Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recovering: It's better'n nothing

The shin pain was the result of a stress reaction or stress fracture in my right medial tibia. I’m still not exactly certain whether there is a huge difference between ‘reaction’ and ‘fracture,’ as the terms seemed to be somewhat interchangeable, at least in my diagnosis and even my past experience.
Looks okay to me!
Google results for “difference between stress fracture and stress reaction,” produce examples of people like me asking the same thing, further muddying the issue as no true medical authority seems to be stepping in to help. :) It’s okay though, I asked my doctor and she said there’s not really much difference. The treatment is basically the same. Admittedly, I have no spot on my leg where the bone is broken in two, nor does a clear fracture exists, so a ‘stress reaction’ is probably the most accurate classification.  Google searches for the above phrase also return ‘running’ and ‘long distance runner’ in the results, and I think to myself, yep, that’s me. So, that’s good enough for my research, thanks Google. Whatever it truly should be termed, it happens to us, and in good numbers, so I’m not alone in my recovery process.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

F^3 Lake Half Marathon

One goal for me this year was to do more introspection and recaps from each of my races.  They’re obviously great milestones to measure your progress and review where you are physically. Mentally, races are often much bigger challenges and all the more exciting to reflect on, be they good or bad.

After my last big race in November, I was really looking forward to running the F^3 Lake Half Marathon at the end of January. Although I’m well acclimated to training in the lonely brisk winter months, I’d never run a race in the middle of winter in Chicago, or anywhere else for that matter. I knew before registering the weather would be a big factor:  there might be snow, freezing wind, and be just plain cold. But that was all fine. I’d handle that. I suppose I got a little reckless with the mileage I put in during the month of December, so even though I thought I was being careful, the training was taking a toll on me. I took some days off and cross-trained a bit, and figured I’d still be able to pull off a decent time.  In December I ran a new half PR while training, so I was ready. Or so I thought.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Injury as a Motivator

I spent most of January dealing with different aches and pains. Looking back at the month I half-laugh, half-shake my head. I can only attempt to shelve the echoes of disappointment that continue to rattle away at the inside of my head. I mean, it wasn’t a total wreck, but I never felt 100% the entire month, it was my lowest mileage month since May, I had the perfect opportunity to run a fast Half with a great time and instead came out flat, and now I’m about to head to a doctor to get my right shin checked out since it’s one of the pains that’s been bugging me nearly the whole month but this one doesn’t seem to ever fully heal. To literally add insult to injury, January, like much of December, was a great month for winter running in Chicago - warm, warm, warm, at least relatively.  And I missed most of it.  Ugh. Generally I get a little down when injured, nothing shocking there, but feeling like this for a month eats away at you.  You begin to do other things to bring you up a notch or two.  Eat. Watch more TV. Sit around more. Of course eating your way to happiness has zero to no positive effects.  So even though I’ve tried to remain just as active by cross-training, I’m not getting nearly the same time in, and apparently not the same caloric burn.  Six pounds heavier I realized it was time to cut back on my eating. I really don’t want to start from square one.