Friday, January 6, 2012

All Work and No Running Make Brian Something Something...


After my failure of run on Wednesday and the consistent struggles I've had over the past couple weeks, I went to see the doctor today. I hit the nail on the head with my diagnosis guess for the right leg: a classic case of shin splints, the doctor was able to demonstrate pain as he pressed on different places on my shin.

On the left leg, things are a little more vague. There was nothing to indicate a sprained ankle or strained ligament, so the diagnosis of varicose veins stands for now, but the fact that I've had some weird tingling, tightness, or burning (makes it sound worse than it actually is) in the muscles in that area made him think that a nerve is getting caught up in some repetitive-motion injury. He suggested that rest should help this settle down as well. He can't tell if that's what's causing the pain in lower calf or if it's just related to overtraining, but rest, again, is the prescription.

On one hand, I'm a little relieved. I mostly haven't felt great since the marathon, and I'm sure if I I probably made things worse when I pushed myself so much at Celtic Solstice. In addtion to these lower-leg problems, my quads just feel really tired and weak on every run and a month or so off will be a good thing, even though I'll have to build my endurance back up. I would hope I could be ready to go for Broad Street (10 miles) in May, but since registration will open in February and be sold out in days, I probably don't want to pull the trigger on that since I'll just be starting again.

On the other hand, I really wish I could have hung in there till after Shamrock. However, I can't even reliably run 5 miles right now, there's no way that I could manage this through the 18, 19, and 20 milers ahead. With the disclaimer that the left-leg diagnosis is still kind of a guess, I also recognize that I'm getting off pretty easy in the world of running injuries.

Not running is going to drive me nuts, but I know it's probably for the best.


  1. Hum... sorry to hear this, Brian! Have you ever checked out: Full of very useful information on injuries, he takes a holistic approach and first helped me figure my foot problem. Just a thought. I hear you on taking time off, absolutely zero fun and makes ya pretty moody! Hope it feels better soon!

  2. Wow, so you're not doing Shamrock? I'm sorry to hear this. However, you'll likely find that it's nice to have the pressure of training off of your shoulders. Here's to a quick recovery! (raising my coffee cup)

  3. Thanks Jill! I hadn't heard of that but I'll definitely check it out.

    Val, there's no way I can do this marathon. I don't think my injuries are too serious, but I (and more importantly the Dr.) don't think they'll get better w/o rest.

    I might try the half or the 8K depending on how I'm feeling. I've got till 3/9 to defer, and I don't think there's any way I can miss January and get myself in marathon shape, and I don't think I can from "0 to 13.1" either. I just don't know how close to "0" I'll be after a month off. I don't want to rest for a month and then rush back too quickly, either.

  4. Oh yes you can go from 0 to 13.1. You most likely won't PR, but you could do it.

  5. Reading the section in Lore of Running about injuries and saw: Effort Thrombosis (clotting of blood) of the Deep Calf Veins.

    Precipitating factor: prolonged sitting (such as inter-continental flights) in some cases.

    One runner complained of "not walk or sit without pain", "feels like achilles tendonitis".

    Treatment: safe adminisitration anti-blood clotting drugs, supportive bandaging of the leg, NO EXERCISE for 6-12 months.

    Don't know for sure if this is you, but you may want to make sure your doc is a "runners doc".

    I went back through your last series of posts, but I may want to read that relevant passage (p.835) and have another discussion with your doc, if I was you. I'm probably over-reacting (tim noakes states he sees fewer than ten cases per year), but I would rather cover the bases than do something silly.

  6. Thanks Danny! I'm sufficiently scared to talk more w/my Dr. about this or perhaps my orthopedist, who is a runner.

  7. Good luck with the recovery, Brian. Injuries suck. Pretty much the only good thing about them is that you'll really appreciate running once you're able to do it again. Well, at least for a couple of days :)