Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Good News And Bad News

I went to the doctor yesterday to figure out if something was really wrong with my groin, or if I was just being a hypochondriac and needed to take some rest. Turns out, I'm definitely not a hypochondriac and my dramatics over the injury possibilities were justified (if not pretty).

Let's start with the good news: I don't need surgery!

And follow it up with a healthy dose of bad news: I have three separate stress fractures in my left pelvis.

After an X-Ray followed by an MRI, I got the news that I wouldn't be running again for at least four weeks. I can't say that I'm not devastated- I was riding high, coming off a huge PR in Myrtle Beach with even bigger goals for the NYC Half and another half in May, and I was so excited to start running in warmer weather! But there is good news- if I follow the doctor's orders and don't run (or do any other physical activity) for the next four weeks, I should be able to run again. Unlike a muscle tear, a stress fracture is a clean, 'easy,' fix.

Now the hard part is figuring out WHY I got the stress fractures. Stress fractures are common in runners, but they typically occur when something is wrong with the body- not just from running hard. Eating disorders are common causes, but I assured the doctor this was not the case. And honestly, I was a bit offended when he questioned if I had a disorder. If I had an eating disorder I would be doing a really poor job of it, as I am a very thick size 6-8. The doctor even told me I didn't look thin. So after we ruled out eating disorder, he sent me to a primary care doctor to run some blood tests and get a bone density scan- several causes are being discussed right now, which is frustrating because I won't know anything for at least a few days and at least another 2 doctor visits.

Word to the wise: IF SOMETHING HURTS WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING, STOP. I was so laser focused on hitting my goal time in the NYC Half, I wasn't checking in with my body. I knew something didn't feel right, but I dismissed it as a little twinge rather than accepting that I did feel pain... all because I wanted to hit my 11 miles for the day. I didn't even hit 11 last Sunday- I was able to run 9.5 before literally keeling over, not able to run or walk without intense, searing pain. I don't know where I'd be right now if I had stopped running when I felt the initial pain- perhaps I'd be totally fine, perhaps I'd have only one stress fracture, perhaps the damage was already done. I don't know, but right now I'm focused on figuring out what caused the stress fractures so I can run smarter when I come back.

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