Sunday, March 17, 2013

Life Without Running

Five weeks ago I ran the Heartbreaker Half Marathon.
I had been having some familiar pains from posterior tibial tendonitis so my plan was to take 2 weeks off and let it calm down. Last year I had the same issue and it went away with 2 weeks of rest and some leukotape to support the tendon. (The tape caused a latex allergy so I couldn't use it this time).
Two weeks later I hopped on the treadmill to test out my foot. I decided to go VERY easy and ran 1 minute, walked 1 minute. Before the first mile was over I had the PTT pain...worse than before. I stopped the treadmill and was on the phone with my sports medicine doc within a few minutes.
Doctor confirmed it was PTT and advised continued rest till the pain went away, and getting a custom orthotic since it was a repeat issue. I could also do PT, but since I am still meeting my $1500 deductible we decided to wait and see if an orthotic worked. I could continue to cross train and was optimistic it would heal within another week or two.
I went to a podiatrist later that week to get assessed for an orthotic. Podiatrist encouraged cross training, and warned that tendons can take months to heal since they don't have a direct blood source. My optimism started to dim.
I continued to cross train (elliptical and bike were ok'd by both docs) and ice my foot. Two weeks after my first doctor appointment I wasn't seeing much progress so I called sports medicine doctor. He was surprised too that my foot wasn't healing as quickly as it should. We agreed to try the orthotic and see if that helped.
I got the orthotic a few days later and started wearing it. Its been a week so far and I don't see any real progress yet. I actually had severe pain with it doing the elliptical but luckily that only happened once.
So that brings me to today. Five weeks of no running, and no better for it.
I have gone through a wide range of emotions...sadness, anger, depression, regret, hopelessness, optimism, despair, frustration, you name it. I have missed one race and will be cancelling out of another. At this point I have no idea when I will be able to run again.
My husband has been incredibly supportive and tries to help however he can. I've had about four big meltdowns so far, some days are better than others. To some people this probably seems like an overreaction to a minor injury, but running is one of the biggest passions in my life. It has been a daily presence in my life for three years, affecting how I eat, sleep, work, plan, and live. And it feels so wrong to have it missing right now. 
I am trying to focus on the positive things...this has given me an opportunity to focus on cross training, and we are redecorating the gym since I can't really use it right now. With each week that passes, not running becomes more "normal." I am hopeful something will change soon. But realistic that it may not for a while.