Running hasn’t felt good for a while and I have a few answers for why.
Wednesday morning I spent about an hour at a orthopedist, answering questions, getting examined, and even under going an ultra sound.
The initial diagnosis is way more complicated than this, but the doc said, basically everything in my left leg is not very happy.
That calf pain I talked about in my last post turned out to be a from a small tear, which showed up quite clearly on the ultra sound, and is healing. It also looks like I have some tendonitis in my ankle and shin splints (mild posterior tibialis tendinitis and medial tibial stress syndrome).
Basically, my left leg is not happy.
The good news is, I start physical therapy soon and I’m confident that if I am willing to do the work, I’ll be running pain free at some point in the near future. The bad news is, running really sucks right now.
I wasn’t running a ton before the injuring my calf, in part because my ankle was hurting. I just started to get out from some jogging last week after my injury, but it doesn’t feel good. My left leg hurts every where. The doc thinks something off with my biomechanics, likely because I’m compensating. So right now, I just don’t feel like running.
I planned to jog a few miles Thursday, knowing that I will likely be laid up this weekend after getting my second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Friday (the first one crushed me, but I was also dealing with a Staph infection, so maybe I’ll get off easier this time … either way, I’m super excited to get that shot). But when I left the house, I didn’t feel quite right, so I just walked 3 miles and was OK with that.
I’m not starting over, but I have a lot of work to do to be able to do the type of running I want to do. The good news is, I know I can get there, because I’ve done it before. I was forced to take time off at the end of 2017 when my knees flared up, and I worked my way back to just missing my 5K PR early in 2019. Later that year, while training for the Chicago Marathon, I strained a hip flexor, and was able to rehab in time to PR in the marathon a few months later. The marathon took a toll on my right knee, but after months of PT, I was getting back into regular training before the pandemic shut everything down and stole my running mojo.
I’ve talked a lot on here about my motto Redesign. Rebuild. Reclaim. That started 2017, when my hamstring was achy, but then my knees shit the bed and I failed on that mission. In 2018/2019, I actually did rebuild and redesign myself, dropping about 25 pounds (I’ve gained them all back) and reclaimed my love of running.
Now, though, it is time to really embrace that credo. If I want to run the way I want to run (training and racing and enjoying it), I can’t slack off. I have to do the work to rebuild my body, to redesign my habits, if I want to rebuild myself into the runner I want to be.
But just as important is to listen to my body and cut myself some slack. Forcing myself out the door when I feel like crap, isn’t going to help. Feeling bad about not getting out the door because I feel like crap is going to send me spiraling. I’ve felt like shit enough in the last 14 months, dealing with isolation and anxiety related to this freakin’ pandemic, I can’t add to that by feeling bad about not running.
I’m excited to get going. I’m excited to do the work. I’m also ready to take it slow and give myself some grace.