Sunday, April 19, 2015

Struggles

I'm struggling really badly right now with everything. My stress fracture was devastating enough when it happened in December, and then I subsequently took seven weeks off of running. That was really difficult, but I knew the end was in sight and I just focused on letting it heal.

I felt so good when I was able to run again, and I was happily building my mileage up (slowly, so that I didn't get injured again). And then out of nowhere, my fracture was back. I can't really describe my thoughts other than it felt like a switch was just turned off inside of me. I felt like my whole spirit just deflated and disappeared.

A part of me was hopeful that I just misread a little twinge in my ankle, and that the bone scan would show that my ankle was healed. But, alas, it did not. I'm grateful that the fracture isn't worse, or in my tibia; but the fact that I can't run has completely thrown off my whole routine. I know there are other exercises I could do (and I have been, occasionally); but I ran for the mental benefits as much as the physical. I don't enjoy other sports/exercises like I did running.

Running was the one thing that really kept me grounded in weight management. I had good days and bad days as far as my diet goes, but the one constant was that I would run 3+ times per week, every week. My weight has gone up and down with about 20 pounds over the last few years, but I believe that running is the reason it never continued to climb. Knowing I had a long run the next day would be enough to keep me from eating greasy food, or drinking too much wine, or whatever the case was at the time.

My weight was already up in December, when I got injured, so I couldn't afford to gain any more. But still, I struggled to get and stay on track for more than a week or so. Not being able to run + not being on track with my eating makes me feel like I did at 253 pounds. I feel out of control and unhappy.

I know all of the things I need to do to get back on track. I know how to eat well, and I know that I can do other exercises. These are so obvious to me! But I feel so defeated that I am having the hardest time actually doing it.

A friend of mine told me about how he felt depressed when he was injured for a while and couldn't run, and I completely understand that now. I've dealt with depression my whole life, but I didn't realize just how much running helped me until now. Even when I had a bad day of eating, I could go for a run and feel like a million bucks. Now, I just have to find other ways to deal with it; and unfortunately, I've been doing more emotional eating than I've done in a long time, causing my weight to start creeping up again.

I know, without a doubt, that if I can get my eating back under control, I will feel a hundred times better. Even if I don't run, I still feel good about myself when I eat well. I started a list, which I've drafted into a blog post (hopefully to post soon), about all the things I did when I was losing weight that helped me to be successful--everything from knitting at night in order to keep my hands busy to drinking a quart of water first thing in the morning. I am going to work on getting back to all those basic things that became habits for me, and helped me to stick with the weight loss for so long.

The past couple of days have been really rough for me (mentally), so today I decided that I needed to do something to feel proud of. While the kids were at church, I took my bike out for a long bike ride. I rode from my house to the State Park, around the park, and back home (a lollipop route), which totaled 15.4 miles. Even though I really didn't want to do it, I was so glad once I was in the State Park. I felt good that I'd at least made it halfway, so by the time I got home, I'd have biked over 15 miles!



I had a tailwind the first five miles, which I didn't realize until I changed direction ;) I had to slow down through the park, because there are a ton of tree roots coming up through the pavement and it's really bumpy. And the I had a STRONG headwind on the way home, which is why my speed dropped.

When I got home, my legs felt really rubbery, which was actually nice! Pedaling into the wind the last five miles was really tough, and I felt like I got a good workout. I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor, so I don't know how many calories I burned, but I mostly just wanted to feel a sense of accomplishment. And I did!

Tomorrow, Jerry and I are going to Grand Rapids with Nathan and Kendall. I'm going to do my best not to overindulge in food or drinks, and when I get home on Tuesday, I'm going to get back to my old habits (by "old", I mean when I was eating well and losing weight). It's going to be hard for the next couple of weeks, because I have two race weekends in a row; but I managed to stay completely on track for a year--including going to Indy for the Mini Marathon--so I know I can do it again. I think I just need to work on shifting my mindset onto what I can do to feel better about myself--and since I can't run, I might as well eat better!


Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! Because I'm going to Grand Rapids, I am going to have to prepare the post early in the morning. So if you have a submission, please get it to me tonight!

Tomorrow is also the Boston Marathon--good luck to any of you who are running! My friend and Sole Mate Caitlin is running it, and I'm super excited for her, so I'll be following along on her progress.

40 comments:

  1. I have never (knocking on wood, here!) had an injury that kept me from running for any length of time, so I can only imagine how difficult this is. I will tell you, my husband is a hardcore cyclist who cannot run more than about a mile, but he can ride for hours! His weight is completely under control. So now that your weather is getting nicer, hopefully your cycling will help as you build up endurance. I use mountain biking for cross training and I love it!

