Thursday, October 21, 2010

I’ve Been a Bad Girl

Today’s wisdom:

Sam (to sister): Don’t pick your nose and then use my laptop.

That’s fair. I would go so far as to say, don’t pick your nose and touch or use anything. In fact, don’t pick your nose at all. One time (at band camp) when I was in high school I checked out Catcher in the Rye from the library. My impression of that book will forever be scarred by the fact that almost every page with slathered with someone’s dry boogers. Really? You’re going to wipe your boogers all over a book, a book that’s not even yours?

Sam is a wise one. He gets it from his mother. Not long ago we had this conversation.

Sam: Mom, guess what?

Me: What?

Sam: There are some girls in my class who have bigger boobs than you do.

Great, kick me when I’m down. Speaking of down…

We all have ways of coping when we life isn’t going how we’d hoped it would. One of my methods of not losing my mind is writing and connecting with people. Another way is to bake chocolate/butterscotch chip cookies the size of my head and drink wine, but that’s another story.  While I don’t want this blog to become a place of whining and negativity, there might be some of that in the weeks/months to come. The fact is that while this is a running blog, per se, I like to think it is also a forum for growth, humor, connectedness and exploration. It is also about overcoming adversity and moving forward.

That said, I’ve been a bad girl. A week ago I was given crutches and told to be use them for the next 7-10 days. I did that, mostly. But, around the house I cheated. I used one crutch because it was easier to carry my coffee, to put dinner in the oven, to open doors. Should I be surprised that I’ve gotten worse and not better? I now have increased pain in my hip. I cannot bear weight at all. I sit on my ass to put on my underwear. I sit in the shower. I am back to full on crutches 24/7 (I like to bring them into my bed).

I am worried about this injury. The hip is a tough place to heal, mostly due to lack of blood flow to the area. My doc says the hip is the worst place to get a stress fracture. It takes many people months before they can begin even some light running. Cross training is difficult because biking and elliptical put too much strain on the hip. With Boston on the horizon and less than six months away, I am praying for a swift and healthy recovery.

There is reason to be optimistic. People recover from hip stress fractures all the time and go on to do amazing things. Frayed Laces just completed the Ironman at Kona. Jenn at Running Sane (who has been a great support to me) incurred a hip stress fracture back in May and is now back to running 40 miles a week pain free. Elite runner Shannon Rowbury experienced a hip fracture in March 2007 and went on to the USATF Olympic Trials in 2008. So, it can be done.

And look, I can still do a timer shot, so all is not lost for the blog. My hair, on the other hand, is in trouble. Just don’t have the patience for stylin’ these days:


Problem is patience. While I’m all about optimism, I am also a realist. I will get better. I will run far again. Question is - will it happen in time for Boston? Next question is - how do I maintain sanity in the mean time? In all likelihood, I will not run again until January. I may not be able to swim or do much of anything else for another 6-8 weeks.zenandtheart

One place to find sanity: Zen and the Art of Running; The Path of Making Peace with your Pace. This book was suggested to me by another injured reader, David (he has a stress fracture of the osteitis pubis. He assures me it’s not an STD). 

If you haven't read this book, you should.  It’s about aligning your body with your mind to be the best runner you can be.  There is a chapter on injury that is so wise it’s ridiculous. It puts me a good mind space with talk of erasing self pity, controlling concerns about loss of fitness and handling withdrawal pains. Even if right now I can't be a runner I can be something else. Even if I can’t find joy in running I can find joy in something else. Half the battle is giving up the attachment.

An attachment to the idea that your efforts matter only if they can produce something permanent is guaranteed to cause you anguish.

If you run and haven’t been injured before (small percentage of us), you might not get any of this. You might think, just shut up and move on. Trust me, it’s not that easy.

Trying not to pick my nose,



  1. Admittedly I am "older" and my eyes are not what they used to be. That's the set up. Now imagine my surprise when I saw the word "correctness" versus "connectedness" - was I on the wrong blog? Nope, just getting old. Thankfully, like in love, a second look can get you off the hook!

  2. I thought of Frayed Laces immediately. That girl bounced back with flying colours. And you will too - hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Sorry to hear that the pain has gotten worse. I'm sure those crutches are a massive pain in the EVERYTHING, but hopefully you can get used to using them more so you can heal faster.

    Enjoy the cookies and wine in the meantime.

    Thinking of you and keeping fingers crossed!

  3. Good thing as a great runner you probably have increased circulation in your legs from using them so often... I just made that up, but it seems pretty sound, right? Start quoting it like it's true and maybe your hip will listen up and heal doubly fast.

  4. You have just provided me with a new wall-hanging slogan for my office:

    "An attachment to the idea that your efforts matter only if they can produce something permanent is guaranteed to cause you anguish."

    or should I use:

    "Don’t pick your nose and then use my laptop."


  5. I've been injured before. Unfortunately, it was during the first few months when i started running. I was so clueless and there was no one around to guide me. I was the poster girl for "too much too soon". In fact, when I got injured, I didn't give it much time to heal and started running, which made things worse. How's that for being a bad girl? I was too impatient and just wanted it to go away so i could run already. I think I had to strap myself on a chair so I would finally rest for a couple of weeks so my ankle injury could heal.

