So, for those of you that do not know…I got the results of my MRI on April 2nd and I do indeed have a stress fracture in the shaft of my femur. This is apparently REALLY uncommon in 22 year old women, typically femoral stress fractures are in the neck of the femur (like up in the hip). Treatment: non weight bearing for 4-6 weeks. I am on crutches. I go back to the doctor for X-rays on April 30th and can possibly stop crutching then. The most commonly asked question: “What does this mean for Boston?” Well…it means I will not be running Boston 2014. Apparently if I had continued pushing it, it could have been much worse. On one side I am really thankful that we figured out exactly what it was before I could attempt to run Boston…that would have been bad.
I have never been injured before. I mean, I’ve had little soft tissue aches and pains that can be cured with a little rest and a lot of Aleve..but that’s about it. I have NEVER been on crutches. If you’ve seen me in the past two weeks you know, it’s been a struggle. Here are some things I’ve learned/invented on crutches:
5) Going down stairs on crutches is an art….that I will probably never master. Especially with a back pack on. Every time I go downstairs it is hilarious. I really just need someone to piggy back me around Boston…any takers?
4) Lateral crutching is a thing. I invented it. I even have a dance…stay tuned.
3) Everything fun is weight bearing. But seriously, I have a craving for dancing (Zinda), bowling, heavy lifting, volleyball, True American, going to get a latte all by myself and carrying it, and basically all activities that require two legs.
2) YOU CAN’T GO TO THE GROCERY STORE ON CRUTCHES. It is a tragedy. And I have been refusing to use the buggy…I don’t have/need a cast so I feel like an ass if I take the buggy because it doesn’t look like anything is wrong. Instead, I recruit friends/family…or forage my pantry and get creative.
1) Last and most importantly…you cannot carry a coffee on crutches. Let that sink in for a second. I cannot go into a coffee shop alone, get a large coffee and carry to my car. I drink an avg 8 cups of coffee everyday. My favorite past time is going to local coffee shops and getting almond milk lattes. Thank God for my friends, I have spent so much time at Bean Traders in the past two months drinking lattes and chatting with friends. Here is my strategy for getting coffee to work:
My Hydroflask seriously rocks, I can carry it around by that little loop on the lid even with my crutches. I even ordered another one that is a bit smaller and HOT PINK. So pumped. Picture to come when it comes in.
I have been doing some upper body lifting. I have a phenomenal coworker/friend that will leave weights by a bench for me so that I can just crutch over, sit down and knock it out. I have also (when I have time) been going to the pool and swimming just using my upper body and no kick. I have finally figured out how to play around with my breathing and intensity to get a good workout. Besides that I have been really trying to rest. I sleep tons (crutching is hard work), and if I was going to wake up early and workout, but my alarm goes off and I’m exhausted…I just sleep in. This is totally against my personality. I never like to rest, which is probably part of the reason I am injured in the first place.
All in all it has been a really long two months of waiting, doctors appointments and most importantly, wondering if I would be able to run Boston. I knew about a month in to no running that the chances were slim. My amazing sports chiropractor was sure I had a stress fracture, but I tried to continue practicing positive thinking and proceeding forward as if it was just a soft tissue problem. I kept saying I was going to “positive think” it better. Believe it or not…there are some things you can’t fix with positive thinking…you just have to take the time to pout. I am really proud of myself for pushing through and being positive until I actually saw the stress fracture on the MRI. I am not even letting myself feel bad for waiting to crutch until I had proof. I planned to run Boston until the second my doctor said I did actually have a stress fracture and that was hard. Once I found it out, I definitely took some time to pout (again). Finding out I definitely would not be running Boston was an extremely hard to handle. When the doctor left the room I didn’t want to tell anyone, even though I had multiple friends/family members anxiously awaiting a text. It took everything I had not to cry in there, I was like breaking a sweat trying to keep it together.
There were lots of tears my first few days on crutches. And then I moved on. I still take time everyday to be mad about my crutches, and not running Boston, and totally losing my “base” from not running for what will be a total of 3 months. And it helps. My friends have been amazing. From taking me around the grocery store, to taking out my trash, pumping my gas, meeting me for coffee (and carrying it for me!!) to providing me with some much needed distraction and laughs. I really don’t know what I would have done with out all my recent injury coffee dates, dinner dates, and chats. I am so beyond thankful for all the people that have been helping me out. I decided I will still be making the trip up to Boston on Friday. I can’t wait to go to the expo, (hopefully) meet some elite runners, sightsee, shop and watch some of my great friends run what is bound to be the most amazing Boston Marathon to date.
I even bought alllll the Bull City Running Co gear to wear on the sidelines!
So…what next? I will be on crutches at Boston…get ready for some amazing stories about that. I have an appointment on April 30th where they will hopefully do an xray and tell me I no longer have to crutch! And then I will have to carefully work my way back into walking and RUNNING! Ah. It will be amazing. In terms of racing…it would be smart for me to defer my Grandfather Mountain Marathon entry to 2015 if possible. I (and my running friends/ pt) just don’t think two months is a realistic time frame to train for a marathon after something like this. So – Game Plan: Run a sub 3:20:00 marathon in November. This would be a PR for me, and obviously also a BQ for Boston 2016. Maybe Richmond? Maybe Vegas? We will see! And good luck to everyone running Boston! I will be sending you alllllll of my speedy thoughts.
“Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”
– Steve Prefontaine