A fate worse than death

I am hurt. It has been 8 days since I last ran. I am suffering from posterior tibialis tendon inflammation and some inflammation in my Achilles attachment. I have seen doctors, chiros/ART therapists, PT's, massage therapists and acupuncturists. In that time, I have felt nothing but only temporary and partial relief. Most mornings, I wake up and my foot hurts so badly, I can barely limp to the bathroom.

I have been sad, depressed, manic even. Frustrated, anxious and hopeless. I have in just one week felt my world crumble around me. And that, not the injury, is a fate worse than death to me. I know that (hopefully really) soon, with all the work and proactive healing I have been doing, I will be better and I will look back on this and think "I can't believe I got so worked up, I can't believe I didn't have more faith". I feel that way now and just yesterday the pain was so extreme that I burst into tears just trying to walk across the floor to get my PT work done. But today, something changed. I realized that I am attacking my treatment and healing the same way I train for my races. I am "all in" and my mind should not, CANNOT be working in the opposite direction. I need to be sending all my positive hopes, thoughts and prayers to my healing. Deep breathe, it will be ok.

The night splint

Today was a big day not only mentally, but I think it may also be a step (perhaps a hobbly one) in the right direction. After a good weekend of massage with the magnificent Alison Hanks, then intensive PT and then acupuncture yesterday, I hit it hard again today. I saw the doctor first thing and he prescribed me a different drug for the inflammation, gave me a night splint and a heel lift since after doing a torso xray to investigate my circulatory issues that cause my legs to fall asleep, he saw a 1/2 inch discrepancy in my left (not hurt) leg. Then I went to Northwest CrossFit and got worked over by the crew over there. They are a new sponsor and are working hard to get my strong and healthy in a way that is specifically tailored to my running. It was awesome! I went to Essential Chiropractic to have my second session of Active Release Therapy. ART was recommended to me by Howard. He had been hurt for 4 months before going on the recommendation of some of the top ladies in ultrarunning and after 2 session of ART he was back to running. Same goes for another friend of mine who has the same condition as I. She went to 6 sessions in 2 1/2 weeks and found relief after 2 months of pain and other failing remedies! I am blessed to have started immediately after my injury. But let me tell you, the treatment is no cake walk. It is a specialized soft tissue massage and the breaking up of scar tissues, etc. For instance, today I had to do a standing Achilles stretch while Dr. Hammon essentially scraped my leg with a special plastic tool. It does not feel spectacular, but it definitely works. I didn't go running and skipping out of the office, but slowly but surely I can feel relief. I am doing a good deal of crosstraining to keep my fitness up and decided to do back to back 1hr and a quarter spinning sessions at my gym and felt no pain during the intensive sessions (6 hill repeats @ an 8 on the difficulty scale per class!). I got off the bike thinking my leg would be tight and hobbly like it usually is when I walk after doing pretty much anything. It felt good, the pain very manageable. I came home and put my feet up and did my icing. Again, I stood up and expected the cold to cause me to be hobbly and I wasn't. Small steps, small progress, small victories. I never thought such a small thing could put my head back on straight.

As I rode the bike this evening, working hard and focusing on keeping my eye on the prize (keeping up my fitness as well as healing my leg), I realized that, heaven forbid, I couldn't ever run again, that I would be ok. A few days ago, I didn't feel that way. I was a mess. I don't like feeling that way, even when it is warranted. I realized today that while it still may be hard to watch someone bound up the stairs ahead of me, or wave as friends head off for a fun run in the mountains, things will get better, at some point. I look forward to that day, I look forward to a long healthy running career and now I actually have the faith to help make it happen. I have learned through training, racing and recovering that the mind can push you things that you could never believe you could make it through, I am taking all those miles of learning and wisdom and now applying it towards the most important steps I will ever take, the steps to health and healing.

A common position this week, usually accompanied by ice. Yeah for RICE!