    I feel you. i know it's not easy. It's good that you're reading that book which I think will help. And it's good you're trying not to pick you nose. ;p

    sending you virtual hugs =)

  6. Frayed laces had a pubic stress fracture, just like I did. Those are easy to heal. In fact, I did not know about mine (I actually had 2) until after they healed - I stopped running but never went to the doctor, and got back to running when I was pain free. Xrays taken later showed I had huge stress fractures:) Hip fractures are more dangerous, like you said, and you really need to be careful and patient. If the hip does not heal, the only option is a hip replacement, which is good for 10 years. You are too young for that. I am sure your hip will heal, but it will take longer than it did for me or FL. Don't even think about Boston, you can defer if you want to, or you can just run it for fun. It sucks you can't crosstrain, but you will at some point soon. I also think it might be a good idea to get a sense of whether you have hormonal or Ca absorbtion issues. I know that when I got my fractures, I was not careful with Ca, and that was part of the problem. The other was my stupidity - I ran fast all the time and tried to be a streaker (run every day). I know this is not the cause with you, which reinforces getting to the bottom of this. Also, Melanie at Life is a marathon had a hip stress fracture and she documented her recovery on the blog. That might help. You asked how I made the transition toward running injury free? I was patient. I ran 3 days a week for 6 months, than 4 days for 6 months, than 5 days for 6 months, and now I am up to 6 days a week. I also do a lot of cross training, strength, icebaths, foam roller. I also pay attention to make sure I eat enough and mostly healthy... Good luck! Time will pass quickly and you'll be back to running in no time! Hang in there!

  7. Running and Living - thanks for the great insight. I didn't realize hers was a PSF not hip. But what a remarkable comeback! Actually, the first option for me if it didn't heal for some reason would be surgery to pin together. Hip replacement would be a last resort. I am getting my bone density, hormones, etc looked at plus bloodwork. Of course biomechanics and all that too. I simply don't buy that it was overuse or improper training, b/c this go round I was so responsible and careful with these things. I really did my homework. We'll see...

  8. Plus you still look great in a little pair of jeans! Positive thinking baby! Plus hopefully the Holidays will help to keep you a bit occupied. But I know what it is like to be taken out by an injury (not running, highschool sports) and it sucks, but if all else fails, you should totally get a hover round. Who wouldn't want to cruise around town in that! Then you can pick your nose and cruise at the same time!

  9. I know that you won't take the injury lightly so I am certain that you will do whatever it takes to make a full recovery! I pray that all the tests and resting shows good results.

  10. Hilarious conversations with your son. Classic. I look forward to those little slices of life when my girl grows up. Right now she just tells me I have a big nose. :-)

    Random and total absurd question . . . I've been looking for slippers like those! Where did you get them?

  11. - maybe you can start a Denver Crutch Club?

  12. I'm going through the same emotions right now. I'm supposed to wear a boot whenever I'm not showering or sleeping, but I keep cheating. I'm not patient and I want to be moving again. I hate the idea of starting to build again from scratch! But, this is only temporary, you WILL heal and it will be a blip in your running career (at least that's what people keep telling me...) If you need to get a virtual drink and complain, let me know.

  13. Trailmomma - Target had them recently, so I stocked up. Good luck!~

  14. I'm so sorry that the pain has gotten worse! I have never had a type of injury that you have, but I can only imagine how hard it must be for you not to run. I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, but know that I'm thinking about you and wishing you a speedy recovery!

  15. How neat that you found encouragement in a book!

    I am hoping that your Zen book did not have dried boogers on the pages :)

  16. I agree, I am a smart person, but not patient. I have however stopped picking my nose, so I guess something is going my way

  17. you had me at "I've been bad".

    Since I can't "pick" . . Is a farmer blow okay then?!

  18. Awesome! Thank you. I thought those were the ones from Target. I saw them on a drive by trip but didn't have time to stop (the kid). Rest up!

  19. I'm injured right now (granted I don't have a hip stress fracture)--but still can't run. totally get it. there might be great benefit in a 'can't run support group' for runners! ;) Patience is not a runner's greatest virtue. Hope your recovery is quick and you'll be back on the roads in no time.

  20. Julie, so funny, I actually thought about creating a support group for runners. I know I would pay the big bucks to go to one right now.

  21. Hope that you will be back to running in no time. Meanwhile, take care of yourself, pick a nose, drink some wine and eat some cookies. :)

  22. I bet you will have a swift recovery like those other people. I just know it. You came back when your foot was injured and BQ'd and you will do this now.

    I need to pick up a copy of that book. It sounds like something I need to read, since I have been injured a few times.

  23. While Laura (Frayed Laces) did have a ramus (pelvic) fracture it was more than a stress fracture - she actually broke clean through in 2 places - she reported that the ER doc said he'd only seen that type of fracture in auto accident patients. So no, it wasn't hip but it was pretty serious. Take time and heal. You don't want to be using a walker. :) Laura also HATED her crutches with a vengance.