    I have this mirror (http://www.amazon.com/CycleAware-Reflex-Helmet-Mirror/dp/B00TWQI1Q8) that attaches to my helmet. I don't need it for the trail, but I feel a lot safer having it when I'm out on the road.

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    1. Interesting! I was thinking today how difficult it is (for me anyway) to turn and look for cars when I'm riding. I'm kind of a nervous wreck on my bike!

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  2. I empathize with you so much. I have had to give up running permenantly. It's only been recently that I've actually accepted it. Unlike you, I never loved it, but it helped me maintain my 98 lb weight loss. But, bunion surgery in January 2012 changed everything. I've tried running again many times since then, and I do ok for a while, but eventually it catches up with me. Last month, my foot hurt so bad after running, I could barely sleep at night. Honestly, my foot hurt all the time, as much as it did before my surgery. I finally had to have a "get real" talk with myself. Is running worth ruining my foot? Do I want to be crippled? Certainly not. I have gained weight the last 3 yrs. 30 lbs to be exact. It's terrifying. But running isn't the only exercise. I've started using the elliptical and the rowing machine at the gym. Both are great exercise. And I've started back to WW. I feel like I'm finally back on the wagon. Now I just have to fight to stay there. Good luck to you. You're in my thoughts! :)

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    1. I wouldn't say I "love" running--it's just addicting or something! I love the way I feel afterward. But anyway, I'm SO sorry about your foot. That really is devastating to have to give up a major part of your life like that. But I think it's great that you found an alternative and got back on the wagon. I need to do the same!

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  3. Katie, I am praying for you! I have struggled for quite some time (in different times) with my eating and exercise habits, but just know that right now, rest is the right thing. Your overall health is thanking you for this time of relaxation!

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    1. Yes, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. It just feels like this will never end!

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  4. Hey Katie. I'm praying for you. I have struggled the last 4 months or so, and so, I know how hard it is. It's crazy how the food, exercise and the scale wreck havoc on my mood and self confidence. . I was going to do the same as you and look back at what I ate and what other exercises I did at the beginning of my weight loss. I'm glad you had a great bike ride. I appreciate your honesty. You're not alone!

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    1. Thanks so much! It's nice to know I'm not alone.

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  5. I can empathize a lot with you. I had a stress fracture last March, and very slowly and gradually built up my mileage throughout the summer. Then, without obviously overdoing anything, I wound up with another stress fracture in September. My doctor told me not to run for the remainder of 2014. I was devastated and actually had to drop a class (I'm a full time student) because I was too stressed out and depressed from the injury. I did almost zero cross training during those months, which was strange after several years of running almost every day. I was able to start physical therapy in November and began running very easy mileage in December. I haven't run more than 18 miles in a week since starting back again, which is a far cry from the 40-50 I was putting in before my initial injury. But now, I am just so thankful to be injury-free. Whenever I'm feeling down about anything, I only need to remember that I have the gift of running. My situation is different because I've never been overweight, but I absolutely understand the struggle of not being able to run and can promise that you will heal and things will be normal again someday, as long as you believe they will.

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    1. Oh wow, I'm so sorry about your stress fractures. It really is devastating not to be able to run when it's so much a part of your routine. I'm glad you're injury-free now!

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  6. Katie, whatever you do, please keep blogging. I have this fear that you'll stop blogging because of the feelings you described above. Probably because that's what I do when I get depressed - withdraw. But for me (and I know we're all different), one of the best things I can do is keep talking to people.

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    1. It's something that I've been thinking about a lot this year. Writing has always helped me with my depression, but blogging opens yourself up to all kinds of comments--mostly positive, but some very hurtful ones, too. Writing this post caused a lot of anxiety, because I just can't deal with hurtful comments right now. It's easier to not write than it is to read those comments; but I've always enjoyed writing, no matter what it's about! So I will continue to blog for sure--maybe not as often while I go through this bad bout of depression, but I don't plan on going anywhere :) Thanks so much for reading!

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    2. Katie, I second Jocelyn on this. I'm worried as well, and I continue to hope that you will let us help you as much as you've helped so many of us! Stay with us!!! This too shall pass. :) *virtual huggles!*

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  7. I know you are worried about the haters, but know that those people are just wasting their time and energies. They aren't doing something they feel good about, so they take it out on others. So just pay attention to those of us who want to help you and are inspired by you. They aren't worth your time or energy. And we've got your back too ;)

    Get well soon. You will be hitting the pavement in no time. At least you caught it early and know now how to treat it. It sounds like you have an awesome plan for dealing with things already. You've got this! You can do this! You will do this!

