Tuesday, August 1, 2006

OK, OK! I Hear You!

All I am hearing over and over is don't quit, don't give up.

The comment section and my email inbox is full of advise and encouragement, which is entirely appreciated, but making me feel guilty at the same time. Like I am just tossing in the towel without any thought or effort to resolve things.

And maybe I am.

I am at an all time high in my frustration level. I just spent 3 months dealing with a knee injury. Hours of time, and hundreds of dollars, later and the physical therapy for it has left it better, but not great. It still hurts a little when I run. I still have to be careful to stretch and ice it. It still worries me a lot.

And now my ankle on my opposite leg is hurting. And honestly it's not the pain per se, as my pain tolerance is very high. It's that it is limiting my function.

Because I literally cannot walk.

I am limping around like an old crippled person and it is affecting my work. All day long my patients are asking me what's wrong with my leg. I have a job where I am standing on my feet all day, and one day last week I couldn't put any weight on my ankle. So I had to ask my staff to bring the patients back and forth to me. It slowed everything way down and we ended up getting behind schedule.

I was at a concert on Saturday night and stood up to try to dance and as soon as I started moving I had pain shooting through my ankle. Luckily we were still in the isle in front of the seats so my swaying back and forth without moving my feet wasn't too noticeable, but it would have been obvious something was wrong if I was on a dance floor.

I've been working on my landscaping, and both my knee and ankle have been hurting while I've been kneeling down digging in the dirt to plant new bushes or while using the shovel to dig out the holes for the plants.

But mostly I'm scared.

These limitations scare me. It's one thing to run through some pain, but another to have it affect the rest of my life so drastically. If my knee and ankle start acting up at the same time, I won't have a leg to stand on!

And, I am trying to be realistic about what is going on. I'm trying to at least have a positive attitude to the effect that there will be other races and the world won't come to an end if I can't run Chicago.

So here is where things stand.....

I made another doctor's appointment for Thursday. I am going to take my x-rays along and see what a different doc has to say. I'm going to ask about a cortisone shot, even though I dread the thought of that for many reasons. Mostly because of my osteopenia. Bone loss and steroids don't exactly mix. But, I don't think one more will kill me. I am going to discuss a referral to an orthopedic specialist, and possibly more physical therapy. Ugh.

I'm going to go dig my bike out of my parent's garage, where I left it last summer after the one and only time I rode it, and see how my ankle feels while riding.

And, I just might consider dragging my butt to the gym and hitting the pool, but don't anyone hold their breath waiting for that one. I really hate swimming.

Don't get me wrong, I love to be in the water. And I actually do kinda know how to swim. My mom is a little afraid of the water, and since I grew up on a lake, she wanted to make sure I could swim. So, I took lessons at the YMCA for years, and years.

And years.

Get my drift? I think maybe all the lessons turned me off, because...

swimming? Hate it!

I hate putting my face in the water and trying to breath out the side as I turn my head. I never quite got the hang of that. I just ended up inhaling water and choking. Plus, with my bum shoulder, I have a limited range of motion and really can't get my right arm behind me. So, I'm not sure how well I'd do, but I actually have never tried it since then either.

I'll leave you with this.....

On Sunday, when I had my break down over my ankle, my poor boyfriend just happened to be here to witness it.

I pity him.

During later discussion on the matter he asked me, "Why don't you just run Chicago and see how far you can go? Just stop when you can't go any more."

I pretty much snapped his head off with my response, "That's just stupid! Why would I start a marathon knowing that I haven't trained enough to finish it? Knowing that I am going to quit part way through? How dumb! I'd rather just not start at all!"

But after I calmed down, I've been thinking about his suggestion, and maybe it's not such a bad one. I've already been wishing that Chicago was a race that had a half marathon option, because I'm pretty confident that I could miss a few training weeks and still do a half.

I've already spent the entry fee money and I can't get it back. Plus, I've already taken the days off of work for the race.

Not to mention that, I want to meet the RBF members that are running Chicago!

So what do you guys think? Is it stupid to run Chicago, knowing that I probably won't finish because of missing too much training for this ankle injury?


