Thursday, July 18, 2013

What just happened?

So it appears that I have suffered my first major "injury" while jogging yesterday. I went out for my morning run like I always do. I got to the park, I stretched my legs a bit and I started jogging. I was going along pretty well, the humidity was pretty thick but I live in the South so I'm used to it at this point. About 1 1/2 miles into my jog something weird happened. I was unable to move my left leg. I couldn't lift it, I couldn't move it, it was like it was dead. Of course that caused me to stop jogging and take a moment to try to figure out what I had done. I don't recall twisting it or stepping down too hard or anything out of the ordinary. I was confused. I rubbed my calf and it felt fine but when I tried to touch the front of my shin it hurt really badly. I assumed that I had just done too much and I was going to walk it off, so I continued on the path.

As I went along I got slower and slower. Every time I put any pressure on my left leg it felt like my shin bone was coming through my skin. My ankle started to hurt as well and my poor right leg was having to try to keep me balanced. I was halfway around the mountain at this point so I pushed on and figured that I would get to the car eventually. I was still able to move so nothing was broken or fractured. At this point I was getting more and more frustrated.

By the time I finished and got back to the car I was walking a mile in almost 20 min. My usual walk time for a mile is between 15-16 minutes. I was mad. Luckily I don't use my left leg to drive so I was able to get home. I got into bed and elevated it. There was no swelling, no bruising, nothing that would indicate an injury. It just hurt and I wasn't able to put pressure on it. I went online and looked up some information on the runners world website for shin injuries while jogging. Two of them sounded like what I was experiencing. It was either shin splints, which is a common injury in runners or a stress fracture of my shin bone. Neither of these conditions requires medical care and there is very little that you can do for them other than to let them heal on their own. Both instances had symptoms that were what I was experiencing. It did say that if it was shin splints that it would continue to be sore the next day and would take several days to heal. There are stretches you can do to help bring the tendons back into a non compromised state but that's about it. If it's a stress fracture it will not hurt unless you are using that leg for any length of time. If you are sitting or lying down and not utilizing it there is no reason for it to hurt. Well let me tell you my stupid leg has hurt all day yesterday, all night and now this morning it's sore. I'm leaning more towards believing that it's shin splints.

After reading about the causes of all of this I have come to the conclusion that jogging on hills is not something that my body can handle right now. I've been trying to do it now for just over a month and I think it is simply too much for my legs. Luckily I have found another park nearby that does not have any hills and is very pretty. I think next week when I go back to jogging (given my leg is better by then), I will use the new park so I don't continuously push my muscles beyond what they are capable of at the moment. My brain is in "you can do it" mode all the time but my body is struggling to keep up at this point. It's time to admit that I'm not an Olympic athlete and take things at a much slower pace. I am getting stronger but it's a process to build new muscle where muscle never existed. It takes time for all of these physical changes to kick in and I have to allow my body that time. One cannot simply depend on their calves to carry all of the burden, especially when jogging.

So for the next few days I'm not going to do any structured exercise. My son's best friend is here through Sunday to celebrate my son's birthday with him. I'm sure with two eleven year boys in the house I will be kept pretty busy, I'm sure I won't even miss the exercise. Wait, who am I kidding? It sucks that I won't be able to go jogging/walking, it's part of my morning routine now. Changing my routine throws everything off and makes me feel like I've forgotten to do something all day. Embrace the change, become the change....*insert whine here*.

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