Wednesday, March 26, 2014

26 days ago go... just get me to the starting line.

I haven't written for awhile because I haven't wanted to admit what has been going on.  But, let's start from the beginning....

So it's been a snowy, snowy winter.  Fairfax County isn't the best at snow removal, and that means that every time it snows (which has been pretty much every week since December) there is no safe place to run.  I have spikes in a pair of running shoes but even they haven't been suitable for 6+ inches of snow that hasn't been plowed.  So a lot of my runs this year have been on the treadmill.  Still, I have managed to get in a really decent training cycle.

Three weeks ago to this day, I was just so sick of the treadmill.  There was no safe place to run in my neighborhood, and we'd been out of school for two days and had a delay on Wednesday.  Susanna's school opened on time, so I figured I'd be okay running on the well plowed sidewalk at the Merrifield Town Center after dropping her off.  I had 8 easy miles on the schedule, and needed to be at work by 10:40.  I looked at my watch when I had a couple of miles ago go, and decided to pick up the pace for the last couple miles.  I was on my 7th lap of the town center loop when I found myself sprawled on the street.  I don't remember falling.  All I remember was sheering pain in my knee and elbow.  It was so bad that I couldn't stand up. Some construction workers ran over to me.  "How did that happen?" I thought.  Then I noticed the black ice, in between two sections of sidewalk.  I was bloody and hurting, but I still needed to get back to my car. Running didn't seem to hurt too badly, so I finished up and remember thinking I was glad I didn't break anything.

The next day I stuck to the treadmill.  Running didn't hurt, but everything seemed to swell up afterwards.   5 easy the next day, and I felt okay. 22.5 -- the biggest run of the training schedule -- was on Friday.  I felt fine during the run but afterwards everything hurt.  I took the following day off and felt okay on Monday.

The next week started out okay with an easy run Monday. Tuesday I did speedwork in the morning, and then an easy 8 in the afternoon.  Again, everything swelled up the next day.  My leg hurt all of Wednesday but loosened up for the run.  Easy Thursday -- felt better. Friday easy, all good.  Saturday 18, and I was feeling great so I did 14 of that at planned marathon pace.  The next day my knee swelled up again. Did an easy 8 and didn't feel any better afterwards so I called my physical therapist.

She was able to get me in on Monday, and could see swelling.  She advised me to add a few rest days that week, which I did.  I did a great tempo run on Thursday, an easy run on Friday, and felt great for my 20 miler on Saturday, albeit sore afterwards.  Sunday I did a short easy run and again felt everything flare up again.

Monday I set off for a morning run with my friend Holly and although I had pretty dead legs from my long run, I felt decent... until about 7 miles in.  My knee, for the first time since I fell, started to hurt DURING the run.  It was the same area that has been swollen afterwards, but this time it hurt with every step.  I had ten miles on the schedule, so after I bid Holly farewell at the 8th mile, I slowed the run to a jog and felt much better.  I was able to finish without much pain, so I decided I would skip my speed session on Tuesday and just attempt to get in some easy miles.

Tuesday is track day, and I got in about 5 before the track session started.  I decided to see how a 1K repeat felt - it felt great!  I did it at a 6:40 pace, and did a slow lap around the track.  I did another one, felt great, another slow lap.  Took off for the third, and by the second lap I could feel my knee start to ache. I slowed it down to a jog again, and figured I'd just try to jog the last three I had on the schedule to get to 14.  Except the pain didn't subside this time when I slowed down.  So I quit.

I skipped today, and I am not going to even attempt to run until Saturday.  I am icing.  I am foam rolling.  I am praying.

I have worked so hard to train for Boston.  I want to run the race I trained for.  However, at this point, I also just want to run the race.  After sustaining an epic injury, I am terrified I will not even make it to the starting line.

I know, I know, I know.  Go see a doctor.  Get an x-ray.  Well, guess what.  Last year my doctor told me I was fine to run Shamrock, the x-ray picked up nothing, and I started the race with a fractured pelvis.  Excruciating pain ended my attempt three miles into the marathon, and even after that I didn't get a correct diagnosis for two more months.  Quite frankly, a "good" diagnosis from a doctor will not give me "peace of mind."  And quite frankly, every major injury I've had (pelvic stress fracture, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Metatarsel Stress Fracture, and Plantar Facsaitis) I've managed to figure out myself and then had to ask the doctor if that is what I had, and I was always right.

It could be something that a a few days of rest will take care of.

It could be a fracture.  Since, after all, it's March, and that's when I seem to get them.  (And by the way, the only good thing about the month of March is that my daughter was born.  Did I mention that I slipped on the ice while running on my due date with her, and landed on my belly?  She was okay, and I was okay, but I rest my case that March is not the best running month for me.)

Anyhow - if you have any positive vibes to send to my knee, please do.  For now I'll be pool running for a few days with my fingers crossed.

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