The doctor says…

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment to get x-rays done on both my hip and calf.

He began by having me hop on my left foot again, just as I had done at the free screening. My hip hasn’t been bothering me as much lately, so I was able to do it without much pain (though I could definitely feel it). Then he had me hop on my right to see if it would bother my calf. Again, I could feel it, but it wasn’t painful.

Then he had me stand straight and took note of all my little lower body quirks, like my high arches and my knock-knees.

After that, I laid down so he could run my muscles through some movement tests. He said that I had good range of motion in my hips and legs. He pressed on a few points and told me to let him know if they were tender. There were a few points in my calf that he found, but it wasn’t too bad.

He said that things were looking good and from there I went to have x-rays done. Besides my annual dental x-rays, I’ve never had any done before, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. But it wasn’t bad. I just laid there and moved my legs where the x-ray tech told me to. Four pictures later, we were done.

The doctor went over them with me. He didn’t see anything on my hip x-rays to suggest a stress fracture. There was a tiny blip at the top of my calf, however. He told me that he couldn’t tell if it was of clinical significance or not, but even if it were a stress fracture, it was in the healing stage and it was in a location that didn’t typically break all the way through.

“You can run on Thursday,” he finally proclaimed. He said it was okay to take Tylenol (but not anti-inflammatories). He told me to be careful and walk when I needed to, and then after the 10k, I needed to take about four weeks off and do physical therapy to correct anything that may have caused the injuries before starting up my half marathon training. I’m supposed to go back to see him in six weeks.

physical therapy prescription

So it’s official. I’m off to my first 10k this week!

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Injury update!

Yesterday I went to a free injury screening at Fleet Feet Nashville. They hold 15 minute sessions twice a month to see if your running injuries are serious or not.

I first spoke with Dr. Clarke Holmes from Impact Sports Medicine. I explained my two problem areas to him: my soleus strain (which seems to be doing better) and the pain in my upper thigh/groin area (which seems to be getting worse). He first told me to hop on my left leg (the side with the groin pain). I probably looked at him like he was crazy because it pretty much kills me to do anything with that leg. But I did it, grimacing the whole time. Then he had me lie down and he tried bending my leg in a variety of ways, none of which hurt. Then he poked at my soleus, which almost caused me to scream once.

He concluded that I may have a stress fracture in my hip causing the groin pain. He said that I should have an X-ray and/or MRI done to rule that out because if it was a stress fracture, then continuing to run on it would make it worse and I would need surgery. He said he thought there was about a 60% chance that I didn’t. Not very comforting.

He seemed to agree with my assessment of my calf and didn’t seem overly concerned about it, though he did mention the possibility of a stress fracture there too.

Next I saw the physical therapist, Perry Smith from Pro Motion Physical Therapy. He had me stand straight and poked at my hips a bit. Apparently they are misaligned and this is probably what is causing my injuries. Hearing that my posture was a little messed up was not a super surprise to me, since I’m pretty sure that carrying a heavy backpack on only my left shoulder all those years messed it up. (For example, I’ve never been able to carry a purse on my right shoulder. It just slides off.) I was a little sad that my Wii lies to me though.

wii balance

Today I learned that having a perfect center of balance does not mean that your posture is awesome.

So I guess no more running till I see about my hip. Assuming that I actually don’t have a stress fracture, I will gingerly continue 10k training and then probably take some time off. Of course, if I do have one, time off is the only option.

Week of 6/10/13 – 6/16/13

Nike+ isn’t showing my Sunday run on the graph, once again, but the totals are right.

week of 6/10/13 to 6/16/13

After taking Monday as a rest day, I knew I needed to head out on Tuesday. However, driving home from work, my car told me it was 96 degrees outside. Ninety. Six. Not counting the 50% humidity. I didn’t want to die, so I opted for the treadmill, which I suspect I will be living on through July and August. It’s been a couple months since I had ran on the treadmill, so I had forgotten how much easier it is. Pacing is no problem since it controls your speed. I don’t have to worry about hills. No wind. I also forgot that it’s boring. Especially when Roomba ate your headphones and you haven’t gotten a chance to fix them. It didn’t matter. I blew through my 28 minutes I was supposed to run for Couch to 10k and did 33 instead. Still only 2.5 miles since I paced myself slow on purpose. On a 1% incline, I started at 4 mph and increased 0.1 every 2.5 minutes, ending up at 5.1 after 30 minutes. Then I ran 2.5 minutes at 6 mph, using the last 30 seconds as a jogging cool down. That workout would have destroyed me three months ago, but it was a piece of cake now. Although the workout room didn’t feel a whole lot cooler than outdoors, and I had sweat literally flinging off of me as I ran.

Wednesday was even hotter than Tuesday with the heat index topping out around 100 degrees, so I took a rest day and went out on a date with myself to see “Spirit of the Marathon II” for inspiration. The documentary follows seven people running the 2012 Rome Marathon and leading up to it. Inspirational, it was! I don’t know if I’ll ever run a full marathon, but I’m convinced I need to do it in Rome. (Paris would be cool, too, but I’ve never been to Rome.) I got a bit of a laugh when one of the runners went to buy some “runner torture devices”, aka the foam roller and the stick. It also managed to make me tear up in parts. Just see it if you get the chance.

