I'll try to keep this short, but here it goes. So hindsight's 20/20 right? I couldn't agree more! After running the half, I was significantly sore which was to be expected. But after a couple days I noticed my left leg was still bugging me, while my right seemed to bounce right back to normal. And that's when I started going back through the past few weeks.
My left quad had been tight for about a month but I didn't think anything of it. I remember sitting on a stool at work and asking the RMT "why does my quad hurt when I sit down?" And then there was the trail run I did leading up to the race and my left quad just felt shredded. I chalked it up to the hills and sand which I'm not accustomed to running on. I think what finally got me thinking something wasn't right was when I had my leg dangling off the edge of the couch and I got this deep burning pain in my quad.
Thank goodness for the Interweb. I started googling like a maniac. Now granted, you can put any symptom into Google and it will tell you you're dying. I remember searching something like leg pain when dangling or something close to that. After scanning pages of suggestions I saw something that mentioned stress fracture.
Ahhh....2 words a runner doesn't want to hear. And certainly not femoral stress fracture! So after discussing the possibility with some good runner friends, they convinced me to get it checked out. We're lucky here to have the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic nearby so I called and booked an appointment for May 6th.
At my appointment I was first met by a lovely resident. She was very friendly and pleasant and simply asked "so why are you here today?" I told her I thought I might have a stress fracture in my femur. She was a little surprised and then just asked me to tell her why I thought that. After recounting the story of the past month with her, she did a short physical exam and then went to discuss with the doctor.
A few minutes later, he came in with the resident and did a more thorough exam and listened to my version of events again. At that point I had really thought he was going to say I just had a strain or something and to do a little physio or massage and stop wasting their time and resources. But to my surprise he immediately said he was sending me for a bone scan because of the odd location of the fracture and then he wrote me a prescription for crutches!
Essentially he told me it was a fairly serious injury and to stop all activity and to use crutches for my regular activity until we had results of the scan. I was shocked, devastated and more than a little angry. I knew it was all for the best, but I have a half marathon in less than a month and a handful of other races coming up. And I certainly wasn't gonna use crutches when I could walk perfectly fine. Oh man...what have I done?!
So fast forward to this week....I had my bone scan on May 12 (now that was a pretty interesting experience in itself) and my follow up for test results yesterday. I sat in the waiting room anxiously waiting for my name to be called. I brought a book to read but I couldn't focus as I was just too nervous to find out my results. See, the thing with the bone scan is it can detect all kinds of not good stuff - stress fractures, arthritis and even cancer. But then part of my mind would switch over to - maybe I'm fine, it's all in my head and their just going to yell at me for wasting their time. Oh, please, please please let me be faking it!
Once my name is called, I'm taken into a small office to wait again. I paced that room for what seemed to be an eternity. Then the doctor enters. He sits at his desk and matter-of-factly says "you have a stress fracture." After picking my jaw up off the floor I ask him what's next. Essentially, nothing. I have to rest and let my leg heal.
So that's it. That's why I'm not running. When I left the clinic I sat in my car and cried for a few moments. I know that sounds over dramatic and there's far worse prognoses out there, but in that instant my world, my lifestyle, my identity as a runner was crushed.
I guess for now I'll be posting about trying to stay sane while not running and how big my arms are getting as that's the only part of my body I can exercise. So far the only silver lining I can see is I do have some mad bragging rights as I ran my fastest 10k and first half marathon on a busted leg!
Have you been sidelined from your favourite activity? How did you deal with it and what did you do to keep busy instead? Please, I need some suggestions!