June 05, 2015

Stress fracture update

Yesterday was my physical therapy appointment. Marathon training for Detroit is supposed to start on Monday, which will be 18-weeks out from the race, and I was really hoping for good news about my stress fracture. I want to start training, even if it's just very slowly easing my way back to running.

When I got there, I talked to Dave (the PT) about some of the symptoms I'm having (twinges where the stress fracture is when I move certain ways) and he explained that it's normal--I will feel that as it's healing. That happened before, so I know the difference between that twinge and actual pain.

He gave me a couple of new exercises to add to my routine, to hopefully strengthen my left side some more (it's still quite a bit weaker than the right side). We also talked about the marathon. He would prefer that I switch to the half-marathon, but I told him how important it is to me to do the full (Thomas is coming out here from Portland to run it with me), and he gave me the go-ahead.

I can start training on Monday, with a couple of rules--I cannot run two days in a row (I have to have at least one day of rest in between); I have to do a run/walk; and if I feel pain (not the normal twinges, but real pain) then I have to stop completely. If I feel any sort of pain that causes me to alter my gait or limp, then I need to stop running.

I'm going to take those stipulations very seriously. For now, I plan to follow a modified version of Jeff Galloway's marathon training plan. His plan calls for two 30-minute run/walks plus one long run/walk per week. His plan builds up the long runs very gradually over 30 weeks, but since I have just 18 weeks, I'm going to have to modify that part. Galloway's plan builds up to 26 miles in training, and I don't think I'll be able to do that--I'll be lucky to get up to 20. So, I hope that this run/walk method helps to keep me from getting injured again!

My plan for the marathon (if all goes well) is to run 2 minutes, and walk 30 seconds (and repeat for over four hours... yikes!). I'm certainly not counting on it, but there is still a tiny chance that I could PR the race this way. I would have to run at an 8:56 pace for each 2-minute segment, and walk at a 15:00 pace for each 30-second segment to finish in 4:15. I think that's definitely do-able, if I don't have any more problems with this injury! But even if I can't PR, I'll be grateful to just finish.

(Thomas showed me this awesome walk/run calculator... it will tell you what pace you have to do the running portions to hit a certain time goal. You input your walking pace, your ratio of running to walking, and what overall pace you want, and it will give you the running pace you need for those segments. I spent two days trying to come up with a formula to do this very thing, and when I asked Thomas for help, he told me it already exists--haha!)

I can't really make running plans beyond Monday, because I have no idea what's going to happen when I attempt to run/walk. I kind of forget what it's like to be a runner! ;) I'm looking forward to trying the Galloway method, though. I think it'll make the miles go by fast, because I'll be focused on just two minutes at a time. I think to start with, I am going to aim for a 1:1 ratio of running to walking (one minute each) for 30 minutes. If that feels okay, I may increase the running a touch and decrease the walking.

It was interesting to talk to Dave about running injuries. He said the people who are most likely to get injured are people who have been injured before. The knee injuries I had in 2012 could have thrown off my gait which eventually caused this stress fracture (there is no way to know for sure, but that's one theory).

We also talked a lot about shoes, because I'd sent him a link to my interview with Golden. He basically repeated what Golden told me: shoes are usually the first thing people blame when things go wrong, and the first thing people praise when things go well. Dave said that the shoes really don't matter as much as people think they do, and that what is most important is your running form. (Golden said that as well; the idea behind the Altras is that they improve your running form). If you have great running form with the shoes you're wearing, then you're not likely to get injured.

I left there feeling like I really want to get my left side up to par with my right side so that I'm symmetrical when I run. I'm going to do my PT exercises as prescribed, and hopefully, I'll see some good progress this summer.

I went to Glenda's Friday meeting at Weight Watchers this morning. I had another (very small) loss on the scale, which makes four losses in a row--I'll take it!

We did a step-out-of-your-comfort-zone exercise, which felt awkward, but I think it was a great idea. We had to get into groups of four (with people that we don't know already). Then, we had to write compliments about one other person in the group (each of us wrote the compliments about the person to our right in our circles). I was sitting next to a woman named Jennifer, and I admired her outfit and her pedicure (she had purple sparkly nail polish).

The point of the exercises was that we should accept compliments and say "thank you" instead of brushing them off or denying them. I always used to be the person that denied compliments--I always had a reason why the compliment was "wrong", and instead of saying a simple "thank you", I said, "Oh, no, ____" and explained that it wasn't true. Someone pointed that out to me once, and I finally started to say "thank you" and believe it!

Glenda (my WW leader) wrote an article that was published in the Thinline magazine that is given out at Weight Watchers centers. So, if you're a member, make sure you check out her article! It's in this issue:

And the article is called "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"

Jerry and I are having a date night tonight (it's been a while!) and I'm looking forward to it. I'm still on plan with Weight Watchers (today is Day 17)!


  1. I started the Galloway method a few days ago, and I'm honestly in love with it. I wasn't aware that I could end a run without my hip or feel being in pain. My legs feel great afterwards and the next day, so hopefully it will be a good way for you to ease back into it. Good luck!

  2. AnonymousJune 06, 2015

    Can Thomas run the half with you instead? 18 weeks to train for a marathon after not running at all for so long sounds scary when you have a recurring stress fracture!

    Good job on the continued weight loss!

  3. You are a rock star! I just ran for the first time since my csection with Vivienne and it was way less traumatic than I expected, even though I was disappointed with how out of shape I am. Good luck on Monday!

  4. AnonymousJune 06, 2015

    Congrats on the continued losses at WW!! I won't lie I have not been in 3 weeks....I think I am staying about the same since I weigh at home but you know that is a slippery slope.

    If it makes you feel any better I never EVER ran more than 14 miles before my marathon in October and I did the Galloway (1:1) and felt totally fine after....it was crazy. So I truly feel that if you do a run/walk you will do awesome in Detroit!!

  5. Glad you got the OK to start training, and I hope you enjoy the Galloway method!

    It's funny that you discussed accepting compliments at your meeting - I just discussed that in therapy yesterday. My doctor told me I need to learn that the only response to a compliment is "Thank you." And that eventually, I need to work up to "Thank you, I think so too." It's definitely a hard transition to make when you're uncomfortable hearing nice things about yourself.

  6. I used the Galloway method for my half. I listened to books on my phone when I'm running and I downloaded an interval timer and was happy to find it worked while still listening to the book. It was much easier to follow the Galloway method.

  7. I have never seen the Thinline magazine at my WW center--I'll have to ask them about it.

    Glad you got the OK to start training; I know this means a lot to you!

    1. I think it's a regional thing. Someone from our Kansas meeting shared one she got at a meeting in Detroit. We get a weekly though.

  8. Waiting with bated breath to hear about your first run back!!!


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