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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bumpy road

Returning from injury is a bumpy road. Almost as bad as St. Charles during a marathon (ow, my feet), but less enjoyable.

I'm tired. I'm slow. I'm frustrated with my aerobic capacity.

I have a shin splint on my right leg. Stupid. It's a sign to back off: shin splints to me mean I did too many minutes too soon.*

Preventing re-injury takes a lot of time and work: foam rolling, yoga, hip strengthening (you should try Jim's routine).

...And then the pain is back. A little. On the other leg.

I haven't had any pain during running, but while foam rolling I felt a familiar dull ache as I rolled the back of my right leg. And if I dig deep and apply a lot of pressure on my left (healed) leg, I can still feel an ache. Sometimes. If I'm paranoid enough.
Icing and driving

My doctor hasn't called me back yet*, but I am managing it by foam rolling before a run, stick rolling after, stretching key muscles, and icing while I drive to work. Basically I just grab ice packs as I walk out the door and sit on them for my 15 minute commute. So far the routine's working and the pain is at bay, but - why is it returning? What is the cause?

Well, I have decided that none of my health care providers have gotten down to the real cause of my two big injuries. I had osteitis pubis, then I had a stress fracture of the femur. The common factor? Both bone injuries are at the site of adductor attachments. I think my adductors are too tight and too strong. I need stronger hips and abductors to take the work load off of my adductors. The type of pain I am feeling now feels like I have "thigh splints".

The good news is that this is manageable. I am fairly confident that tight, overused adductors are part of my problem, because I notice a big difference from intense stretching. Hopefully I can start using my hips and glutes a little more while I run to take off some strain, too - I'm working on that.

Until then, luckily still no pain during the run, no nagging pain later, only the occasional ache if I dig deep and apply pressure to the bone and tissue surrounding it. I'm carefully keeping my mileage low and slow (well, ok, slow is not by choice, I'm a flabby mess right now) and I'll keep you updated on my progress!

*I wrote this post a week ago and forgot about it. Since then I backed off mileage a lot - low 20's per week I think - and have been doing very, very well. Not only has the "thigh splint" gone away, the shin splint has, too, and actually I haven't been feeling much of the osteitis pubis, either. And my doctor...still hasn't called me back. Loser.


  1. The clam shells are great for strengthening the abductors. And fire hydrants are great too. I was told I had a similar problem by my PT 2 winters ago (a good PT makes a big difference!). I was overusing the adductors and my abductors and glutes did not fire properly. I did the exercises intensly (daily, sometimes 2x/day) for several months and have noticed huge change in my running form (e.g., now my abductors and glutes are firing. Good luck!

  2. Darn injuries ! sorry ! I hope you are on the right track and are soon back to 100%

  3. Thanks for the shout-out as my friend Nelly would say! Have you ever seen that Facebook picture that floated around for a while of the woman sitting on the adductor machine at the gym, with of course, her legs open - the caption is "Don't ever look anyone in the eye while using this machine." It's really funny, but probably loses something in translation. I think of that every time you say "strong adductors". Ha. Glad to hear this last week has gone well for you! (Michael's also frustrated with the doctor's office blow-off. They are pretty much the only profession that can get away with that)

  4. So glad you are back in the game!!! Great job keeping it easy. After my half marathon yesterday, I am SO looking forward to a few days completely off and then another week or so of super easy, low mileage. Amazing what a little bit of rest can do. Looking forward to a great racing season for you!

  5. Ah the doctors .... I saw doc #1 on may 2nd and he said surgery...I said ok but changed my mind since but he does not know...well it's been a month...and I have not heard from his office since! They said they need ok from insurance and actually the insurance told us that we do not need approval for this surgery..lets just say I am not going back to that office! I am glad you are doing well!

  6. That is crappy about your doctor not calling back! I am glad that you are feeling better after backing off the mileage a bit. Take it easy, lady! I am still sidelined, but at least I am able to use the stationary bike and swim. It's better than the recumbent bike, which is the lamest form of exercise ever.

  7. Oh that is so frustrating! I hope that you get well soon!