Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Walk of Shame

(No, not that walk of shame.)

I went out for my run at about 6:15 last night without any real goals in mind. I didn't care if I ran 3 miles, 7 miles, or anything in between. I just wanted to run without the pain I've been having in my calves and shins.


As I started out, my legs felt very tired but there wasn't any pain. At the end of the first mile, I could tell things weren't quite right, but I felt better than I did on my second run in Jamaica and thought I could gut it out. Things kept getting worse though, and as progressed past the two mile mark, I was having bad pains in both lower legs. The left leg seems to have more soreness on lower part of the calf or higher part of the ankle, and the weird swollen bump was back. On the right leg, the pain is more pronounced in the shin.

It just got too bad, and I had to stop about 2.5 miles into my run and walk about a mile back to the car. (I definitely debated calling Chris to come pick me up.)

I'll try to go back to the doctor tomorrow, and hopefully get a consult with my orthopedist, but I think the Shamrock Marathon is probably not going to happen and I kind of suspect that I have some injury or maybe even different conditions in each leg that only a longer period of rest is going to help, and even a couple weeks off will put me too far behind in marathon training.

If I had to guess, I'd say shin splints, at least in the right leg.

What is weird though is the intermittent-ness of the problem. On 12/27 on my 7-miles in Jamaica, it seemed like the compression socks really helped and that my struggling on that run was more due to the tropical heat and humidity and the remains of some respiratory disorder. Then on the 30th, even though my legs felt fine that morning before my run, it was clear very early that things weren't right down there.

If I have injured myself, I'm curious about when it occurred. Early in December, I really started feeling good again after the marathon. I ran 10 on December 3 and felt ok, 4 on the hotel treadmill in Dallas on 12/5 and felt ok. (Stopped because I felt like I was overheating in the hot hotel gym, not because of fatigue or pain). On the Saturday December 10th, I ran almost 13 miles on the rail trail and didn't feel good -- I had a lot of the problems that I've been having over the last few weeks, but was able to push through for the distance I wanted and I seemed to feel better as I went along. But then I felt fine (though tired) for a 10-mile bike ride the next day, 6 mile run on Monday, and Yasso 800s on Tuesday.

I wonder if it was the Celtic Solstice 5K. I don't remember any symptoms in that race -- in fact, I felt great! -- but pushed myself harder in that race than I had any business doing so. Since that race, I've pretty consistently been unable to get going again. The decent, relatively pain-free 7-miles in Jamaica throws a monkey wrench into my theory, but I'm pretty sure this isn't just in my head (and the weird bump on my leg seems to agree!) and it doesn't seem like it's in my lungs, either. Though I've had some respiratory problems throughout the month (probably bronchitis), I felt like I was breathing fine during my run yesterday.

Up until the holidays, I'd done a better job of getting my mid-week base miles in, but I had only just started to get the long runs going again, so I haven't obviously overtrained. However, since late November I finished a marathon that I probably shouldn't have finished, ran my first speed workout in forever, and killed myself on a pretty hilly 5-miler, so it seems like somewhere in there was probably the recipe for injuries.

I'm hoping for the best, but I've got kind of a bad feeling about this.

1 comment:

  1. From my very recent experience I know there's nothing worse, not just physically but even when it comes to blogging, than a runner dealing with an injury. We are savvy enough to figure out what's going on without ourselves these days, so I wouldn't be surprised to learn you've nailed the diagnosis in your right leg, at least, but when the doctor confirms it the hard part is actually doing what he says to treat it. I hope you get better soon and do whatever the doctor say that'll help you heal up. It's a lot better to get well now and be good than it is to be stubborn and battle nagging injuries forever.