Remember when I said I was going to take down 2012 with force? Turns out 2012 decided to bitch-slap me on January 1, 2012. Super.
It actually started on December 30th, when I happily headed out the door for an easy run. I pulled up 20 minutes in with incredible leg pain. I hopped around, screeching profanities, and then tried to jog again in hopes it was a freak thing. No dice. I hobbled back home and took a rest day on December 31st. I hit the Ice, Ibuprofen and compression hard. Before I headed out for my 11 miler on January 1st, I popped a couple Ibuprofen and said some Hail Mary's. In hindsight, I should have said a couple Tim Tebow's instead - he seems to have serious pull w/ the Big Guy.
I could feel my leg being "off" within the first 5 steps out the door. Hoping it was shin splints I could beat into submission as the run progressed, I trudged on. Again, at about 20 minutes, I couldn't take the pain anymore. There was pain, tingling, and I couldn't really feel my right foot. Awesome. I threw in the towel, shed some tears, and hobbled home. It was that kind of pain that I knew wasn't going to lessen, so I needed to suck up my pride and bail on the run.
My first order of action was making a PT appointment. My training is going so damn well, that nothing short of having to get my leg amputated is going to stop me. I have Eugene Marathon written in black on my planner, and it's going to take something huge to cross that off.
Insert Chronic Compartment Syndrome. If you know what it is, you just cringed reading that. If you don't, this is what Wikipedia says:
"When compartment syndrome is caused by repetitive use of the muscles, as in a cyclist, it is known as chronic compartment syndrome (CCS). This is usually not an emergency, but the loss of circulation can cause temporary or permanent damage to nearby nerves and muscles. One cause of compartment syndrome is through exercise called Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome. According to Touliopolous, CECC of the leg is a condition caused by exercise which results in increase tissue pressure within a limited fibro - osseous compartment - muscle size may increase by up to 20% during exercise (Touliopolous, 1999) When this happens pressure builds up in the tissues and muscles causing tissue ischemia (Touliopolous, 1999). The cause of compartment syndrome is due to excess pressure on the muscle compartments."
Which essentially means when I run, it feels like my lower leg is going to burst open, and the contents are going to spill all over the road. Sexy, I know. I have been on Ibuprofen round the clock, as well as 24/7 compression sleeves and ice to beat back the swelling. I also spent last week beating the snot out of myself on the bike and elliptical, because I refuse to let this bring me down.
I took to the 'mill this morning for a test run, and a week of non-impact and ice/drugs/compression seems to have helped immensely. Although my baseline is wonky due to the pain relievers, I didn't feel any "pain" this morning on my 45 minute run. I view this as progress.
I am not going to let this bring me down. I've had moments of complete panic, and have resolved to just take up competitive knitting instead of running. However, for the most part I've realized that I have the choice to view the obstacles as a chance to build my mental toughness, or just completely throw up my hands and give up. And if you know me at all, the second option isn't viable. I will take this day by day, and listen to my leg. Should this end up screwing up my spring racing plans, than I will adapt and come up with a new plan. I will do whatever I can do get myself in the best shape of my life, whatever that landscape might look like. And at this moment, I'm still planning on kicking ass in Eugene.
Also, my sister's bachelorette party this past weekend. I partied like a rockstar, with my kinesio-tape and compression sleeves. We had an awesome time, and I can't believe she'll be someone's wife by the end of this coming weekend!!!
Yep, she even rocked the sash!