For those of you that follow my blog every day, you have probably noticed a change in what I’ve been doing. It’s been a hard hard time and I feel like it’s time to admit it to the world after one entire week of no running (just in case there was a chance it was something else).
I have a femoral stress fracture.
Ok I 100% can’t say that because right now without health insurance I can’t see a doctor, but all the signs are there.
2. Positive “table sit test”
The realization started to hit me a few days ago, but the actual pain started the day of my workout that didn’t “work out.”
I knew something was off during most of the run. I was hitting the pace but my legs couldn’t keep the speed up and I kept feeling like my quad was extremely tight and it wouldn’t go away.
To be fair I had been having quad tightness for about a week, but really thought that was all it was. I was wrong.
I didn’t mention this on the blog, but on an easy run a few days before that treadmill workout I actually was running on a really rocky path. I wasn’t paying too much attention to where I was going and fell on my leg pretty hard. I don’t know that this is WHAT did it, but since that happened things weren’t the same.
I don’t really know how I am taking this. I cried for several hours, then I went into a state of “what the heck do I do now.”
I went through so many questions in my head:
Will I ever be able to make my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon?
What will I do to replicate the joy, freedom, and stress relief that running brought me?
Will I ever be the same runner again?
When I come back will I have lost all of my speed and work that I have put in?
Will anyone read my blog anymore if I’m not running for 6 weeks?
Why me!??! Why am I the one that has to have a femoral stress fracture?
That may seem dramatic to some of you, but during this hard time of losing my job and trying to get through a bunch of emotions running has really come to be my escape. It brought me joy I never thought I could have and it really made me proud of myself.
I really don’t know where I should go from here. I felt like I was making so much progress in my training, and now it was taken away from me. Of course there are lessons I can learn from this, but right now I am just trying to make sense of it all in my head.
I do know a few things:
1. This will determine how bad I want my dream of Boston. This will determine the athlete that I want to be.
2. My dream is not gone. I CAN and STILL have time to be ready by May 2014, it just may be a bit more of a challenge now. I know I am ready for the challenge I just still can’t completely believe this is happening.
3. If you will stay with me, I plan to use my blog to document my journey to recovery – what and how I do it, cross training, supplements, diet (YES! I will actually talk about my diet now), and how I stay in shape during this “no-running time.”
4. I need to make changes. I am doing something wrong. I have to learn how my body works better, how it operates, and what it needs to stay healthy.
5. This sucks. (oops! just had to throw that in there)
I am still processing everything and have a lot to figure out. It is hard for me to admit I have a femoral stress fracture. I am blessed with an incredible husband who is going through this with me and has been through this. He knows how hard it is and has been there every step of the way.
Please stay with me and I promise I will be back to my daily/weekly running posts as soon as I can! Until this I am using this as a way to show you my truthful process of coming back! I’ve always said this blog will document my HONEST journey, and this is about as honest as I can get.
I will have a post coming Saturday about my game plan for the next 6 weeks of femoral stress fracture recovery. Between myself and my husband we have come up with a plan to get me back to running strong.
Sara – so sorry to hear, this has really been a rough few months for you. Didn’t realize you had no health insurance … that double sucks!
As for Boston – first thing to remember is that LIFE is a marathon. Take the long view. In a few months it will be 25 years since I first started running at 23. But it is only 1.5 years since I really became ‘a runner’, caring about pace and time and taking the 12 – 15 miles/week I was doing and now averaging 50+/wk for the last 18 months. I am 47 and chipping away at my time, and hoping to get to run my ‘old hometown’ marathon (I’m Boston born and lived until 5 years ago).
The reality is you might have pushed too hard, too fast – that is a common way to end up injured. I felt I was starting down that path earlier this year, so I eased back on my goals for this year. I looked at it this way – I would rather still be running marathons in 20 years and never race Boston than to get to BQ but kill my legs/joints/whatever within 5 years.
Keep your chin up and know that with time and patience you will heal and have plenty of time for running. For now work on yoga, body-weight exercises, and other strengthening stuff. 🙂
Thank you! Yes, I know I still have plenty of time – but these next 6 weeks (I guess now 5 weeks) are going to be pretty brutal. I am not doing ANYTHING for the first 2 weeks and then I can start cross training but right now the pain is just a bit too much to be able to cross train.
