My Romance With Running

Stories about running, as if you haven't heard enough from me already

Throwing a pity party, and cleaning up afterwards

19 Comments

I’ve thought a lot while running, about how much I love to do it, how rewarding it is, and how when you dedicate yourself to something so fully, how great the rewards are that you get in return. I’ve thought about how it’s helped me through depression, and changed me from that person who would hide in her room all day, to someone who runs outside in a crop top and posts pictures of her crotch on the internet. I’m so grateful for the ability to run, and I was so caught up in it that I never thought about what would happen when it was gone.

On Friday two weeks ago I went along to the physio. I’d had the X-rays, I’d sat through a vey lubey ultrasound in a variety of awkward positions, and every possibility of injury had been eliminated except for one thing, which was the only thing that it could be. It wasn’t the best news, but it wasn’t the worst

‘You have a stress fracture, most likely in your pubic rami. Mentally prepare yourself for not being able to run for the next six months.’

I picked this picture because the red makes it looks really sore.

I picked this picture because the red makes it looks really sore.

After delivering the news the Physiotherapist then did some release work on my right quad with needles. I feebly pretended my tears were because of the needling and electric pulses making my leg convulse, but it wasn’t. I was pretty devastated. The Physio handed me some racy yellow crutches with instructions not to put any weight on my right leg and off I hobbled.

People like to remind you that there are other things that suck more than not being able to run for six months, ‘It’s not like you have cancer’, ‘You can still wipe your own ass’, or ‘At least your birthday isn’t on Christmas Day and people only ever give you one present’. These are people that don’t run, who see running as evil, to be avoided, and who have never felt the joy of a bag of jelly beans melting through the pocket of their tights, or the wind blowing their spit in to their ear.

To the runners, you might as well have lost the entire leg. They offer their condolences, they know exactly how hard you worked to get your running to that level, and they know that feeling you chase that you’ll now miss out on until your body agrees that you can run again.

Technical stuff

To properly diagnose a stress fracture you need to get an MRI, as it won’t show on an X-ray until the bone starts to heal. Two weeks of yoga, spin class, Pump, and walking a few kilometres each day meant that my stress fracture was definitely NOT starting to heal. To get an MRI, you must see a physician (you can’t be referred to get one from a physio or GP). I went to see Ruth Highet, a well known Sports Physician in Wellington. I took an instant liking to her when one of the first questions she asked was ‘ What’s your PB for a 10km?’ None of this ‘Why do you run so much?’ nonsense, this was someone who I could relate to.

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See the white part on the upper left corner, that is the stress fracture

Ruth showed me my bones on the screen and said that if I had gone for one more run I would have completely fractured the bone, so I guess I am pretty lucky in that respect.

How does one get a stress fracture in the pelvis? There are many reasons, there may have been 120 reasons why I got one, here are a few contributing factors and I am sure all of these helped me to get my stress fracture.

  • Your running shoes aren’t right
  • Running style is not perfect
  • Your headband didn’t match your shorts
  • Too much pelvic thrusting. Wink. Cough. Elbow elbow.
  • Increasing your mileage too fast
  • You have a vagina (only females get these ones, lucky us!)
  • Poor or inadequate nutrition
  • Running 120kms a week

Ch ch ch ch changes

I have noticed changes in my body already, I FILL an A cup bra now! Badonk-a-donk. I have no visible abs any more, and my right leg is slowly shrinking and losing muscle definition with not being used. I’m beginning to look and feel squishy and lop-sided, like a pair of room temperature testicles.

I used to pride myself on munching down a giant bowl of porridge for breakfast, a foot long subway for lunch, then an entire pizza for dinner, and snacks, and pudding included. We went out for lunch on Saturday, and I had my first DNF in almost two years, I just couldn’t finish my fries. I felt so defeated, leaving that food there on the plate. Those perfect hand cut crispy potato fries with their spicy tomato sauce, lonely, and going cold, destined for the scrap bucket when they should be in mah belleh.

I have not dealt with my loss of mobility very well, and I feel really pathetic for it. Where did that strong person go? The one that could conquer mountains, the one that people told ‘You inspire me’, and why has she been replaced with this sad girl who cries and can’t finish her fries? It has been a challenge getting use to using crutches, and a few times I have thrown them away in frustration, only to have to crawl to get the dumb things back. I also get a little envious of people who can still workout, which is hard to avoid when you work inside a gym!

