Stress Fracture

I’ve been training pretty consistently for the last year and had been doing all the right things (or so I thought) until I couldn’t any longer. After a tough track workout with my new coach on July 11th, I felt unmistakable shin pain. I chalked it up to too many miles on my shoes (which I promptly changed) and ran through it that first week, while simultaneously icing and rolling it too. But when all that offered no improvement I took 10 days off to rest. Following this rest period I went out for a two mile track workout (in which I surprisingly ran negative splits) but there was no denying the pain afterward.

At the behest of my coach (and my conscience), I finally went for an x-ray and an MRI — the latter of which confirmed what I suspected all along. I had a grade 3 tibial stress fracture.

unnamedGranted I’m not a professional athlete, but I am slightly ahead of middle-of-the-pack runners. This sport and lifestyle has been my drug of choice for 18 years. And even though I eased up on miles during the time that I married and started a family, I’ve slowly been taking it back since the birth of my second child. Laying claim to early mornings, endless miles and a commitment to cross train with yoga like never before. So there’s no real accurate way to explain how it feels to be working real hard at something only to have it ripped out from under you. If there was, this post would be a bunch of depressing ramblings.

Yesterday’s four-week follow up visit with my ortho didn’t offer any bright spots either. He ordered up another MRI because even though he had given me the green light two weeks ago to start biking at the gym, it hasn’t been pain-free.

My last run was on August 2nd but it may as well have been August of last year. I don’t think about the near future with running so much as I do the long term future. Sure I’ve had issues pop up before – from ITB to plantars fasciitis and piriformis syndrome – but nothing as serious as this. Nothing that required I completely stop running and HEAL. So I can’t help but wonder (and stress,) about how this injury is going to affect my future. Especially as I approach 40, too.