Monday, April 4, 2011

Updates: Schedules, Dreams and Injuries

Last week was an exciting week.  Lake Sonoma was cancelled (major bummer), but that spurred a fun CA training weekend in the Headlands, a search for a new race to run in April (Zane Grey), and I managed to schedule a work trip to Africa that will end 3 days before Comrades, and got permission to enter.  Sweet!

Mt. Tam group minus Devon (taking photo): Nathan, Topher, me, Jason, Mark, Krissy and Kim.
Life was grand....a hard, fast and fun 32 mile run on Saturday up and around Mt. Tam with an awesome group, and we were midway through what was turning into another gorgeous 20 miler on Sunday, when I took a step and was stopped in my tracks. It was actually the second time I had been stopped in my tracks on Sunday. The first came about 6 miles in, when I failed to observe a low tree trunk over the trail.  I hit the tree head on, and was flat on my back. Stars, confusion, pain. But, the stars cleared, and we were on our way again. The tree was probably a sign, but sadly it didn't quite knock me out. We were about 2 miles out of Pan Toll, climbing gently, and I took a step and felt a stab of pain in my right calf. I had noticed some minor tightness maybe a mile before this, but nothing major. And then, all of a sudden, I couldn't move. I tried to walk a step, but couldn't. Argh! Out on a run on some of the prettiest trails in the country, with an amazing group of runners, on a sunny day, with plans for races falling into place too easily, and wham. A really frustrating way to end what was, otherwise, a nearly perfect weekend.

Day 2 Group minus Krissy (taking photo): Nathan, Devon, Topher, Mark, me, Jason and Kim.  Another lovely day in sunny California. 
The group made some phone calls for help, and sent me on my way to Pan Toll where Devon rescued me and took me for a sympathy kombucha.  It took me almost an hour to hobble the 2 miles to Pan Toll, and walkers passed by sympathetically as the tears streamed down my cheeks.

Mark, me and Topher just minutes before disaster....(photo by Krissy).
A day later, I'm optimistic.  I don't want to do anything stupid, but it already feels about 100% better from yesterday, when I couldn't walk without doing a straight leg hobble, and today, I'm walking almost normally.  I'm icing, massaging, medicating, and compressing and hoping that this goes away as quickly as it came on.  Unfortunately, I did feel something "pop", so I'm fairly certain there is some level of a tear in there.  I'm optimistically hoping that a few days of complete rest will work wonders and that Zane Grey will still be a possibility 12 days from now. Please feel free to suggest any miracle cures.

11 comments:

Rooster said...

Oh Amy, that does sound like a wobbly start. I can guarantee the leg thing is better than a concussion so I am glad your first bop didn't do anything bad. Sounds like it already healing nicely and I doubt I could offer any advice but compression seems to be one of the best next to icing for me. Take care!

Gretchen said...

Oh I am so sorry, Amy! I have totally been that girl with the tears flowing freely while hobbling back to the trailhead. Such a sad place to be.

Do you have a lot of swelling? If not, it may recover sooner than later. If you really want to stick to upcoming races, I recommend going to a like-minded PT. (By like-minded, I mean one who gets the ulrarunner's mindset.) It will help you on a path to recovery but still let you train if possible. I only learned last year that for injuries, doing something is often better than doing nothing. (Go figure!)

Anyway, good luck! The races sound like so much fun - I hope it works out for you!

olga said...

Ice, Vit I, Vit E, no rinning. Actually, no stretching or massage either. May be gentle gliding a bit. Compression most of the day (sock sexy, anyone?). Amy, treat it good now - and be ready to race the rest of the season. It's a minor step off, if you don't blow it, darling. Patience. I'll keep fingers for you!

ultrarunnergirl said...

Acupuncture did wonders for me when PT failed. Can't hurt.
Wishing you speedy healing.

amy said...

Ronda, I wouldn't doubt that I didn't have a minor concussion. I smacked a good-sized log at full speed. I have quite a bruise/lump on my noggin.

I'm going to see my PT tomorrow. There wasn't much swelling, but I massaged the heck out of it last night, and it's a bit bruised today. This is where I get confused. Olga says no massage, but others have told me to focus on massage. And the internet reveals a multitude of scenarios. Coach says, "ZG should be no problem." But most others say "Patience, and don't screw it up further."

Argh!

olga said...

Honey, since I am kind of a doctor (or have a degree of one), and an LMT to boot, I would never massage a fresh torn or even partially torn muscle. When I say "gentle gliding", this is to bring more blood supply to the area, and thus cells responsible for rebuilding. If you squeeze and press sharply (not full palm, but pointy), you are damaging tissues more (tearing it apart). Massage is beneficial when the healing is in process, and to align the fibers in a correct order/direction (instead of having it in an artistic mess). I didn't say don't go to ZG though:) Go and see how it processes in a day, be ready to pull, but give it a shot. Yet don't run before the race! May be a light jog next week...

amy said...

I'm not doubting, Olga, there's just a wide variety of advice out there. Google searches are downright frightening. Anything from 4 months and surgery to run through it (well, not quite). And yes, your advice makes a lot of sense. Funny, when you said gentle gliding I was picturing Nordic skiing or an elliptical. :)

Neal Gorman said...

At first reading I thought you had a charley horse. Then I read the part about you hearing a pop. If something was wrong and you medicated right away that would explain feeling much better the very next day. A little late on this comment and you likely have a diagnosis at this point. Hope it is a positive one. I wonder if the tree bang and fall is somehow related and caused the calf injury? Strange to consider but certainly strange things do happen.

amy said...

Hey Neal,
Good luck at BRR! Yes, I've considered that it could have been related to the fall. I hit a tree head on and was thrown on my back, but my legs got kind of jammed up on a trunk below. It wasn't a graceful fall. And, I haven't had any calf problems of late, or soreness. So, maybe I tweaked it initially on the fall, and that caused the further tweaking. And no, it wasn't a cramp. I didn't hear a pop, but there was a definite popping type of sensation, and it felt like something just released in a freaky painful way. Diagnosis is a mild to moderate calf strain. I ran 4 slow miles on flat ground today, and it didn't bother me, although I feared every step.

Melissa Schweisguth said...

Hey Amy - Wishing for a speedy recovery and successful races to come! Maybe if all your readers send good healing thoughts your way it will help? Oregonians seem to believe in such methods...especially the Southern variety.

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