I wanted to get up early Thursday morning to fit in a mile, but my soleus was still kind of hurting. Will it ever heal? I went to see She & Him at the Ryman Thursday evening, so it turned into another rest day. Probably for the better, since I really need my calf to get better.

Friday I drove up to Clarksville to visit my parents and got up early on Saturday to put in 6 miles of intervals. Strava had a challenge to run a 10k that day, so that is what I did. For the first mile, I did 2 minutes running, then 2 minutes walking. For the second and third miles, I increased to 3 minutes running. Then went up to 4 minutes running for the fourth mile. I wanted to increase again for the last full mile, but I was on a section of road where I was running into the sun and was low on water, so I ended up doing more of a 1:1 ratio again.

10k splits

Overall, I finished 10k in 1:17, which isn’t too bad considering it’s only the second time I’ve gone that distance. Hopefully I will be a little faster at the actual race in a couple weeks.

strava any way 10k finisher

My legs weren’t feeling too bad, so I went out on a recovery run on Sunday evening. I didn’t have an exact distance/time in mind, other than I wanted to do at least a mile and if I did a full 5k that would be pretty cool. But I didn’t want to push myself. It was supposed to be recovery, after all. I paced well on the first mile, but sped up after that and wore myself out after 2.8 miles. So just short of the 5k, I walked for about 3 minutes before finishing it out with a light jog. Still, I ran for over 32 minutes straight. Does that make me a Couch to 5k graduate since the last day is to run for 30 minutes straight? Even though I didn’t really run a full 5k? I’m counting it. On to the 10k!

Week of 6/3/13 – 6/9/13

week of 6/3/13 to 6/9/13

I took Monday off, still feeling the strain in my soleus. However, on Tuesday it felt a bit better, so I went out on a slow one mile run to see how that felt. I could definitely still feel it, but I could tell it was getting better. I still decided to take Wednesday off, so I wouldn’t push it.

Thursday morning I headed out to the greenway. I decided to do untimed intervals, running when I felt like it and then walking till I recovered, just to make sure I was going easy and not pushing too hard, especially on hills. I managed to squeak out just over four miles, which made me pretty happy.

Later that day, I headed down to Atlanta to see The Postal Service (which was awesome) and went to Six Flags the next day. Obviously, I didn’t get any running in, but I think all the walking really stretched my legs out nicely.

Since I’m running a 10k in less than a month (!!), I was a little worried that my week off had set me back on Couch to 10k. I decided on Saturday to do the first day of week 9. Normally, this consists of four intervals of 10 minutes running with a minute of walking recovery in between. I could still mildly feel my strain, so I lengthened the walking bits to 2-3 minutes each. However, I did complete all four repetitions of running without issue (besides being completely sore and exhausted afterwards), so yay!

Sunday morning I awoke to a thunderstorm. I waited for a break in the rain, then decided to head out. My warm up mainly consisted of looking for my water bottle that my cat Oscar had run off with and hid behind my nightstand the night before. I had decided to do day one of week 8, so 28 minutes of nonstop running. About half a mile in, it started sprinkling, and turned into a full blown rain after a mile. But I pushed through the rain and wind and completed the 28 minutes, running 2.5 miles. It felt great! Oscar promptly ran off with my earbuds when I returned, so I suppose my next warmup will consist of looking for those.

My calf seems to be doing a lot better. It’s still a little sore, so I’m being diligent in foam rolling, using the Stick, and wearing my leg compression sleeves to keep it loose. Hopefully I won’t have any more trouble before next month’s 10k!

Week of 5/27/13 – 6/2/13

This graph makes me sad.

week of 05/27/13 to 06/02/13

I decided to start off the week with an “easy” interval run. I put easy in quotation marks because it should have been but was not. I was doing the same intervals I did in Boise when I ran 6.4 miles. I didn’t plan to necessarily go that far, but just to do some intervals and enjoy myself. It was not in the cards. First, it took me forever to warm up. Actually, I never felt sufficiently warmed up to ever start running, which maybe should have been a clue. Second, despite how “easily” I did these intervals in Boise, I had the three Hs working against me here in Nashville: heat, humidity, and hills. Plus my calf was still sore. And, unlike my past few runs where the soreness went away after warming up, it progressively got more sore until I was limping back to my car. I mentioned last week that I think it’s a soleus strain. It seems to get exacerbated when I wear my Kinvaras (though I would have no idea why they would be different from my other shoes), so I may switch to only wearing my Skechers for awhile (at least for longer distances).

Because of the injury, I took the rest of the week off. I had to second shoot a wedding on Saturday, so I’m hoping that didn’t hurt the muscle too much, since I’m trying to rest it as much as possible. I just ordered The Stick and a foam roller, both of which will hopefully help my eternally tight calves in the future, so I can avoid such injuries. Until then, I get to do this:

icing a soleus strain

Cross your fingers that I’ll be able to run some this week!