My Fake Injury History
It seems to be a pattern for me that right before a big race I get injured. And of course, that injury ends up being somewhat of a mystery.
For example, in 2011 I swore the shin pain I was having was a stress fracture. I got an MRI only to be told it was shin splints. Boy did I feel like a dummy.
Doctor: “Yes, it’s just shin pain. Here’s some Naproxen.”
Me: “Are you sure? I mean, med school, schmed school. Look at that MRI again!”
Then, back in 2012 I went to visit Katie in DC and got the call from the doctor that yet another MRI I had on my hamstring was totally free of any injury. I had DNF’d a triathlon for basically no reason. Maybe. I dubbed that one my “fake injury.”
Then in 2015 before I ran the Rock N Roll Nola 10K with my sister, I got heel pain that eventually just went away with some at home PT.
And finally, a few weeks prior to Grandma’s Marathon I was again certain I had a stress fracture in my femur. I didn’t get an MRI, because I started realizing what a lunatic I am. Again, it wasn’t really anything more than some inflammation and while I did DNF that marathon, I know that was a mental DNF and not a physical one. And yes, I learned a valuable lesson there.
This is THE most fun version of traversing down memory lane, don’t you think?
So, what exactly is the point here? Well, first of all, I’m having some suspicious foot pain that hurt off and on all day Thursday after a really great run. Then it subsided but I can still feel it a bit if I put pressure on my foot while walking a certain way. Yes, I know. THEN DON’T WALK THAT WAY.
Second, on Saturday, I went to see a triathlete friend who also happens to be a doctor and he prescribed an MRI after not seeing anything real definitive on the x-ray. (As a side note, we should just stop with x-rays. Such a waste of time in so many cases. Yay American healthcare system!)
And finally, I may be a total hypochondriac. But more than likely, I’m dying from a never before diagnosed rare foot disease that also creates an addiction to Sour Patch Kids and the TV show Superstore (oh my goodness, it’s so funny).
The pain itself is near my inner ankle and I’ve WebMD’d myself into oblivion, I actually found the end of the internet, deciding which form of running injury I currently have. I was going to wait to get the MRI until after the marathon because: fuck it. But then I realized that I am not a person who can wait in limbo. I need a diagnosis one way or another to get on with my life. I can run with some inflammation but I cannot run and risk breaking my foot in fifteen places (Hello, My name is Beth and I’m a hypochondriac.)
Basically, this is my plan: MRI, cross train in this final two week taper, then crush it at NOLA.
Thoughts on injuries.
Interestingly enough, this article came out about a study on running injuries. In the study, they took a group of 249 experienced, recreational female runners, who were all heel strikers (MY PEOPLE. Why didn’t they ask me to be a participant?) and followed them for two years. They specifically looked at how heavily these women impacted the ground when landing. During the two years only 21 of the runners didn’t get injured. Guess what else? That 21 HAD NEVER BEEN INJURED. They concluded that the lightest of the landers remained the most injury free.
I must run like an elephant. Boom baba! Boom baba!
What I take away from this article is that, yes, landing more softly will probably help me for the future. But biomechanics are a bitch to change and I know quite a few very light landing runners who still get injured.
Studies like this make me really happy though because I feel like the more data we can get as “experience recreational” runners the better. I will use the advice in this piece to run lighter and try to increase my cadence.
To be continued…
Until I get a diagnosis, I’m going to stay positive and go buy more Sour Patch Kids. I’m ready to dance, Nola.