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I haven’t hit anyone with my crutches. Yet.

I think part of why I got so upset with being injured, is that I thought my happiness was directly tied to my running, and if I stopped, I would become depressed again. One day leaving the sports doctors I walked/ crutched out past a group of people playing basketball. They were all different shapes and sizes, some tall, some wide, some scrawny, and all giving each other absolute hell and having a damn good game, in their wheelchairs. Watching the little people in wheelchairs be sandwiched by the big ones and have the ball stolen from them, and seeing them keep playing with the same determination made me feel a whole lot better about my own situation, and I didn’t cry again after that.

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Yes, I did buy this dress to match the crutches.

What I can do now (2 weeks in to recovery)

  • Swim in the pool with a pool buoy only using my arms
  • Very isolated glute exercises
  • Side planks- my most hated exercise
  • Crunches on a bosu ball
  • Arms, every day. Arms.

What I am working towards

  • Cycling – in four weeks
  • Aqua jogging – four weeks
  • Losing the crutches – 2  weeks
  • Being completely healed! 11  weeks
  • 22″ arms
  • 3minute long side planks, oh hell yeah.

Happy recovery to me, happy recovery to me!

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Author: Amanda Broughton

Talking, running, eating, meandering.

19 thoughts on “Throwing a pity party, and cleaning up afterwards

  1. Good luck – I lost a year to a slipped disc. I was a 1:24 half marathoner then, now I’m 1:40, but I’m running again and happy for it.

    • That makes me happy you are back in to it, what did you do while not running, could you swim or bike? I hope I get my fitness back quickly.

      • I hate swimming, so it was a lot of cycling – to keep the weight down, do low level cardio, and keep some strength in my legs. I’m also now focused on a lot more off road running, which seems to help. But have to constantly do work to improve my core strength.

      • I am getting swimming lessons so I hope I can start to enjoy it more. I am starting on the core work now too, three times a week! Whatever it takes!!

  2. I need two hands to count the number of stress fractures I’ve had and I’m only 23. Stay positive, don’t give up and you’ll be back on your feet in no time! All the best!

  3. You still look great to me! Can we do arm workout together this week? I know how hard it is when that constant in your life is gone. I have been that girl crying several times. Running saves lives. I believe this is one of the seven pillars of truth.

    We always think we can handle the setbacks, but we never know how we will handle them until they happen to us. You have wallowed and now you are coming out! Huzzah!

    On the positives, you can binge on tv series. Have you gotten into Hannibal yet? Do you have Netflix? Be a girly girl who only ever wears lacey, racey undies. Do your hair EVERY DAMN DAY. Sleep in.

    When you are back on the grind you will be wishing for those days back! In small doses of course

    xx

  4. Wow reading this was crazy, my experience was like exactly the same! Running had brought me so much happiness and the stress fracture felt like it had taken that away. I remember coming home from school the first day on crutches and crying 😦 That’s awesome that you’re being so optimistic now though! Once you get used to crutches, they’re not all that bad! I made a countdown on my calendar, that made it seem less long!

    • I have a countdown too, I feel like I am winning when I cross another day off the calendar each morning 🙂 I will be stronger after this, if not physically then definitely mentally!

  5. Hey, I just realised that I work with your friend Fern. Funny stuff! Hope the body is coming along. I’ve had a nice case of runners knee lately, and am trying to get the balance right so that it doesn’t get worse, while still training. As you well know – it’s tricky getting right. Anyway – hope the recovery is coming along well!

  6. Damn those vaginas. They ruin everything. 🙂 Swift healing. You’ll be good as new before you know it!

  7. Hang in there! I spent a good portion of three years injured and put on 8kg in the process. It will take time, and patience, and tears, but you’ll get back and better than your best. Good luck!

    • Thank you! I am only just realising how far I have to go, it’s hard not to be really overwhelmed. Little things still cause pain, but I just need to keep focusing on the end goal. 8kg would mean new clothes!

  8. I was in a similar situation last year with a 2 month forced break. It was quite hard, all I ever noticed was people running on the street, cycling past me, swimming etc.
    Although it looked like forever, looking back, it was good for both my body and mind to have that rest. It could be the same for you. Use this time to rest. You still have 40 years of running ahead of you.

    Hope you heal fast and get back into running this summer. Even the pro athletes go through periods of injuries and bounce back. You will, too.

    Good luck.

  9. Pingback: Auckland Half Marathon, rugby etc. | My romance with running

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