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  8. Last year, about a year after I lost 55 lbs on WW, and right after I signed up for my first marathon, chicago, with a charity, I did a ragnar and got ITBS that should have been an easy fix, but 5 months later, I literally limped to the finish line in just under 6 hours. I was devastated I didn't have that outlet, and I was terrified I would gain the weight back. I began running when I began losing weight, and meeting "crazy" goals running made me more confident I could finally get control of my weight. I saw endless doctors, running coaches, PTs, tried acupuncture, braces, but ultimately, I needed to not run for several months. I remember there was a time I couldn't imagine my adult life without running, but what I really learned was that I couldn't imagine a time in my life without trying to be better (and really, what else does WL teach us than the merits of trying to be better, day in and day out?). It took me months to accept it, but for me to be better, I had to stop running for awhile. Remembering that made it easier, but I knew I was too goal oriented, so I decided to pursue something that scared the sh** out of me; I joined crossfit. After 6 months at Crossfit, I can run again pain free, and am a better athlete and runner because of it (and now, of course, I'm obsessed with crossfit, too!). I don't know if that helps, but your circumstances resonated too much not to share. PS, still free LT member through it all!

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  9. I feel for you so much! But, it gets better. It WILL get better. Lots of prayers going your way and you'll see. Before you know it BOOM! You'll be back to running in no time! It'll be okay :)

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  10. I'm in the same boat as you. My 30 lb weight loss was slowly creeping back up since Christmas. I just had 2 back to back holidays - Cuba and then 2 days after getting back, a 4 day weekend to the States for Easter (I'm Canadian). I did a lot of damage weight-wise over those 2 weeks and was just getting my mind back into sensible eating and then on Thursday, I was rollerblading and my 5 year old son was biking and he biked right into the back of me and sent me flying. I have a broken wrist and a broken tailbone. There is very little I can do in the way of exercise and just regular life things - cant even put a ponytail in my hair. I am an exercise addict. I workout for 3 hours a day, 7 days a week, so this is devastating to me. I have gone to the gym for the last 4 days and done what little I can do, mostly just walk slowly on the treadmill, but I have also been having a pity-party for the last 4 days and eating everything in site and drinking lots of wine. I decided that today was the end of it, I have to get back on track before it gets any worse and then I just read your post. Let's get our $hit together and do this....I know we can!!!

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  11. Your situation just further proves this weight management is definitely as much mental as physical. Like you said you know all the things you could do and I believe you will find a way. You have a beautiful smile and I hope to see it it many more times as you find activities that you enjoy as you wait to heal. Seriously, 15 mile bike ride is no joke!!

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  12. I feel for you. When I got a stress fracture and found out TWO DAYS before my first marathon, I was devastated. After all the training runs and time commitment, etc- I couldn't run (I had two fractures - one in my metatarsal and one in my tibia). I had to watch my husband, friend and sister-in-law, who I had trained with, run and then had to wear a boot for a few months.
    Know that you're not alone. Know that there are others who have felt the same way. And WAY to go on the bike ride. I also don't know how to ride a bike so that wasn't an option for me. You will get through this and continue to inspire all of us!

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  13. I find myself needing to look back on previous posts of mine to see what I was eating, what I was doing, when I had successful weeks. I try to post weekly meal plans and I go back to the ones that helped me lose the weight when I find my weight creeping back up on the scale.

    Looking forward to your post about what helped you! Keep you chin up and look at this as just another challenge you will overcome!

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  14. We're all cheering for you, Katie! Tough times suck, but they don't last forever. And after back-to-back stress fractures, you are due for some major good times ahead.

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  15. So sorry for your injuries, and resulting depression. It's hard when you think you're healed and then you get injured again. You did everything right, and it's just not fair. But then life isn't fair is it? I think about your friend who died so young from melanoma, and poor Mark, as well as my own husband Duane, who is fighting Stage Four cancer. Makes my owns troubles with weight maintenance seem pretty trivial.

    My knees are super painful lately, just walking hurts and getting up from a seated position is tough. It might just be this 30 pounds I have regained and I really want to know if dropping the pounds again might help, but knowing and doing are two different things, as you noted in your blog.

    Have fun in Grand Rapids. I need to plan a trip or event, something to look forward to. When I talk to Du about it, he is hesitant, he worries his health will take a turn for the worse, and we won't be able to carry out our plans. Our 45th wedding anniversary is in Sept., and I really want to celebrate with a trip of some kind. I think a trip might be just the motivation I need to drop this weight. I need something to get me going and KEEP me going!

