After an exam and x-rays to rule out a stress fracture or knee damage, the orthopedist determined that I hadn’t done any major damage to my leg. He counseled me to stop running for two weeks (until my next appointment) and prescribed physical therapy twice a week for six weeks to try to rehab my bum leg. Needless to say, the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Run was out. I started PT, stayed off the leg (running-wise), and waited until next appointment. At my first PT session, the therapist pointed out my bio-mechanical issues and strength/flexibility imbalances, which were the sources of my injury. As I had suspected, my body reached its breaking point and couldn’t compensate for those issues without treatment any longer. My optimism about the half-marathon was rapidly turning into pessimism.
At that next appointment, the doc and I discussed my (SLOW) improvement. He stated that it probably wasn’t a good idea for me to run the half, even though he could patch me up so that I could. Doing so though would further delay my complete recovery for several months since my body would have to recover from the race before I could really start working on my strength/flexibility imbalance. I agreed to not run until my next appointment (scheduled for four weeks later), to continue my PT, and to do my home exercises. The doc did caution me that stress fractures can take four to six weeks to show up and that I should be attentive to any new pain or discomfort since I wasn’t completely out of the woods. I also started going to my chiropractor once a week for dry needling. As such, my leg constantly looked like it had gotten attacked by a swarm of mosquitos.
I alternately enjoyed and hated PT. I enjoyed it because I actually saw improvements and was getting to experience PT and do home exercises like we had described in my grad school project all year. I disliked the time it took. During this period, I didn’t work a full week of work between school and PT.
It was also during this time that I stopped exercising all together. For the first few weeks of PT, I tried to swing kettlebells a few days a week. After my second appointment with the orthopedist, I stopped exercising all together. Instead, I focused on school, work, and PT.
Stay tuned for the next installment.