Well...I'm back. Almost a full month after banging my knee on the metal door frame, I can say that I'm successfully back in action and ready to train again.
Since the Palos 1/2 Marathon, I had tried running a few times (based on Physical Therapist recommendations as to when, what to do in place of running, etc.). The pain level on a scale of 1-10 had been at 10 for quite awhile... I literally couldn't run from one end of the parking lot to the other without just about bursting into tears.
***SKIP to next starred section to skip my "high pain tolerance" example***
I feel like I have a pretty high pain tolerance: my freshman year, I told my coach that I thought I might have something more than shin splints; I had shin splints all throughout my senior year in high school, but this was more painful so I knew it couldn't just simply be shin splints. My coach promised me that it was, and that was that. Well, I had been telling my parents how bad it was getting--I couldn't put a BEDSHEET over my legs because it hurt my shin. Yeah. Unbeknownst to me, my dad emailed my coach telling him that he thought I had a stress fracture. A week before Cross Country Regionals, my coach talked with me and was disappointed that my dad told him the pain I was in despite him (coach) assuring me it was only shin splints. He said I would have to sit out of the Regional meet to kind of make up for it, but that yes, he would let me get an x-ray.
I had never really been to a hospital before besides to see my sister after she was born and my dad after knee surgeries, so being in a hospital was weird for me. Truthfully, I didn't even know what a stress fracture was. I had heard people talk about them and knew they were injuries but I didn't really understand what they were. Well, I was about to find out.
The radiologist put the x-ray on that bright white screen and pointed to a spot on my fibula. "How long have you been running on your hurt shin?" he asked me. I told him about a month or two, but it's probably just shin splints. "Well, I'd say if you had run on it for a week or two longer, you would have broken your bone." Umm, what? I almost broke my bone? I asked him what this meant for me...was my season over? Would I be able to run track? I have to run so that I can maintain my full scholarship here, buddy--my parents have two more kids to put through college and if I'm not going to school for free, it's gonna be an expensive next few years for my parents.
All of those thoughts came racing through my head, some out of my mouth as well. The radiologist brought in my assistant coach (who was the person who had recruited me, not my coach who wrote my specific workouts). On the car ride back to campus, my assistant coach told me that I might still have hope for outdoor track, but that he was sure I'd be redshirting indoor. I was okay with this as it still meant my scholarship was safe. However, my parents and I had a long talk over Winter Break (they were pretty mad that I almost broke a bone to say the least) and I ended up transferring schools. I continued to get stress fractures throughout college until my now fiance started coaching me. College running just wasn't for me.
***So, that is why I believe I have a high pain tolerance....although I'm sure I'll feel differently after I experience child birth (not for a few years!!!).
To have the pain be an immediate 10 was pretty devastating to me. Yes, I picked up swimming and was working out with one of my best friends now because I wasn't running, but I selfishly just wanted to be able to run. Finally, the Monday before Memorial Day I ran and gave the pain a 2. My PT said to run on the treadmill the next day (the reason for the 2 instead of 0 was because I felt my knee a little on the downhill). Well, that got the 2 to a 4, so in frustration I decided I would take a few more days off.
Enter Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. I actually felt good until I stopped running...that's when the pain sensation kind of hit me. I was telling Ryan's Aunt Kathy about it, specifically how it almost felt like it would get "stiff" right away. She told me about her Uncle who had real bad arthritis and no medicine helped. He started taking Tart Cherry Juice (stopped taking his meds) and is pain free. She said she told her daughter's teammate, recovering from an ACL surgery, to try it...same effect, no pain. I figured what the heck and bought some ($9.99 at Meijer).
MIRACLE DRUG??? Heck yes.
I ran 6 pain free miles on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Shoot, I even did a pain free workout on Wednesday. Directions are to take a shot in the morning and a shot at night. No joke, I didn't take my shot on Friday night and felt a teeny tiny reminder of my former knee pain on Saturday morning's run. Crazy how good this stuff works.
I am so ready to take on the Batavia Duathlon this coming Sunday. I have been feeling GREAT and can't wait to have a real race to look forward to!
Congrats to everyone who PR'd and/or had a great race at Roselle Run for the Roses. What an impressive group!!!