An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Injured... again, and at another great time.

I've had a week off from running. Actually, a week off from any workouts at all. This wasn't planned. In fact, I had planned on sprinting past the 1000 mile mark and putting in some nice trail runs this week. I have a shore-leave pass from work for the week, and don't have to return until Tuesday. Instead, I'm doing not much, it hurts to walk, especially down stairs, and I'm 2.5 miles short of 1000...

Here's what happened: I was stupid.

Okay, that's the Cliff Notes of the Reader's Digest version. What really happened is that I tried to deal with an issue by hoping it held out long enough that I could give it some down-time after hitting a goal. I've had a little niggling shin pain. By giving it just enough down time, and chopping my stride a bit, I was able to keep going for a couple weeks. But then I did something stupid, like trying to go too many days in a row, and still upping mileage. Last Wednesday I did a six-miler with Eric, and we both came away from that one hobbling (him with a calf issue, me with the shin).

Thursday, it hurt to walk. Now a week later, it hasn't improved one bit. I've been limping along for six days.

I went to a doctor this morning. That was an exercise in frustration. Ever had a doctor listen to half of what you say and then assume the rest? I don't know how many times I had to hold my tongue and THEN explain the rest of what I was trying to say. And I think she still got it wrong. But I got x-rays done (which was kind of my goal in the first place), which will either confirm or eliminate a stress fracture. I'm not going back to that doctor (who I'll refrain from naming, but my wife agrees with me). Ever. Unless I'm cut and bleeding and just need stitches. In other words, it'll have to be something obvious that doesn't need any explanation. Anyway... In 48 hours the x-ray results should be in.

And why the heck does THAT take so long? I've been to offices where they have the x-rays on a computer screen within five minutes and they're doing the diagnosis in the same visit. If only those offices weren't 45 minutes away. And if I'd known the fiasco I was going to have to go through this morning, I'd have bit the bullet and made the drive.

The location of the pain is on the front of the tibia and along the inside surface, below the attachments of the shin muscles. It's "fine" (just a dull ache) when I'm sitting or lying down, but walking, as soon as I get my knee forward of a neutral position, the pain is sharp. But I can dorsiflex my foot without weight on it just fine -- no increase in pain. Also, if I rotate my weight on my foot it gives sharp pain. Palpation gives a very localized (about two fingers width) area of pain only along the inside surface of the tibia.

The brilliant doagnosis? Shin splints. Which basicallly means shin pain (the literature she sent home with me said exactly this).

Um... isn't that what I said when I walked in? I'm glad insurance is picking up the tab for that bit of educated regurgitation. Next!

Anyway, I'm down for the week (the good doctor said 4 weeks). If it does turn out to be a stress fracture, it'll be more like six weeks. Which will knock out the first event I'd planned at the end of March -- the
Dash Point Trail Half Marathon. Oh well... There are more races. Farther in the future.

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