Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back At It!

I haven't blogged in so long. Guess I was having a pity party for myself while recovering from my injury. However, I read a blog this morning from a woman in the running group who ran the New Orleans Marathon this past Sunday. It was inspiring. I went back and read about my own marathon, and couldn't help but tear up. I still can't believe I did that. And I still want to do it again.

I have been able to run again, and it is a blessing. January 9 was my follow-up, and Dr. J told me the bone had healed. He showed me on the x-ray where my bone has a new little bump from the fracture. I could've jumped from joy! He gave me a return-to-running plan, and told me I wouldn't be ready to run the Tom King Half Marathon I was signed up for on March 9, but could be ready for a half the end of April. That was a bummer, as I was really looking forward to the Tom King Half, but quickly shook that off as I realized he was right. The last thing I want to do is push it and get injured again. I emailed the Tom King race director and changed my half to a 5K.

The return-to-running plan was painfully slow. Not the pace, but having to walk/run for so long when all I wanted to do was run! I followed it exactly for a couple weeks, then decided since I felt just fine, I would change one of the walk/runs, to a low mileage run during the week. I would do a 3 mile run one week, then a four the next, and so on. I was feeling great. A couple weeks ago, I did a 6 mile run with the running group, then the next day, went to a park with the family, and thought I would try my own speed work. I had decided I wanted to race the upcoming 5K. My goal is to place in the top 5 of my age group. The only other 5K I have done was the Tom King one in 2011, with a time of 28:34. It was my very first race, and began my running addiction. Based on last year's top 5 in my age group, I need to finish around 26:xx. Back to trying my own speed work...I did a mile warm-up, then ran a 1/4 mile fast, 1/4 mile slow, repeat for a mile. I ran hard and I ran fast. And then I hurt. My left leg really started to bother me again. I thought it was that familiar pain of the stress fracture. Had I fractured it again?? Gah!

I decided to take a week or two off running, as hard as it was. I had another follow-up Feb. 9, and figured Dr. J would be upset and tell me I had done it again. While not running, I went back to the rec center, back to the elliptical and bike, and back to weights. After about a week, my leg started to feel a little better. The day before the appointment, about 9 days off of running, I went for a walk/run for 3 miles. Leg felt great! I went to the appointmet, had an x-ray taken, and Dr. J informed me I was just fine. Phew! He said he highly doubts I will get a stress fracture again - figured the pain was from the speed work, and was most likely my quads hurting. I had had a bone density scan done last month, and he said I was above normal - very strong bones. He told me not to panic if I feel that ache - only worry if I can't tolerate any impact. Such great news - I wanted to go for a run right away!

So now, I'm running again, and doing it without worrying about my leg. The biggest thing Dr. J told me was not to add too much too soon. He said to focus on getting my mileage back up (10% rule), then I can add speed work and hills (hard to avoid hills...we do live in TN!). That fire has been lit again, and I'm loving it! I want to run, run, run, and sign up for races and be a bigger part of the running community. I'm going to be smart about it though. Running injuries suck.

On a side note, at dinner the other night, Charlotte says, "Mom, you love to run, right? Well, I have an idea. Since you love to run, and Mother's Day is coming up, let's go on a family run!"

Sounds like the perfect way to spend Mother's Day!