The children’s fantasy books are mine.**

That’s right! A special, familiar tube. So of course, I got excited and started telling him about how I’m running Ragnar with Nuun.

He starts arguing with me about whether or not I need to worry about electrolyte replacement on a run, and ends up asking me how far I’ve been running. So I tell him that I haven’t run for 4 weeks because of my shins. He asks me if it’s a stress fracture. I tell him I had an X-ray done in urgent care.

And that’s when the horrible news came.

He told me that an X-ray so soon after an injury won’t show a stress fracture!

WHAT?

Now, keep in mind, he’s a physician. So I believe him!

Now I’m freaking out that maybe I DO have a stress fracture!

And my shins have been bothering me ever since I had this conversation. Yes, just like the lice. I’m imagining the pain into place.

What do you know about stress fractures? How long do they take to heal? Do you think I will be healed by July 20-21 so that I can run with NUUNKOTB? Have you ever had lice? (Don’t answer the last question, please!)

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I bit the bullet…

And scheduled an appointment with a sports medicine doctor!!

My shins still hurt. I have not run for 3 weeks. And they still freaking hurt. This is super ridiculous.

I haven’t had much luck with doctors since moving to this town, so when my supervisor recommended a different doctor after I had scheduled my appointment, I found myself considering changing the appointment.

It is possible that nothing frustrates me more than incompetent doctors. I really want advice and help! So…I’m not sure what to do. Should I ask to be seen by the guy that my supervisor recommends? Or should I stick with the guy who fits in my schedule and who I could see NEXT WEEK?

I’m not sure what the best choice is, but I’m really hoping that whomever I see, they give me some answers to make sense of the problem.

This is me joyfully running after the nice sports medicine doctor fixes me!

It’s National Running Day (or Runner’s Day…I’m not sure which one)! I hope that you get to run today, since I can’t!

What are you doing to celebrate National Running/ers Day? Are you doing an extra special run? Celebrating by buying new running attire? Making a cake in the shape of a running shoe?

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RICE-ing it Up!

Guess what? I made it to my goal of going 2 weeks without running to let me shins heal!

And guess what else?

My dumb shins still hurt! I’m so angry at them for not being better yet!

I’m RICE-ing like a mad woman (resting, icing, compressing, and elevating). I’m also foam rolling and stretching. And the pain remains.

Resting, Icing, Compressing and Elevating all in one swoop!

I went to the doctor (internal medicine) last week about the problem, but she turned out to be the dumbest doctor I have ever encountered, so that was a) not helpful and b) super annoying!

So…I guess I’ll keep on with my RICE-ing. Hoping that things pay off in the form of me being able to run again soon. I’m really sad about this. I’m not going to run until the pain is completely gone…or at least that’s what I’m saying now!

Have you ever consulted a sports medicine doctor? How do you know it’s time to consult a sports medicine doctor?

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Do you know what is SO FUN?

Going to the gym!

I’m serious, I had forgotten how great gyms are! I don’t like paying a lot to workout, since I’m happiest running outside, so it’s been rare in my life that I actually had a membership. But, I had a Groupon for a 6 week membership at a local gym, and figured that I should probably use it to get some low-impact cardio in while I’m resting up my shins. (I know, seriously, what a lame way to use a gym membership…)

Exciting picture for you today! I hope you aren’t too overwhelmed by its artistic quality!

I started out with a badditude, and I wrote this WHILE I was working out…

*****

So, if I can blog while completing my workout, does that mean I’m not actually working out?

I suspect that it does. But here I am, typing this as I complete my cardio.

Lame.

But better than not working out at all, right?

It just struck me how I must look to other people, as if I’m texting while working out. I’d judge me if I could see me. But I was forced into this activity by shin splints! Don’t judge me!

*****

I then put my phone away, and once I put the phone away I realized that I could actually get my heart rate up and make the time worthwhile if I worked at it instead of playing with my phone. So I did. And it was fun. And I even got my heart rate up and sweated.

And that’s when I remembered how much I love gyms. The last time I had a gym membership I was 27 years old. And freaking ripped. Okay, not that ripped, but super ripped for me. It was the best shape I’ve ever been in, because once I added strength on top of my already good cardio, suddenly I just toned up everywhere.

I then lost my gym membership card and didn’t want to pay the replacement fee, so I just quit the gym. Welcome to my spaztastic life. Doing something like that is completely typical of me

So…back to my great time at the gym. Here’s what’s great about the gym: Yeah, it’s fun working out, and yeah, the classes are great, but what I love love love about the gym is the energy. The music playing, people sweating, pushing themselves, being uncomfortable. People bettering themselves is the best energy ever!

Hate the gym? Love the gym? What’s good/bad about gyms?

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Two weeks

2 weeks. They say you should take 2 weeks off from running when you have shin splints. I took a week and a half off from running. But during my time off I did Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 which is how I hurt myself badly enough to think I had a stress fracture…so I really only took 1 week off.

Given the fact that the stupid things (my shins) still hurt even though I’ve been taking it so, so easy, I’m giving in to them. Two weeks you say? Fine, I’ll give you your stupid two weeks, but in exchange, please, please, please give me my shins back! The nice ones that didn’t hurt. Thank you!

This is how I feel about not running for 2 weeks.

So, that stinks. But I’m trying to be an adult and make good decisions. And on the bright side, because I’ve been trying to be good to myself, I’ve already taken a half a week off. So 1.5 more to go!

I’m okay as far as marathon training goes, I still have time to train, but I’m scared of what this means for Ragnar…I guess I shouldn’t have been joking with my teammates about running the hardest legs. What I meant was that I volunteer for the very easiest legs. Thank you!

This is how I’ll feel after my shins get better. Hurray!

What’s the longest break you’ve taken from running, and why? If it was for shins, then please tell me the break helped!

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A Terrible Thing

Something terrible happened yesterday. A few minutes after returning from a run with Ada the Dog, I noticed something strange on our floor. At first I though it was a smashed berry, but then I realized it was something else: blood.

Where did that blood come from?

Then I noticed there was a trail of blood spots all over the floor.

Oh no!

I called Ada the Dog and checked her feet. Sure enough, she had a bloody paw, and her toenail (claw?) was lopsided and ripped. And it was still bleeding. She had left a lovely loopy trail all over our carpet. Great!

Poor Ada the Dog got her first running injury. Much to her dismay, I made her a doggie bandage (I had to do something to stop the bleeding). Actually I made her several doggie bandages which she pulled off (hence why I had to make several). Finally I was able to convince her to keep the last one on for about 1 hour by giving her a peanut butter kong and telling her to “leave it” when she tried to touch the bandage.

Ada the Dog sleeping in her bandage

Poor girl.

After keeping her doggie bandage on for an hour I stopped watching her, so she pulled it off…and pulled off her toenail (claw) as well.

Do doggies need all their toenails to run? I feel mean running without her, but I don’t want to hurt her little foot more.

Do you know all about dog toenails? Are they necessary for running?

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