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  16. We've got your back, Katie. You've provided so much inspiration and help to so many people. We're all sending you lots of hugs and healing thoughts. There are a lot of people who really care about you.

    Your posts that show your vulnerabilities are also your most powerful.

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  17. I have been reading your blog for years now because you inspire me daily. Sometimes the universe gives us a huge kick in the pants to make us grow in a new direction. Remember that there is more ways than one to view a situation.
    I always loved reading about your little monthly challenges that you would make yourself do. Have you considered doing a Whole30? I am doing one now – it’s HARD but it has been the push I needed to get myself back on track with my food. I am on day 6 and I am so proud of myself for sticking to it. I needed that. Many people say that cutting back on carbs and sugar helps with depression. You may want to look into that.
    ((Hugs))
    Julie

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  18. Hang in there. I manage my depression/anxiety with exercise too, so I definitely sympathize. And I second the posters above who are asking you to please keep blogging! We like you and want to keep hearing from you =)

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  19. Hi, Katie,

    First, ((((hugs)))). It's so upsetting to have a routine and a plan, then suddenly be thrown a curveball--twice--in such a short time.

    As someone who's dealt with depression and anxiety most of her adult life, I understand the need to shelter yourself from bad comments. Please know that for every "hater," there are 15 more people cheering you on and marveling at your perseverance and bravery. I come to your blog when I'm having a good day, when I'm having a bad one, or when I'm facing yet another struggle with maintaining/losing weight. And it never fails: you'll have the perfect post right around the time I really need it and such wise words. (I have a sticky note on my work computer that says "Just Get It Done.")

    Please, take care of yourself anyway you need -- and try not to close out everyone around you. I dealt with a major, major bout after the holidays this year, and the only thing that kept me going was "faking it til I made it" back out of the pit of depression.

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  20. Hi Katie,

    Have you considered addressing why you want to overindulge or eat beyond the body's satiety signals? I ask because I've had some success with weight loss by managing my emotions/addressing my needs in other ways than eating. I struggled so long with using external methods of weight management -- dieting and exercise. Feeling defeated, I finally started looking at the reasons why I wanted to eat large quantities of unhealthy food. For me, food was a friend, a source of novelty and reward. Yes, some of my binge-eating was just habit, but when I became more aware and more mindful of the triggers, I learned to meet my true needs in ways that didn't involve food. Is it easy? Not at first, but I feel confident that now I don't have to rely on external measures to manage my weight. This book was quite helpful: http://www.amazon.ca/Eat-What-You-Love-Eat-Repent-Repeat/dp/1934076244

    I know first-hand how difficult it is to lose weight and to have a fractured relationship with food. I think it is a life-long journey for anyone who struggles with weight and food issues. I wish you all the best on your personal journey!

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  21. So sorry to hear you are struggling :( We all go through it, and you're not alone! You're such an inspiration to so many people--just being so honest about your struggles is inspiring! Rather that hide it, or pretending like everything is okay, you're being open about it--and that's a GOOD thing! One of the first things I learned in therapy was not to bury my feelings, but to talk about them. Do you keep a paper journal? Nowadays, when I'm feeling binge-y, I start writing in my journal and get all the feelings out, and it feels so much better when I'm done; plus, there's the added satisfaction that I didn't give in to the urge to binge. I'm not saying it works every time, but it's saved me from a binge more than it hasn't.

    You WILL get through this, Katie. I'll be praying for you! (if that's okay)

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  22. Katie, I'm so sorry, it is so frustrating and depressing! I have patellar tendonitis right now and can't do anything high impact. I miss running too! I've been swimming laps and though it's tiring, it doesn't give me the same sense of accomplishment or sense of pushing myself as running does. It totally kills my motivation to eat right as well, which is illogical because I'm still exercising other ways. I guess what I'm saying is, I feel you!

    Side note- Have you thought of entering some kind of bike race? Maybe the setting goals and training is part of the appeal of running. I've been thinking of setting lap goals etc. for swimming to see if I can make it more exciting and challenging. I guess I'm going to keep figuring it out and hopefully I'll get to come here and see you do the same :)

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  23. Katie,
    Sorry to hear about how you are feeling. You didn’t ask for advice so I’ll just mention something that worked for me.
    I’ve always had anxious tendencies and about a decade ago, I started to make my world a bit smaller by saying no more often and finding reasons to not do something that would make me feel uncomfortable. That continued slide along with a couple of panic attacks a few years ago caused me to find ways to address my problem.
    One of the best decisions I made was take an 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class.
    MBSR is a blend of meditation, body awareness and yoga: learning through practice and study how your body handles (and can resolve) stress neurologically. Through the online MBSR course, you will learn skills that can increase your ability to:
    • Cope with stress, pain, and the challenges of everyday life
    • Deal with disturbing events with grace and composure
    • Be fully present and alive in this moment
    It’s a well proven curriculum that meets a few hours once per week with daily homework.
    Google “MBSR Toledo” or “MBSR Detroit” to find local classes. You can also take it online for free at http://palousemindfulness.com/selfguidedMBSR.html
    If it works, great. If not, all you are out is some time and even then, you’ll have some helpful tips and also realize that many people have similar concerns. If you try it, go in with an open mind and trust the process.