I know that once I can cross train it will help me tremendously! Until then – I am just focusing on blogging and being a wife. Hopefully these 6 weeks will pass quickly and then I can SLOWLY start introducing running back in. I know it is a bit of a road ahead, and it’s not going to be easy – but I’ll find a way to make it through!
Thanks again 🙂
I am so sorry! My heart goes out to you. And you definitely have every right to cry and be sad and let out all the emotions you are feeling. But then, pull yourself up and fight back (which it sounds like you’re already on your way). I have had three stress fractures in the last 4 or so years. I had all the same feelings you are experiencing. One thing I did was spend a lot of time on the Arc trainer. It’s such a great workout. That and spinning. My doctors all told me I could do whatever I want as long as it didn’t hurt and as long as it wasn’t running.
Keep you chin up! Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because now it’s going to force you to focus on other aspects of training (diet and strength training) that will be very important for reaching your goal. I believe you will still get there 🙂
Thank you Stephanie 🙂
It is definitely not what I wanted and it is a hard blow when that was really what has been my stress reliever recently. I am going to start cross training in another week or two hopefully! My leg is hurting too badly right now but once the pain goes away then I am going to begin spinning, water running, and after you mentioned it maybe I’ll try out the arc trainer! Right now not being able to do anything and not even break a sweat is KILLING me! I don’t even feel like myself! I know I will still reach my goal and in 6-7 weeks you better believe I’ll be working towards it again! 🙂
I am so very sorry to hear about your injury, Sara! That is just so unfair 🙁 I have been through several injuries over the years while training for marathons, triathlons, and just recently when I was pregnant which was hard physically but even more hard psychologically.
Do you have a road bike? You could potentially set it up on a trainer (one of those things you put your road bike in so that it’s like you’re riding outside but you’re not…) and ride to get a sweat on.
I did that A LOT recently at the advice of my PT. It was a really great workout. I set my bike up outside and even when it gets cold, you can just bundle up and peel off layers.
I do know there is nothing like running but this is making you stronger psychologically.
Acceptance is key. Accept your current circumstances without internal resistance as best you can because that resistance only burns up fuel that is going to heal your body!! Hang in there. I love your blog!
Thank you so much 🙂 The comments really are helping me come to an acceptance!
I can’t cross train YET there is still too much pain going on in my leg. I am hoping that after one or two more weeks once the pain is gone I can hit up the bike and water running to get some good cross training! I think anything that would allow me to sweat right now would be amazing! It has been really hard doing NOTHING because I am so used to being active, but I know I will get through this!
The bike trainer sounds like a really great idea! Are they expensive? I will have to look into it because I do have a road bike I could easily hook up to it! If not, I could look into getting my gym membership back and using the spin bikes there, but outside does sound so much better!! Thanks for the advice 🙂
Hang in there, Sara! It totally sucks, but I admire your positive attitude, commitment to really resting as your body is demanding right now, and determination to get back at it! I am super excited to keep reading about the recovery process, learning process, and of course dietary changes! <3
Thank you Megan 🙂 You definitely have really helped me get through this initial shock! I have to say blogging has really helped me meet so many awesome people already who are able to help and be there when you need it!
I can’t wait to start cross training, but my motto for this whole experience is “one day at a time” 🙂
That’s an awesome motto!
I just recently found your blog, and can see you’ve had a really rough few weeks, but you seem to have a great attitude, and I’m sure that if you can stay positive through loosing your job and a stress fracture, it will carry you far and be nothing but an asset to you as you recover from your injury and train for your race. Good luck! I look forward to reading about your cross training & recovery and then your continued training, over the next few months!
Thank you so much Christine! I try to keep a good attitude but my husband can attest to the fact that is not always the case! There are some days (Tuesday) that I was pretty much down all day and then I picked myself up and kept going! I kept hoping it would be something else, but I think now it is pretty obvious it is not! Thanks for reading!
Sara, so sorry to hear this. Sometimes life can be a real bitch. Hoping you have a speedy recovery and find other ways to think and process and be during this time.
