Perspective is Everything

You know the saying, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.  Well, this past weekend I took a break from my blog because… in all honesty, I had nothing positive to say.  I was crabby.  I was frustrated.  I was overreacting to the current state of my injury. And, I just had nothing good to share.

Friday, I had my 2nd physical therapy session and it HURT!  So bad, I came home and burst into tears.  The diagnosis changed from a strain in my gastro muscle to a strain in both my gastro and soleus muscles.  The swelling was still prominent and I was told the bruising would continue to get worse before getting better.  The bruised muscle was now hurting, which was a new development that was not at all welcome.  My PT added an ultrasound to the ASTYM treatment to get the blood moving and circulating and promote faster recovery.  I was also supposed to stay active- walk and I was cleared to get on a stationary bike for up to 30 minutes.  I left with 3 pages of exercises to start ranging from leg lifts to keep my hips strong while I recover to band stretches to strengthen the injured calf muscles.

As I left that appointment, limping to my car, reality started to sink in.  Two weeks to go until the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon.  I cannot walk without a limp.  My muscles are so tight, I couldn’t breathe during the “massage” on my calf.  And, my leg was sore post treatment.  I finally lost it.  I called my mom and spilled all of my fears.  I am starting to think it would not be a smart decision to run a marathon since this injury is taking its sweet time to heal.  What hurt more though, was that I was missing the Girls on the Run 5K Friday night.  It would be the first 5K that my niece would run without me.  And THAT was devastating.  I can deal with missing a marathon.  I mean, in reality, if this is the 1st race in 3 years of running marathons, that I’m missing due to an injury, that’s pretty good!  But, not being there for my niece?!?  That was more than I could handle.  My mom, being reliably sound, was quick to point out that I have a LOT to be thankful for.  For 1, I have my legs.  And I will run again.  Immediately, I felt selfish and reflected on the victims of the Boston Marathon.  What is wrong with me??  Parting words?  My mom simply told me “Life will give you lemons and it’s up to you to make lemonade.  What that will be, is my decision.”

That left a LOT for me to think about.  I knew she was right.  I knew I was overreacting.  I pulled myself together and headed to the Girls on the Run 5K with my BF, who graciously accepted the task of running with my niece in my place.  I was thankful he would be there for her, but it didn’t take away the hurt I felt for not running with her and I was flat-out jealous that he was.  However, once we got there, seeing the girls anxious and ready to run lifted my spirits immediately.  These girls are amazing and have come so far in the past 12 weeks!  My heart overfloweth and I screamed my heart out as I greeted each one crossing the finish line.

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And my niece ran the race just like I’ve coached her, sprinting the last leg to the finish.  My BF bribed her with the promise of a chocolate cake if she beat him.

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She did :).  When I told her she beat her best time by 1 whole minute, she responded that she wished it would have been me running with her.  Melt.  That girl definitely knows how to get into my heart.

So, where do things stand today?  I got on the spin bike Saturday and working out definitely loosened up my muscle.  By Sunday afternoon, I was walking almost normal with minimal to no limp.  PT yesterday was still painful during the calf massage, taking my breath away at times, but nowhere near the pain I felt on Friday.  I incorporated leg presses and toe raises with weights and balanced on my leg for a set of dead lifts.  I see the progress.  I know I’m healing.  It’s just a slow process.  The bruising has spread, like I was told it would, with the black and blue part resting near my heel and a yellow, brown color spreading up my calf.

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The swelling is down considerably, and just this morning, I noticed I could actually see my ankle bone again.  I killed it on the spin bike this morning.  I kept my RPMs up between 140-155 in the saddle and added a standing run with an average RPM of 105.  Nothing hurt.  Nothing felt extremely tight.  Tomorrow morning, my PT is going to test out speed walking and maybe even a light jog if the walking goes well!  And, we’ll make a final decision on the marathon.  My gut is telling me no.  Running a trail marathon injury-free is risky with the uneven surfaces and hills.  Add in a weak muscle, and I could set myself up for a muscle tear.  But, I’m not the expert.  I’m learning to listen.  And to be patient.  Two life lessons I’m still trying my hardest to master :).

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8 thoughts on “Perspective is Everything

  1. Wow, this was a hard one to read. Your mom is right, you have so much to be thankful for, but it is hard to not be disappointed. I am thinking of you as you work through this and heal.

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    1. Thanks Dre! What I was looking forward to the most about Deadwood was running with you gals and that experience- I will be pushing to find another race for all of us to run together in 2014 🙂

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      1. I find out tomorrow morning. I’ll need to cancel hotels before Thursday, so my PT and I will discuss in the morning after I try out speed walking. Now, that just sounds a bit sad- try out speed walking?? oi!

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  2. I just decided to back out of a marathon in Vermont in July. It was extremely difficult to do, but, deep down, I know it’s the right decision. I want to be able to run marathons for years to come, so skipping one now that might significantly hurt me is OK.

    I hope you recover quickly, but be smart about your decision. A trail marathon will put a great toll on your body when you’re 100% healthy. Good luck and keep us posted!

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    1. Thanks for posting this! I know I need to be smart, but it doesn’t make it any easier, right? 🙂 I have not been cleared by my PT to run the marathon next weekend. And you’re exactly right- sitting 1 out will let me run many more in the years to come. I hope you recover quickly as well!

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