Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Confessions of an Uninjured Runner

End of February:

The 2 physical therapists were pulling and tugging my legs every which way, testing my flexibility and strength.  "Very strong" there they said, a "little weak" there.  If you're a runner, you probably know the deal.

The male physical therapist started to ask me questions.  He referenced my left leg as my "bad" leg  and asked me a question about my "good" leg. I gave him a blank stare.  Bad leg?  What did he mean?  My left leg had played 50% of the of the role in getting me through numerous ultra running events, and was going to get me through another one in a few months.

After several seconds of silence and bafflement, the female PT chimed in.  "He means your 'better" leg.  That helped my mind click. 

I knew which PT I would be scheduling all my appointments with.

The following journal entries take you inside my mind as I dealt with my MRI results.  They aren't always pretty or self-flattering, but they are honest.  Which is why I think others will be able to get a little out of this.  So, hopefully I am not sharing my mixed up thoughts for no reason!

January 26th, 2015

Yesterday, I sat in the doctors office waiting for my MRI results for what seemed to be 20 minutes.  I strained to hear Dr. Lear talking on the phone.  I thought he was talking about me, but couldn't be sure.  My anxiety grew as the conversation went on.  I couldn't imagine what people go through in much more serious circumstances.  I thought of my friend who's son was going into brain surgery that day- regardless of my results, I was lucky.

To cut to the chase, Dr. Lear confirmed my suspicion of a torn labrum.  However, that's not what concerned him and the radiologist (according to the radiologist, I shouldn't be able to run.  Apparently, it's common for radiologist to say that).  The concern was a more rare condition called ishio-femoral impingement.  All I really know about it is that I don't have enough space between my ischium and my femur.  Dr. Lear didn't know much about it either (obviously, hence the "rare").

Now I am in limbo- I have a diagnosis, but no (physical) action plan.  For the labrum tear, Dr. Lear wasn't even considering surgery.  Good, right?  But on Facebook, it seemed like half my friends with labrum tears had surgery and the half who hadn't was monitoring someone who had.  I just don't want to play games- I don't want to go through a bunch of PT and still end up having surgery.

On the other hand...if I go with PT, in my head there is still (foolish) hope that I could still run Massanutten.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I still need to hear back from Dr. Lear.


January 27th

Yesterday, despite half expecting my diagnosis, I was still a little numb, then down.   I knew enough that I needed to give myself some time to feel bad without feeling guilty that my issue really isn't that serious compared to other's.

Then there are my fears.  Is it true that running really is messing up my body?  Is my body weak and can't handle ultras?  And if Im not able to ever run 100% again, does that mean I have to get a "real" job (as in boring office money job) and work 40+ hours a week?

Part of me also wonders "did I mess up my body when I was a kid?  When I was "developing" as a pre-teen, did I stunt my growth and cause these problems?"

With some positive energy from friends, I am slowly transitioning into feeling thankful for my body's gifts.

I am still trying to figure out what my body is telling me (if it actually is trying to tell me anything)- do I really need to rest as much as Sandi suggests? Isn't not running enough? Should I run?
*Sandi suggested a whole month of little, low-intensity exercise.  I did a week of low intensity, 1 month off running. 

Is it really possible to mentally help heal my body?  If so, why can't I?

I should probably start meditating more.

Hopefully I get more answers soon and directions from doctors for a physical action plan.  As for my mental one, it will take some time and spiritual guidance.


January 31st

"Patiently waiting on an action plan.  In the mean time, my mind is healing.

February 1st

They don't meant to, but people are making me feel like my hip issues are always going to be there, that there is no permanent solution.  I don't want to believe that.  There has to be something.  I know a solution is out there.  Now I just have to believe it.

My hip/pelvis is starting to develop a deep ache- what is my body trying to tell me?

I also do not appreciate people telling me what they think I should do without me asking them.  I just need support.


February 4th

It might be the cold and the clouds-or lack of sleep- but by optimism has gone down.


February 5th

You can't run 100 miles without 100% commitment.

I am supposed to ask for as sign to see if I should run Mass.- I don't even know what to ask for.

Even with XT 3-4x a week, I think I could do it.


February 6th

I think I got my sign!  A Julius monkey bumper sticker.


February 9th

Massanutten 100- I am running!

My doctor said okay, so I signed up right away (I just told him a race in May).

My training is going to be very different with my more cross training than usual* but that's okay.  In this last week of no running and recovery, what I really need to work on is changing my mind- It need to be strong, healthy, and whole before I can expect the same of out of my body (oh, I saw balloons today!**)

I am not injured- I have a labrum tear and an impingement, but I am healthy and strong, capable of giving 100% at MMT100.

*That didn't happen- I still ran 6 days a week.
** Another sign.


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