Thank you Kristin 🙂 I am trying to focus on keeping myself busy each day! Some days are much harder than others, but I will make it! Thankfully my husband and I have to travel a lot during the month of October so that will help to keep my mind off of it 🙂
Oh Sara. That really stinks. I’m sorry for responding so positively when you finally decided to allow your body to rest for a day. Injuries are absolutely heartbreaking, especially when you’ve been training so hard for your goal. I’ve definitely been there multiple times. It’s important to focus on the things you are still able to do, as well as proper nutrition. Please try not to fall into the trap I did. I found out the hard way how important proper nutrition is while your body is trying to heal. I also feel confident that you will be able to come back stronger, faster and wiser.
Thank you Amanda 🙂 Don’t apologize! I was realizing I should have given my body more of a break and at the time I really thought it was going to fix it! We live and we learn! I am definitely determined to learn a lot about my body and how to be the best and strongest runner I can when I come back from this! Everyone has been so nice and I really appreciate it 🙂 I Know a lot of people could have said “I told you so” but sometimes we all have to learn the hard way. I will make the best of it and I am still more than ever determined to qualify for Boston next year! 🙂
I’m so, so sorry Sara. If you’re interested, I would highly recommend getting the book “The Runner’s Body” (http://www.amazon.com/Runners-World-The-Body-Exercise/dp/1605298611/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380212005&sr=8-1&keywords=the+runner%27s+body). It talks about exactly what you mentioned: How runner’s can monitor their bodies and run and be healthy! I’ve learned SOOO much!
Will be thinking of you! Get well soon!!!!
Thanks so much for this recommendation! 🙂 I will get it downloaded on my iPad! One thing I do want to take away from this is to really learn as much as I can about the body and what I can do to avoid this in the future! I am so determined to really use this experience to teach me so much and help for me to become a better runner in the process!
Yay! You will LOVE it! I bought it when I was injured as well and I absolutely have loved every single page. You’ll learn so much about what your body goes through as a runner. I’m only halfway through and feel like I already know so much more am becoming a better, stronger, smarter runner. I can’t wait to hear what you think! If you ever want to talk about it please e-mail me…I always want to talk about running/this book but few people are quite as crazed as I am 🙂 I always say that things like this DO happen for a reason, even though it absolutely sucks right now. You WILL be back out there again soon!
I actually just ordered the book off eBay! I can’t wait to read it and we can definitely discuss it! I would love that 🙂 I can’t wait to learn more about how the body operates and what my body goes through as a runner! I know it will help me become a better runner!
DO NOT let yourself feel like you “owe” the internet or your readers a speedy recovery. While that is definitely the goal, when I strained my calf muscle, I felt equally bad for myself and equally bad that I was going to be missing training runs with my running group. I almost felt like I let them down in a way..? I had to let that mentality go and focus on myself and what I needed to do to get better. In any case, take the time that you need and realize that the next 6 weeks are a SUPER small fraction of the rest of your running career. Get better soon!
You are so right Dominique! I am focused on coming back from this stronger and more knowledgable than I was before! Even though I thought I knew a lot I still have a lot to learn and am determined to learn more about MY body and what’s going to make it a better runner. I know I still have plenty of time before May for my marathon and I am determined to get there. It may be a long and hard journey at times, but as they say “the joy is in the journey” and I will find some joy in this – SOMEWHERE 😉
I’m so sorry to hear of your injury. I know that no insurance really hampers things, but is there any way you can get some imaging of your leg? It would be some true peace of mind to know exactly what you’re dealing with.
Secondly, I just wanted to say (and it may be unsolicited and unwanted and I’m sorry if it is) that it seems you’re really placing your self worth on your running. For example, you worry that we won’t want to read your blog if you’re not running, or listing your workouts. Some of us actually read because we think you’re a pretty neat person…who happens to also run.
Maybe that’s something to take from this down time…that *you* are enough…
Best wishes on your recovery!
Thank you so much for this Robert! I really appreciate it. When I was writing the post I was just trying to write down every thought that was going to be through my head – I knew some were not logical and some were, but I wanted to be honest because if anyone comes across this post later on that is dealing with the same thing I want them to know that it is normal to have all those crazy thoughts, but it is how you pick yourself up after and make the most of it that really matters!
I do put a lot of self worth on running – it is something I am trying to work on and I realized since I have been injured. I think the reason is ever since I lost my job it gave me a way to escape. To get away from the constant applications, phone calls, everything I was doing to try and find a new job. I am still unemployed and know that too is a process, but I am trying to find new ways to alleviate my stress. I look forward to cross training for sure!
