A Run of (Good? Bad?) Luck
It’s been more than a week since I’ve been running. My training is on hold. I’ve visited a sports injury doctor. What started out as an occasionally sore spot on my right leg a few inches above my ankle turned into a constantly sore spot. Starting last Monday, I could feel the pain every time I stepped. I iced it and took Tuesday off from running and iced it some more. And then I took Wednesday off as well. And then I did a little research and convinced myself the only thing it could be was a stress fracture in my fibula. And then on Wednesday night it stopped being constantly sore and went back to being occasionally sore. But I still took the rest of the week off and booked an appointment with a doctor.
Yesterday I went to see her. By then, the pain (which was never very severe, but worrisome nonetheless) was even less occasional. Sometimes I felt it when I walked, sometimes not so much. The doctor was a little confused: “So this pain that you no longer have . . . ?” But I managed to show her the exact spot on my leg where, if I pressed firmly, I could definitely feel something unpleasant and that cleared everything up. Sort of. Okay, not really. She was still unable to diagnose exactly what is going on, but that didn’t stop her from giving me a list of things to do that will help in case of the two most likely injuries which are peroneal tendonitis or a stress fracture (or stress reaction).
Here’s the list: rest from running, cross-train (I’ve been swimming this week), eat pineapple (to help with the inflammation if it is tendonitis), take Vitamin D3 (to help with bone strength), get an x-ray (to check for a stress fracture), go to physical therapy, wear shoes with more shock absorption when I walk, ice the sore spot, and work my glutes.
I’m ignoring the advice on the shoes, holding off on the x-ray, and passing on the physical therapy. But I did pick up some Vitamin D3 and some pineapple today, and I’ve been icing twice a day for more than a week.
The good news is that with either possible injury, I could be back to running by next week. The better news is that the injury coincided with both colder weather than we enjoyed a few weeks ago and a tickly-throated, stuffy-nosed head cold. Perfect timing for forced rest days! And the best news is that I have an excuse to really focus on working my glutes, which have clearly been neglected over the past couple of years. I’m sure you’ll notice my efforts next time you see me.
All things considered, I feel pretty lucky.