I have to look on the bright side. I've been running consistently for just shy of three years, and before this month I had never been sidelined due to illness or injury.
That's pretty remarkable when you think of it. Ok, truth be told, I had to take some rest days after the Worst Hangover Ever last July. Anyway, I was back to running no time.
Injury wise, I've had the odd ache and pain here and there. I have to ice my knees and ankles regularly to keep myself going. There have been periods in my training when I may have abused Ibuprofin just a little bit. But I can honestly say that none of these problems have resulted in a visit to the doctor or a layoff from running. If anything, they've been minor inconveniences.
Then, out of the blue, and without warning, a couple of weeks ago I was stricken down with a severe bout of Bronchitis. It was so bad, that when I went to the doctor to have it looked at, he said I was having an asthma attack and send me home with 2 inhalers and a course of antibiotics. I was out of commission for about a week.
What bronchitis does to your lungs
Finally, last Monday, I woke up before my alarm with a spring in my step and took a deep, invigorating breath. I was ready to run! I decided to start conservatively with an easy 3 miler. It was great to be back at it, and I felt fantastic. My marathon advisor, John, had me run another easy 7 miles the next day, which also went swimmingly! Two days later I was ready for something more intensive.
I headed out for a 7 mile tempo run, with the aim to run an easy 2 miles, speed up a bit for the middle 3, and then run the last 2 miles at a fairly speedy pace. Just a little ways into the last 2 miles I felt a sudden pain in my left leg. I was determined not to fail this time, so I pushed past the pain and finished my run in the desired time.
But by the time I got home I was hobbling and was relieved to be able to lie down on the floor.
I am still struggling to figure out exactly what the heck is wrong with my leg. I can't even really pinpoint where the pain is. When I ran I could feel some achiness in my hip. Afterwards it was more mid-shin. After sitting all day it seems to be at the front of my ankle, where my leg meets the foot.
I'm heading to the walk-in clinic to see my doctor in a couple of minutes, and I'll update this after I see her. I doubt she'll be able to tell me much, but it's a first step...
Ok, I'm back from the doctor's office with good news. Doc thinks it's "fascial pain" and NOT a stress fracture. She thinks the fact that the achiness is migrating around my leg is a sure sign it's a nerve thing and not a bone thing. This is great news! The doctor wrote me a prescription for some heavy duty anti-inflammatories which I'm to take 3 times a day with meals. She thinks the pain should go away when the inflamation dies down. I am cleared to walk and if it feels ok to try running at any time. As long as I'm pain free I can keep increasing the intensity. Best of all, the doctor felt that I should be back to normal in a week!
So I better keep my cross-training up...Sounds like I'll be back to running soon!