We are actually in the process of purchasing insurance but it has been a bit of a hassle with some issues my husband had, but we are hoping in the next 2 weeks or so we should have it and then maybe I can get a definitive answer or some pictures, but I about a 99.9% sure at this point there is nothing else it could be with all the tests coming back positive and the constant pain (even at rest)
Thanks so much again Robert! I am blown away by everyone’s support!
So sorry to hear this! I hope your recovery goes smoothly, your healing is complete, and the pain eases really soon. I really enjoy reading your blog!
Thank you Dixie! Don’t worry I’ll still be here, just have to get through this little BUMP in the road 🙂 Thanks for reading!
Injuries are the WORST. But you can absolutely definitely come back from it, and will be an even stronger runner for getting through it. I broke my ankle in March, and from March to June I did all core work. I started running fully at the end of July/August, and I am already so much stronger than I was before, despite dealing with residual issues. This is devastating, but you will get better and you will reach your goals!
P.S. Hi, I’m Annie, I’m a new reader 🙂
Hi Annie! Thanks for reading 🙂 Wow!! You are inspirational! I am so glad to hear that others have gone through the same type of thing! I really do hope that – my goal is to come back stronger and with so much more knowledge! I am going to try to take all the positives I can from this even though all I want to do is go out for a great run! 🙂
Sara, I am so sorry to hear this..I know running was an important outlet for you in a difficult time. Your blog is so unaffected and honest and I think a lot of us can really relate to your trials and tribulations. I also lost my job a few months back (I did voluntarily leave, but I was in a very toxic situation where I hated my life because of it and I just couldn’t cope) and I am looking for work also. I also moved to a new city (and country) for my husband’s job and have had to adjust to that so I feel you and I have some of the same struggles! Sometimes I check out your blog and think “Well, if she can do it, I can too!” (hopefully that is not creepy!) You are a strong and inspirational person and you will absolutely get your Boston goal!
Wow thank you so much!! You have no idea how much this means to me! I know how hard it is to go through the job struggle! Even though I would give anything to have my job back, like you I was really miserable there and it was not a good place for me! I am trying hard to find a new job but this blog has been a great outlet to let my feelings out on! I always hope that if ONE person reads my struggles through unemployment and this injury and it helps them then it was 100% worth it! I really want this to be an honest blog, and I will continue to make that my goal! Good luck in your job search! My husband and I are actually probably going to be moving summer of next year, which also makes the job hunt difficult! I look forward to moving somewhere new though, even though it is scary in it’s own way! Thanks so much for sharing this and I’m glad I’ve been able to help even if in the smallest way! Keep your spirits up- we will both get through this!! 🙂
Probably sounding like a broken record, but you will be able to run sometime down the road and you’ll probably do it better and less ‘stress’ and injury too. I’ve read lots of people too as well have these kinds of issues and still be able to get back to their favorite hobby! And don’t worry, I’m sure a lot of your readers will still want to see how things are going in your life – like recovery and everything like that.
Thanks Jade! I know I WILL come back from this, and I WILL still work towards my goal – harder than ever! Just gotta make it through these next 6-7 weeks and stay sane 😉
I left a comment on your comment on Skinny Runners post, then found your blog. I’m so sorry youre dealing with this. I had this exact same injury a few years ago. mine was so bad that one dr wanted to pin it. i decided to let it heal on its own.
the first few weeks were terrible and i drove my poor husband nuts. i was so depressed and stressed out. I was turning 50 in a few months and thought so this is it, you turn 50 and you’re done. i thought i’d never run again but eventually (and 3 MRIs later) i was able to get back to running. the first time i was able to run 3 miles i burst into tears.
just be very careful the first few weeks but you’ll be back in shape in no time! keep us posted on how things are going.
Welcome to my blog Heidi! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your story! Knowing that I am not the only one who has gone through this really helps!
I am sure I am driving my poor husband nuts on a daily basis, thankfully he is a runner as well so to a certain extent he knows what I am going through! I do go through periods where I just want to sit by myself in the corner and sulk, however, I have decided I won’t let myself do this anymore! The best thing I can do is keep myself busy!
I am not doing ANYTHING for the first 2 possibly 3 weeks. After the pain has gone away I will add in cross training. I can’t wait to get to this part so that I can sweat again. I know the moment I run again I will probably be shedding a few tears myself!
