Friday, April 10, 2015

Grieving

I'm a pretty lucky girl. I haven't experienced much loss in my life with the exception of my three grandparents (all of whom I was lucky to have in my life for over 20 years!). I know friends and family who have had many loved ones pass too early, so I consider myself fairly lucky in terms of losses in my life.

It sounds kind of crazy even typing this right now, but I do feel as though I experienced a bit of a loss over these past two weeks. Before telling everyone how dramatic and extreme I am being, hear me out.

When a person experiences loss and are grieving, they go through stages. There are five stages of grief, according to psychologists.

  • Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
  • Anger: Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
  • Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
  • Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
  • Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”

If I'm being honest, I have/have been experiencing all of these stages for the past few weeks:

  • This knee thing isn't real. You're going to wake up tomorrow and it'll all just be a bad dream.
  • Seriously?! Really?! I did nothing wrong to make my knee hurt. I've been nothing but careful and have been following my training to a T.
  • Okay, body, I'll just say March was a bad month. So April, you'll work again, right?!
  • All I wanna do is sit on the couch, watch meaningless TV shows, eat copious amounts of candy that I'm supposed to be filling eggs with for our Egg Shell Shuffle race, and sleep. This not running thing is pretty much the worst thing ever.
  • Well, it's been too many days of no running... gotta call U of I now. At least the whole Kona goal is still reachable. 

Exactly one month before my goal race, the U of I marathon on April 25th, I began experiencing a familiar pain in my knee. This pain was JUST like the pain I experienced when I developed that deep bone bruise last June, just weeks before hoping to run Grandma's Marathon, from hitting my kneecap on a chair.

The feeling I was hoping to have on Saturday, April 25th.

I'll save you the time (details here) and just say I haven't run since Sunday, March 29. I've run through stress fractures and stress reactions. I've run through partially torn hamstrings. I'm really not a wimp, but I couldn't handle running the past 10 days.

Timeline of events: (Mainly for my own records in case this craziness happens again)

Wednesday, March 25th: had an AWESOME mile repeat workout.. and knee strangeness followed. Not pain, just stiff feeling. Ignored it since it didn't bother me during the workout.

Friday, March 27th: ran 11 miles... second half is when my knee finally loosened. No prob, I'll just always do a 5.5 mile warmup.

Saturday, March 28th: ran in some park in Arizona that pretty much made me stop every mile from knee and/or blister pain.

Sunday, March 29th: last day of running, despite having a great workout in my long run. The 4 mile warmup had my pain scale at an 8/10, and that's likely not good.

Tuesday, March 31st: tried ellipticalling and aqua jogging. Only felt pain when I moved (like to get a drink or to wipe sweat). Success in my book.

Wednesday, April 1st: saw my PT cousin, discovered I have extremely weak hips

Thursday, April 2nd: I saw an Orthopedic Sports Medicine Doctor (who specializes in knee injuries) (8 days after the pain developed) and had an X-ray done as well.

Saturday, April 4th: our Egg Shell Shuffle race... pretty sure my knee was going to fall off.

Tuesday, April 7th: tired of feeling like a fat, lazy slug, I decided to try biking this morning. My knee didn't hurt as much at school. I tried ellipticalling after school....unsuccessful. Not only did it hurt my knee (after the fact), but my calves have been flared up for the past three days now.

Wednesday, April 8th: I called the doctor back ready to get an MRI done since it was honestly getting to the point where I couldn't even walk around in my classroom. The doctor called back, said he wouldn't do an MRI and suggested I start poppin' pills, ice, rest, and withdraw from my race.

I finally had my much needed, long overdue cry. Poor Ryan came home and the water works started. I'm not gonna lie, it felt really good to let it all out.

Thursday, April 9th: ...and all of the sudden, I was walking pain free. It was the most bizarre thing ever. Wednesday was pretty torturous, so to wake up to absolutely no pain was mind boggling. I decided not to test my luck.

Friday, April 10th: today marks 12 days since I stopped running. When I had that deep bone bruise last year, it took 12 days to heal, which leads me to...

Saturday, April 11th: the day Jacqui attempts to run again. I seriously feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve, that's how excited I am to attempt to run tomorrow.

Throughout these past 12 days, I've had many thoughts. Ultimately, I've decided I cannot run the U of I marathon in 2 weeks. If I go and attempt to run a sub-2:43, I know right now I'll fall short with all of the time I've taken off (22 of the past 46 days I have had to take off of running...not so good).

This weekend will hopefully guide me in the right direction: do I pursue another marathon attempt? do I go straight back to triathlon training? how can I prevent this from happening again (already have some things in motion for this one)?

While I am uncertain of those answers right now, one thing that I can say for a fact is that I can RUN again tomorrow. And for that, I am beyond grateful.

2 comments:

triman said...

Well worth considering doing some of his exercises, lots of people successfully recovered
http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/stronger-hips-for-pain-free-knees/

EndureRunConquer said...

Jacqui - not silly at all! I had these exact same "5 stages of grieving" thoughts before, during, after my hip surgery. I am sorry to hear you are going through this - I remember running against you in high school and you are an AMAZING athlete. If nothing else - this is a great exercise in patience! Wishing you a speedy recovery :)