  24. I really enjoy reading your positive attitude and your awesome sense of humor about it all. It sucks that you have to use the crutches :/ but anything that helps you heal faster is better than nothing!
    I found out today from the sports doc that I have a stress fracture in my shin. So not only did I not run the half this past sunday due to the pain still unidentified, but I will not be able to run the philly half in 4 weeks as I had hoped it was only a nasty shin splint that just didnt want to give up. I'm not one for sitting around and thats all he suggested to me was resting and maybe in 4 weeks I could start some "light running" blah.
    So I'm with you on the keeping sane part.
    But thank you for having such an awesome blog that makes this runner feel not so alone in the injury zone. :D

  25. Oh man, so sorry to hear that it's feeling worse again. You will get there (I'm sure you're tired of hearing that) but if anyone can get back there, it's you.
    And, we don't mind you whinning or dumping all your crap here about the injury. Most of us have been there, patience is not easy. Keep it coming, plus, we all know you always add a good bit of humor.
    As for what running & living said about defering Boston, I'm sorry to say that isn't an option. I called them about it (I have my own situ). So, don't use that as an option. I am fairly certain you'll be able to run it, maybe not as well as you like, but you will be able to. And if it makes you feel any better, if you remember, I ran it with the flu last year. I was throwing up from mile 13 on. On any other day, any other race, I would have been misserable and angry. But you know what? It was BOSTON! And it is an awesome race. I ran my slowest marathon ever by 30+ mins. But I didn't care. It is everything you dream of. The crowds are great, the BAA treats you like royalty, and I'm glad I ran it, flu or no flu!
    Stay on those crutches! You are doing amazing! ;)

  26. Bethie...give me a call anytime if you want to vent about injuries. 6 months on the DL I am ready to cut my wrists. Don't worry, I'll wheel you in a wheelchair if it means getting you across that Boston line !!!

  27. keep an open mind and take each day with the glass half full. walking around half empty never did any body a damn bit of good. if you need me, i'm always here!

  28. I wish you swift healing! I appreciate your honesty!

  29. I was way too stubborn to use my crutches. It definitely increased my recovery time, so it's good that you are crutchin' it now. Patience is a virtue... that I find most runners don't have. Glad that book is giving you some insight and encouragement. That excerpt is very true!

    Ahahhaha, your son's boob comment made me laugh. I think most 12 year olds have bigger boobs than me.

  30. You won't get a shut up and move on from me. I love that blogs are a way to connect and relate to people in the good and bad times. Enjoy those cookies and snuggling with your crutches.

  31. I love that book :)
    You will get through this even if running seems so far away. Hang in there lady and keep your finger away from your nostrils.

  32. That sucks a big fat kok. I hope that you feel better soon and heal even sooner.

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I've got War & Peace on tap but I am procrastinating...

  33. Although it MIGHT seem like running defines you - it doesn't.

    Get back on those crutches and get healed.

    I have bone thinning - more than likely due to a drug that I take from my breast cancer. Weight bearing activities, like running, are a great exercise. You will get this figured out and will be back running.

  34. yah, i's not that ez.

    keep writing, doing GOTR, can you do strength training?

    and maybe this blog will turn into a food blog? you'll be cookin' up a storm over there??;-)

  35. I think your hair looks great! I like what you said about finding the joy in other things. Take this time to enjoy those things you might not get to when you're focused on training. I will hope along with you that your healing goes quickly! Hang in there!!

  36. Oh, and those cookies sound good!!

  37. Given obesity rates, your son's class probably has boys with bigger boobs than you.

  38. I hear ya sister - I am taking time off to see if my knee will heal and then when I start running again I am going to serious work on my biomechanics - slow and steady. Even if you aren't blogging about running - you crack me up and always enjoy reading your blog!
    Wine, wine and some more wine, please - yum!

  39. Sew those crutches to your clothes! And maybe make them a spot at the dinner table? :) D was on crutches for ~6 weeks, and in an air-cast boot for 6 months, starting THE WEEK we started dating (friends first). So, while (for now, knock on wood) I'm in small percentage that's never been injured, I've seen first-hand what it does to someone who yearns to run - and have no doubt you'll stay sane, somehow, through it all. And you'll go on to Boston. No. Doubt. :)

  40. I've been unemployed and haven't really checked your entries. So, this is late. But I know exactly what you mean.
    First off...congrats on the skydive. That's awesome. Now, back to my comment. I am a skydiver and have been for six years and I love it. My husband and I own a business where we drop jumpers; I also compete on teams. Well, last year, I had a bunionectomy (spelling?) and I was out for four months. I waited so long to have the surgery, that my foot was pretty bad. Anyways. I was a complete bitch and drank alot. I also gained alot of weight (which is why I started training for a half marathon) and was depressed. And basically, I was forced to go to the dropzone, because I'm a partner watching everyone have fun skydiving, while I sat there. I could barely get out of our RV. Breathing by these people made me furious. But now, I'm okay and have put off another surgery for the other foot. I just can't do it again so soon.

    And I love your blog!

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