Road(block) to 13.1
Disappointment, loss, heartbreak, failure, unexpected events, etc are all a part of life. We experience them, deal, and move on.
In my last post, http://amymariekc.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/countdown-to-13-1/ I talked about preparing to run my very first half marathon during the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon this weekend in downtown Kansas City.
On Sunday morning, I went out for a near eight mile run. By about mile 4.5, I started to feel a pain in my inner thigh…like maybe I had pulled a muscle. I figured it was nothing and if I didn’t think about it, it would go away. I kept running for another mile or so and eventually the pain was so terrible, I had to give up running and I ended up walking the 2+ miles back to my house. It only took 45 MINUTES…walking was pretty painful, so I was moving pretty slow.
With only a week to go until my very first half, I started to panic. I researched pulled muscles, posted questions to ask for suggestions of fellow runners on the Cool Running message board and the Kansas City Marathon message board. Most people said ice and rest were what I needed to prepare for Saturday. On Monday morning, I called my rhuematologist for ideas, but she was out of town. Although, her genius office staff did tell me to ”go to physical therapy.” WHAT?? I was in a lot of pain, and by this time, I thought that I had started walking funny to compensate, which caused lower back, knee, and foot pain. I knew I had to figure out what to do and fast.
I attended Coach Valdez’s http://www.runnersedgekc.com/ running clinic the week before and decided that I would reach out to him via email. I was so thankful for his reply. He told me that I needed to see Dr. Tom Teter http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.com/index.html , who specializes in running injuries. Coach thought that seeing Dr. Tom was my best chance to get healed before the race. I called him and was able to get an appointment for Tuesday morning at 10:00.
When I met with Dr. Tom, he did a full exam and was able to pinpoint my problem right away. He was very thorough and did a great job explaining the science behind what had happened to my body. I had sustained my very first running “injury”. Basically, the pain site, my inner thigh, was a group of muscles that were strained as a result of several other hip flexor muscles in my leg that had basically given out. The pain in my lower back was caused from some of those same hip flexor muscles that have dual functions-hip flexor and spine stabilizer. They were working overtime to make up for the other muscles in my leg that had given out. The leg muscles weren’t properly stabilizing my knee which caused the knee and foot pain. Dr. Tom did several exercises with my leg and determined that I had almost zero range of motion in my right leg. He finished the exam by telling me that he was confident that I could run the race in some form or fashion on Saturday, but only after very aggressive therapy, and I may have to walk quite a bit of the race. I scheduled an appointment for the next day and left his office in pain, but feeling very optimistic about the upcoming run.
I saw Dr. Tom again this morning for my first therapy session. Oh my god it was so horrible that I was in tears and drenched in sweat by the end of the 45 minute session. The good news was that the range of motion in my leg had drastically improved from the day before. My pain had also gotten better (until the therapy session). Although the doctor isn’t too concerned with pain, he is trying to target the cause of the pain. At the end of the session, Dr. Tom was a bit perplexed. My muscles were not responding to the therapy as he had hoped, which lead him to believe that I had actually sustained a stage 1 or stage 2 tear in the muscle. That, coupled with my auto-immune disorder and rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia made my muscles slow to respond. They will also be slow to heal.
He sat down in his chair while I continued laying on my back on the exam table. He got very serious when he said that he strongly recommends against running on Saturday. I could make the current injury worse, or sustain new injuries to my leg muscles, knee, or back that could cause long-term or even permanent damage. I could feel my face get hot as my eyes welled up with tears when I heard the news. I was shocked at what I was hearing.
I was nervous about the race, but deep down, I was really excited. I was going to accomplish a goal of mine and get to share in celebration with other friends that were running after the race. I had been training for several weeks, so it was a blow to find out that I could be in serious trouble if I decided to proceed with running.
Dr. Tom was very understanding. He knows that runners let their emotions override logical thinking. He suggested that I sleep on it, but ultimately, I should continue the ban on physical activity and come back and see him Monday for more therapy and to discuss a long-term treatment plan. He also wants me to pick a race in January or February, put it on the calendar, and he will help me prepare.
I scheduled my appointment and got in my car and sat in the parking lot for about 20 minutes and cried. No, it’s not the end of the world, there will be a million other races, and I’m thankful that I found an expert that will help me heal, but I needed my time to sulk. I had a hard time not feeling sad and disappointed the rest of the afternoon.
I plan to get plenty of rest during the remainder of the week and go down to the race to support my friends who are running. I still plan to make it to the after party that I planned to celebrate the finish. And I’m looking forward to finishing my first half injury free whenever it does happen.