Saturday, April 4, 2009

desperate plea for running advice...

Okay cyberspace, I'm desperate and totally freaking out. For about a week now I have had pain in my calf/inside of my shin/ankle area off and on. Even just walking around doing daily things, it has been 'tweaky.' I chose to ignore this hoping it would go away. But after trying to run both last night and this morning, I was supposed to do my 22, my lower right leg in general just hurts. The pain switches from being in my calf muscle to feeling a little painful in my inner shin area and then moving down to the top bend of my ankle. I decided to stop after four miles this morning (the 40 mph wind gusts weren't really helping anyway, that was brutal in and of itself). I figure right now it's better safe than sorry. But I am totally freaking out. I don't know what to do.

Here are some options I'm thinking about. First off, I have already done one 20-miler, so I know I'm capable. But I'm freaking out that I will have missed my peak by marathon day on April 26, I was supposed to do a 22-miler today. Am I going to be okay if I take it easy for the next week? I'm so worried about this right now. I'm concerned I'll just totally flop during the full because of this.

I am considering the following options as I sit here icing my leg (going on about an hour now, I've been stretching it all morning as well).

1) Go out tomorrow morning and attempt to run, see how it feels and if it's okay do the 22 or as far as I can
2) Don't risk hurting it further, go to the gym and do the elliptical for two hours and pool jog for 45 minutes after that.
3) Call doctor on Monday for PT referral to see what they think.

The problem is that I can't tell if it's bone or muscle or both. I am seriously concerned, only because the marathon is so close, and I feel like I've come so far, and considering that if something happens it will be my third time having to drop a marathon. Any running thoughts out there on what I should do tomorrow? Try and run, do just the elliptical.... I just don't know what to do. I'm so scared of losing everything I've worked for over the past four months. I'm at a loss really.

On a slightly different note, I opted not to run the Olathe 1/2 marathon this weekend after all (clearly). I think that was a good decision, I would have been miserable and in pain anyway! But I opted out of doing it because I have so much else going on right now, I need to give myself some rest and down time. I'm mostly bummed that I didn't go because I would have stayed with my friend Indika, she is fabulous and fun, and I was looking forward to seeing her and going out. Clearly staying home was for the best though... Indi I'll have to find another excuse to visit!

So please offer up any thoughts and suggestions you might have, even thoughts on what might be going on with my darn leg, or if you have had a similar problem (like might it be shin splints, strained calf muscle, stress fracture)... ANYTHING! I need words!


Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Not sure what good my advice is, but I feel you are better off undertrained than injured. I'd probably stay off of it if it were me and do an alternative workout like the eliiptical/pool jog.

I have no experience with calf things. My issues have been knee and hip stuff.

Hang in there. Try not to freak out. :-)

Ashley said...

Well, I'm new to running, so I don't really have any good advice... but I'm experiencing pretty much what you are describing in my left if you get any good tips/advice, please share!

I think PT sounds like a good idea, just cuz sometimes it's best to take your injuries to professionals for the proper fix. Stretching is always good...and what about one of those foam roller things?? I've never really used one...but would it help in this type of situation?

I know that my running form probably has a lot to do with why I'm in pain. I really want to get a stride analysis done..but just can't afford it right now. It hurts so badly to squat down and get back up today, I told my husband that it is all him as far as picking Harper up and putting her down and stuff (our 7 month old) cuz I just don't have it in me to be getting up and down like that today.

I hope you find some answers...and if you do, please let me know - I could use the same help right now too. GOOD LUCK & SPEEDY RECOVERY!!

Oz Runner said...

not an expert, but I would not run for a week or so and see how it feels...don't want to risk further injuring yourself....

X-Country2 said...

Lots of ice and stretching. Make sure you stretch the inside and outside of your calves. Also mix up your running surface. Concrete is pretty hard on lower legs, so try to find some grass or a squishy track. Good luck!

RunningLaur said...

I'm with lisa, I think you'd be better off taking it lightly than being more injured. If you can do the elliptical, I'd be all for that, since you'll get an aerobic workout of similar duration.

Wishing you a speedy recovery. :)

David said...

I would take an anti-inflammatory and try to run. You can tell if it feels bad enough during the run to call it early. It may be an inflamed tendon in your ankle area. That doesn't really sound like shin splints or anything like that.
There is a tendon that goes right near your ankle and if you turned it all (you may not have noticed) it could be problematic. If it doesn't feel like bone or muscle problems, I would guess tendon. Also, I would recommend changing your shoes. You may have worn out some of the support. Good luck.

David said...

By the way, doing the distances that you are doing outside on the road or sidewalk, I would recommend eating a healthy dose of ibuprofen anyway.

Sneaker Sister said...

It could be a multitude of things and when the RICE method fails to work you should always refer to the experts. Were there any indicators leading up to the pain? Have you ever had shin splints before? Does the pain subside when you run or persist during running?

You should only ice for 20 minutes at at time. Remove the ice and then you can ice again 20 minutes later. Like Dave said, keep taking ibuprofen to keep the swelling down.

I've battled shin splints off and on for years. They aren't fun. I recently took two weeks off from running to let them heal and cross-trained on the bike. That helped a lot and the pains went away. But substituting something else like the bike or elliptical you would be fine, trust me.

If in doubt, definitely contact your doctor and have them take a look.

J said...

Does it hurt when you touch it or is it just when you walk/run. When I was worried about my hip flexor i checked out this site and it helped me alot. Hope it feels better soon! Try to ice it!

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Since you have three weeks until the race and you already have a 20-miler in the books, I would take it easy and stretch for the rest of this week with short runs. Then this coming weekend do a long run of no more than 16 miles at a conservative pace, a bit slower than your expected marathon pace. If you feel good during that run, you should be just fine for the race and go ahead with your remaining two week schedule.

Hopefully that helps.

aron said...

ice, stretch, rest.... all of which you are doing. smart move not running the 22 miler, and i think you will be fine with the marathon having a 20 miler already done. just make sure to get your leg healed up first!! good luck!