  1. Sorry to hear about everything. Jelly and I were lamenting about your problems. If you want to run the marathon, it's a great thing. If you want to cheer the rest of us, that's also fine. Maybe if you're good enough later this month, you can think about run/walk programs. Or just scale down expectations? If not, you'll have many things to do and plenty of us to cheer for. In any case, i - and i'm sure many of us -- will be happy to run a mile your in honour :)

  2. So sorry about the ankle! I don't think it's stupid to try Chicago....heck, it's paid for, why not?

  3. You can always plan on walking part of it. Heal your ankle, and then just take the rest of it day by day. You've already paid your entry fee, and you really want to do it, but it'd be crazy to put yourself into a long term problem with your ankle/knee/any other body part. Twelve weeks is a long way away though, and you may be surprised by how much better you feel in a week.

  4. It's not stupid to run Chicago, especially if it's your first. You can go as slow as you need to. Just let the ankle heal. Of course this is all dependent on what the doctors say. If it's serious, you may not have a choice.

  5. Does TNT have a half like they do at Rock 'n' Roll -- not a "real" half but a half marathon finish at 13.1 for the TNT runners that can't go the whole distance? I'd look into it. You can also runwalk and bail if you must. Be sure to forgo the chip to stay legit.

  6. Listen to the doctor and see what happens. If you have to, walk part of it. Lower your expectations and just plan to try to finish. I walked most of my 1st marathon - and I was okay with that. I still had a good time and finished.

  7. I think, fwiw, it's too soon to tell. I'm amending my previous advice. Here's my new advice: YOU and ONLY YOU, know your body best and what it's trying to tell you. We don't know your whole story and we can't. But we surely would never ever judge you if you decided chicago was out.

    If you can't put weight on that ankle right now, then walking it might not even be an option. I say wait, see what the doctor says, and then listen closely to your body and your heart. You probably already know the answer.
    (IMHO, of course!)

  8. GO TO CHICAGO!! you will regret it if you don't.

    when all the crap went down with me and i stopped training for awhile, i feared i wouldn't be able to finish my half marathon. but i told myself i would run as far as i could go. i was doing this race for me. who cares if i didn't finish. no one else but me knows what i had to go through.

    there are extenuating circumstances in this crazy thing called life and this year chicago just may not fit into your life in the way you had planned. but that doesn't mean it can't fit in at all.

    and who knows what happens by the time you get there. take it easy on yourself. HEAL yourself (inside and out) and then get the hell out there and show 'em that nothing brought you down, even if you walk part of it.

  9. i thought i would comment to offer support but my thoughts became real involved.

    instead i have posted an open letter to you as my days post.

    good luck, see you in chicago regardless, and to paraphrase Rodgers and Hammerstein

    "you never walk (run) alone"

  10. I have nothing for you but I'm sorry to hear about your ankle. You need to decide what is right for you and what works with your life. We are here to support you in whatever you decide. :) But if you are not running you better be screaming your head off at the finish line. :)

  11. Come on out to Chicago. Whether you run, walk, or just cheer from the sidelines, you are still part of this team.
    Hope your ankle feels better soon!

  12. So, my last comment was written as a runner. Now I write as a PT.
    First you need to heal. My motto for my patient's is if it hurts don't do it. If your knee is still bothering you then I think you should keep rehabing it with your HEP. (Trust me I injured my knee in 2003 and because I kept running it took me 2 years to get it to normal).
    Next defintely get your ankle looked at to determine what the cause before you make any decisions.
    But, you are right your long term health has to come first.
    Yet, you could be better in 4 weeks and get back into running and then do the best you can but just make sure you feel good first.
    I know it is a hard decision - I had to drop out of the 2005 marathon and regret it, but deep down inside I knew it was the best decision for me. So, just do what is right for you.
    Best wishes.

  13. You know your body best, and if you think you can make it through, whether it's running or walking or both, then go for it. If you want to cheer us on, that's awesome as well.

    I'll be thinking about you and waiting for the next update.


  14. There is a Chicago Half, a few weeks earlier - Oct. 1st. Just an FYI.

    I feel your pain, literally and figuratively - you are doing teh right thing by listening to your body.

    Good luck!