On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Diagnosis: wuss

I hate you, hate you, HATE
YOU!!! and your partner,
Another Monday where a race report should be and I have nothing to offer.*

I went to the doctor on Thursday, and she said I have "medial tibial stress syndrome," which if I'm not careful will develop into a "medial tibial stress reaction," which left untreated will turn into a stress fracture.  I believe if I read between the lines well enough that all of these big words translate to "you are a baby who can't handle shin splints."

She ordered two weeks off of running (but I can elliptical - for what it's worth, ha ha - and bike) with PT two times a week so I can learn how to stretch and strengthen.  She was trying to assess my range of motion and kept saying, "Your calves are SO tight!  Seriously!  Too tight!"  (It was actually kind of funny, because she must have told me to relax three or four times.  I was relaxed.)  When she told me that I need to stretch, I said, "And I probably should lose some weight; I'm sure my weight's not helping."  She looked sharply up and said, "Honestly, you need to stretch.  Lose some weight if you want, but it won't make nearly the difference with this problem that stretching will."

I'm taking this hard.  On one hand, I've never before had pain from running that stopped me, cold, and made me unable to run.  And I've had two stress fractures, both of which I ran through.  So it's a no-brainer to listen to her advice, obviously.  On the other hand, the marathon is in 11 weeks.  And I am running this marathon.  Running - not walking, not limping.  She did seem confident that I still could run the marathon.  How glad am I now that I squeezed that 17 in two weekends ago?

When I left my apartment Saturday morning and the weather was perfect for running and the barricades were still up from the Percy Sutton 5k, I teared up.  Honestly.  These two weeks are going to be rough.

*Sort of.  Wait for tomorrow.


  1. WELL, the awesome thing is that by changing your routine up (stretch, stretch, stretch), who knows what this could do for you! This may be a momentary set back for an even greater awesomeness to ensue. Not such bad news maybe???

  2. Fingers crossed! I like your attitude.

  3. Stretching = potential for stronger muscles! Also, not a wuss. Stop that. Yoooogggaaaa!

  4. i swear i'm not a salesperson but try the compression socks... they really work.

    also dont get down. its a tough break but you'll be ready!

  5. Do you have a bike? Or do you have a gym with / other access to a pool? You can definitely crosstrain enough not to lose much aerobic capacity! Weirdly, though, I read in my similar shin-related travails that elliptical might aggravate it, so look out.

  6. I *do* have a bike! But no pool. Allegedly one of the NYSC near my work has a pool, but I'm not a competent enough swimmer to do laps effectively. I was actually kind of excited about finally taking my bike out now that I have a little more time (no running), but it coincides with this craptastic weather.

    This rainy weather + my mood = extreme dissatisfaction. To say the least.

    I have compression socks but don't wear them - good tip, Jen. And LAL/KT, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ;) I seriously have had the attitude all my life of "stretching is for old/weak people." Serves me right.