I should say I *think* that “The Pain” has returned. On Monday morning, one of the exercises we did with my trainer was dips between two boxes. But since most of us aren’t that strong yet, we used a resistance band under our legs to make it easier. Except the resistance band was right on my injury site, with all my body weight on it. I honestly didn’t think of this at the time and it felt fine during the workout. It wasn’t until later that day that I realized it.
Since then, I’ve had some minimal pain. But I’ve also felt ye old posterior shin splints (inside, low part of my lower legs), and my calves has been insanely tight, so I chalked up the pain to the combination of all that. I ran pain-free on Tuesday. But on Thursday, I was about 18 minutes into my 30-minute run when I started noticing sharp pain about 30 seconds into each 90-second run interval (it was my first run moving up from 60-second intervals to 90-second ones). I stopped, walked a bit, and ran again. But like clockwork, the pain would return after 30 seconds of running. I finally called off the run after 24 minutes / 2 miles. I was scared. I worried my injury was back. How would that even be possible?
Who knows, because I have been following THE MOST conservative return-to-running program my orthopedic doctor had ever heard of. I followed Coach Jack’s advice about soft surfaces, intervals, total time, etc. I focused on strength training so that running would be less stressful on my lower legs. And yet, here I am. It’s been almost 24 hours since that sharp pain, and I still feel a burning sensation around that area. It doesn’t hurt when I press on the tibia, even if I press very hard. It doesn’t hurt to do single-leg hops. But that pain while running definitely wasn’t phantom pain and I have even noticed myself limping a bit when on long-ish walks with Chip last night and today.
Could I be overdoing it in general? Possibly. I am pushing myself to my limits during my strength training workouts because I know they’re good for me and because I can. But I am also pushing the pace a bit during my runs, so this week I decided to slow it down a bit. Actually, let’s be honest – I was too sore from my other workouts to run fast. My inner thighs have been so sore that I’m running as if I’m trying not to pee – keeping my legs super close together because it hurts to late long strides. Ha. Maybe that awkward gait is the culprit. Maybe running while *that* sore is the culprit. Maybe running on very little sleep thanks to Red Sox games that have gone till the wee hours of the morning with no regard for my 5:30am alarm is the culprit.
Or maybe it’s the combination of all the above. Whatever it is, I refuse to believe that my tibia is actually injured. It would be nearly impossible to re-fracture it with the slow and gradual build-up I’ve been following.
Tomorrow, my dad and I are supposed to go on an easy, 2-mile hike for his birthday (which is today – Happy Birthday, Dad!). If I am still feeling this much discomfort by the time I get to Western Mass tomorrow, we’re going to have to scrap those plans. And if I’m still uncomfortable by Monday, I will give my doctor a call. Until then, no runs, no lifting, and mostly rest.