    JH

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  24. Never give up Katie! This shall pass. Listen to your doctor and your own body and plan on coming back stronger than ever!

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  25. Gentle hugs, Katie. We're here cheering for you! :)

    Martine

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  26. Katie, I've read your blog for years and I appreciate you writing about the highs and the lows. You have my support as well as your many, many readers. Know that it will get better and that we are all right there with you. Thank you for your wonderful blog and the kind emails you have sent me! You have a special gift of reaching out to others, through the 'net, in print, radio, video as well as in person!

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  27. Katie, I feel this way right now. You know I had hip surgery in october and then went through PT. I wasn't able to run for 7 months. I found out in January my left hip is torn too. I started other exercise things but its not hte same as running. Running was my outlet. I am able to run a little now but I have been so off track for so long I am having a hard time getting back into a routine. It makes me depressed and eat. Ugh. xoxo

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  28. Katie-
    Thank you for your honesty. These posts are as helpful is not more so than those when "all is well"-- your willingness to share all aspects of your journey is so appreciated. I agree with others-- please keep up the wonderful work!!!

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  29. I also appreciate your candid posts! I can relate having running/exercise be a great tool for anxiety. When I was injured, I signed up for a spinning class, which I loved almost as much as running! I'm not brave enough to go and ride out on the road! I'm impressed!

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  30. Katie, thank you so much for this blog. I look forward to coming here to see how you are going but also for the sense of community it brings (no matter the part of the world we are in (hi from Australia btw)). Life always gets in the way of our best laid plans but what your blog has shown is that its about taking each day as it comes. If you want a good (short) read then you may enjoy "things might go terribly horribly wrong" by Kelly Wilson, I think the title sums it up well. Good luck with the cycling.

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  31. Katie - you are not alone. I suffered a pelvic stress fracture last winter from running and it was so difficult. I couldn't run, I limped when I walked - it was awful. I fell into a depression, I didn't realize, until I couldn't run, how much I relied on running to get me through all the stress that life brings. I gained weight and it really played a number on my self-esteem.

    Someone recently told me that the stress fracture was a trauma for me, and it finally made sense why it took so long to feel better.

    I'm so sorry that you are going through this. Your candidness is a relief. Keep blogging and we will all keep reading.

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  32. The thing about stress fractures is that they take min 8-10 wks to heal and that's being generous. A lot of what I've read about them says that there's a high rate of recurrence because while the bone regenerates itself it is actually porous and weak but the pain may subside so you might start running again and then, bam, it recurs. This is textbook and happened to me. I ran 5-6 days/wk for two years without any issues and then I decided to go from a 10mm shoe to a 4mm shoe. In retrospect I did that too quickly. And I would stick to low drop shoes for runs of less than 10k. I'm also in late 30s so probably losing calcium in my bones despite my healthy diet and weight. Even runners doing everything right in training and nutrition can develop vitamin deficiencies (iron/zinc/D) because you are sweating out those minerals with each run). Increase your calcium (through food sources is best) and your B12, D and Magnesium which are paramount for your body to absorb calcium properly otherwise it just floats around your bloodstream or turns into deposits which is actually bad too). Anyway, I stopped running for three months last summer and my tibial fracture (in both legs I might add), resumed in Sept and it came back in Dec forcing me to stop running for three months, resumed this March and now it's late April and I still feel it's there. This gives you an idea of how long this can go on for. I've been there. And it's tough because all you can do is non-weight bearing exercise. That means no yoga standing on one leg, no jumps or squats, no dead lifts with dumbells, etc. Even cycling can prolong the injury if it's your calf that is fractured.

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  33. I second or fortieth ;-) all the positive comments that have come before me.

    We all read your blog because you are human and special and funny and Katie, so it's a gift to us that you can be honest about how you are feeling and about things you are struggling with. Because who wants to read about perfect robots? ;-)
    Keep on keeping on, and know that you will be okay. One of my favourite proverbs is 'To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish', but remember that other food stuffs (and experiences) are available and possible. :-)

    Courage!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)