Training update: 9 weeks to go

I haven’t posted in awhile as my training got turned a little upside down.  So here’s an update on what I’ve been doing.

At the beginning of August I went to Fort Lauderdale for a week long vacation.  While we were there I found a 5k called Dash Back to School nearby.  I was really excited because we never find races down there to do, so I signed us right up.  We arrived on Saturday, picked up our race stuff, and drove to the race super early Sunday morning.  It was already in the 80’s so I wasn’t expecting much, but I pulled off a decent 5k time and ended up placing third overall female.  I was so excited.

I did some easy miles along A1A on Monday and a long run of 10 miles on Tuesday.  Then we went to the Sawgrass Outlet Mall.  It started pouring while we were there and we ended up running to the car.  I was wearing really old flip flops and ended up slipping.  I saved it, but went down hard on the step.  I landed on my butt with my weight on my leg, forcing my right night to fully flex really hard.  I felt an awful pulling sensation and then a pop.  I sat on the ground in shock for a moment, and then quickly stood up, immediately feeling both nauseous and like I might pass out.  At first I thought I broke something, but I hobbled to the car and got back to the resort.

I hobbled through some very painful single miles to maintain my streak while still down there.  I went to my PT when I got back, who immediately checked me for an ACL tear and insisted I go to a doctor as I had a lot of pain on all of the tests.  I got into UB Ortho that day and was told they thought it was a meniscus tear.  I was scheduled for an MRI the next morning.  Only ninety minutes after the MRI was done I got a call from UB Ortho that they wanted me in the next morning to meet with an orthopedic surgeon and my mind immediately went to the worse.

Photo Credit: Sarah Anderson

Luckily, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought.  The doctor immediately set me at ease by telling me that he used to be skeptical of runners, but recent studies have proven that it is not detrimental like doctors used to think.  All of the other doctors I have seen recently have not been as receptive.  Then he began discussing my results, revealing that I had a contusion of the tibial plateau.  Apparently that can be really bad, as my PT who received the MRI results the night before had warned me, but the ortho looked at me and said it’s going to hurt.  For awhile.  But, if I could handle the pain, I could continue to run.  The relief I felt was indescribable.  I was envisioning surgery or immobilization and no weight bearing, which would be a bear with going back to school and teaching, and now I was being told I could still run.  My PT has been pretty cautious, keeping me reigned in on my running plan, but I am relieved that I have been able to at least train a little bit.

Last week I had my first race back, a little 5k that I ended up winning with a 22:11.  Then I made the poor choice of trying to race the next morning and had one of my worst 5k times of the year.  I was also battling some major GI issues between the two races, which didn’t help.

Right: July 2018, Left: September 2018

Monday of this week I had PT and my PT video taped me running and then put me back on the treadmill and began really stressing form changes that I need to make, number one being that I need to lean more.  Apparently I run to upright, thanks to my dance and gymnastics background, and I need to fix this to help me run more efficiently.  He’s been mentioning this to me for awhile, but now it seems to be a priority.

This last week was a big week for me.  I finally was allowed to do a 10 mile run again, and I did it at an 8:09 pace after our first day of school with students.  I was flying high that day.  Then I followed it up with a six mile run at 7:43 pace.  Saturday was 2.5 miles, and was a little bit of a struggle after the two other runs.  Yesterday I ran my final race in the 30-34 age group, and took third in my age group and sixth overall female with a 22:34.  Not my best time, but slowly coming back.  Today’s 10 miler was the exact opposite of my previous one, likely because it was already in the 80’s and a feels like 91 degrees, so hopefully as the fall brings cooler temps and faster paces for me.