Thanks again for the encouragement! It means so much!
I am SOOO sorry to hear this!! Hugs to you girl!!
I thought I had a stress fracture after my marathon this spring and the 3 weeks I took off running were miserable- I cried every single day!! 🙁
I’ll definitely stick around- I don’t read your blog because of running, I read it because of YOU dear, and that hasn’t changed, stress fracture or no stress fracture!!
You will come back stronger and faster and better than ever- nothing will stop you- you are an amazing athlete!
Aww you are sweet!! thank you!! Yes it is hard not running…..its all you think about and all you want to do all day! I am just trying to focus on what I can do! My husband has so much stress on him I also need to be strong for him right now! Just taking it one day at a time!
I’m sorry to hear this, Sara! I absolutely love your blog, and will of course still be reading, don’t think all of us faithful readers will stop reading just because you stop running for a short while. Runner’s don’t JUST run, there are other interesting and fun things we do with our spare time. Blog about the new recipes you’ll be trying! And remember how far you have come since you started training! You’ve gotten sooo much faster and stronger. Now think of how much longer you have till May, nearly eight months! That’s a ton of time. Plenty of time to get back up from this injury, ease back in, and continue working as hard as you have been. Just think, now you have more time to be a “good runner” and do all the stuff I don’t do, like cross training, core work, and strength training. 😉
Thank you Emily 🙂 Yes that is what I am trying to focus on – how to become a better and stronger runner and come from back this even better than I was before. It was a pretty hard blow, but I know that I will get through and can try to take what I can from it!
Thank you so much for reading! Glad you will be sticking around 🙂
1. You’re a reader of Hungry Runner Girl right? read her past blogs about her femoral stress fracture. even if you’ve read it before it will be encouraging to know that after her fracture, and a child she’s still getting faster. and a lot of that had to do with her body breaking down and her coming back stronger with better diet and strength training.
2. injury SUCKS. and you’ll feel like no one understands you, but all of us do. everyone that runs probably had or has an injury. I’m sure your readers will support you and also be interested in the recovery and journey back.
c. Boston will always be there. If it doesn’t happen in May, it will happen in the future when your body is good and ready.
4. eat some chocolate or ice cream. 🙂
Haha love this! Yes I have already ready hungryrunnergirl’s journey and love it! It does give me hope! I hope that I can come back strong and better from this injury and hopefully will still make my goal of Boston!!
Ice cream! YESS!!!
So sorry to hear this. Please, PLEASE do not rush yourself back from this injury. I had a stress fracture in my femoral neck which progressed to a full break with displacement ~ necessitating emergency surgery, 8 weeks on crutches, and a full year of recovery before I even thought about running again. Like you, my running was my stress relief as I dealt with three young kids and a husband who was constantly traveling AND in a demanding grad school program. I built my mileage way too quickly and wound up injured. I hope that you give yourself the time to heal and are able to recognize how you got here and can truly come back stronger (and safer!!!!) as a runner! Good luck to you and keep your chin up!!
Wow!! I am so sorry to hear this! what a long recovery process – I am glad you are on the mend!!
If anything I am definitely learning my mistakes. It is stupid looking back on it, but it is hard to really describe all that I went through and the mindset I was in when I was running all those miles. I know I made mistakes now, and I will come back better than I was before!
WOW! I was searching online about stress fracture recovery time and somehow came across your blog. I have been dealing with a stress fracture in my femur too. I recently started running this summer and training for a 1/2 marathon. Unfortunately, because of my injury I wasn’t able to run it. It took almost 9 weeks to get the correct diagnosis. Finally an MRI was ordered and it came back as a stress fracture. Frustrating for sure! I’m in a knee brace for 6 weeks and hoping it will be healed by then. I’m hoping I can do another mini in May, but know that it will be there next year if I can’t. Looking forward to reading your blog. Good luck to you and your recovery.
Welcome to the blog Nichole! Thanks for stopping by! Yes this femoral stress fracture journey is ANYTHING but fun! I feel your pain! I am glad that you finally discovered what it was and hopefully now can make your strides toward recovery! It is a long journey but I know finding other people that are going through the same thing can help!
I hope you are recovered in time for you race!! I know I had a goal of a marathon in May and even though right now it is still planned and a-go I am still waiting to see how things turned out!
Feel free to contact me if you have ANY questions!