Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Well, this explains a few things

Today I learned about something called the plantaris tendon. I never knew this little strip of tissue existed before 8:30 this morning. Now I know far too much about it.

Lower leg of doom

See that thin blue strip? That's your plantaris tendon. Yours is probably fine.

Mine, however, is ruptured. Oh, and my medial gastroc and soleus muscles are torn. For even more fun, I even have a touch of the achilles tendinitis. Why not toss that onto this steaming pile of crap as well?

I can pinpoint the moment this bad boy let go: mile 6 of the Cleveland Half on May 15. It felt like someone took my right calf muscle and ripped it in two. Like any overly stubborn runner, I powered onward and finished the race. Dropping out for the dreaded DNF is not in my vocabulary, even though I could barely hobble forward. I finished that race in 2:28, my slowest half ever. But I finished.


I still haven't run since that day. I was hoping to run this coming Saturday with the Engineer at the Canal Days 5K near Ft. Wayne because my leg has felt great, almost normal, for several days. I mentioned this at my appointment today and the radiologist was like "That's not a good idea."

While I won't need surgery, I may be in for a round of physical therapy. I will see my sports medicine doctor at the end of the month for a follow-up and I will hear what she has to say. Right now, however, the course of action can be summed up thusly:
  • No running
  • No running
 I'm in for a lot of elliptical, biking, rowing and strength training. 

These recent revelations make the following picture, taken near the end of the Cleveland race, quite bittersweet. I was in a tremendous amount of pain, and I knew I was almost done. I hadn't seen the Redhead yet and I was worried I had been too slow to see her at mile 7 (I didn't know she never even made it there, having gone the wrong way to spectate). I started to hear some crazy person yelling into a bullhorn and when I got close enough I saw that, yes, it was indeed the Redhead, on the sidewalk at mile 12.  Oh, happy day!

I think this is my new favorite race picture ever
I didn't know it, but this would be my last race for a long time.

Interestingly, this injury (the tendon rupture and accompanying gastroc tear) is colloquially known as "tennis leg" because it happens most often to tennis players. Why it happened to me I have no idea.

I'm holding out hope I will be able to run when I go on vacation to Cape Cod in six weeks. That's all I want: to run by the ocean.


B.o.B. said...

Oh man! Total bummer. So sorry to hear that. I hope you are better for your trip too. At least u and Red can hang out and do some crosstraining together. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

So sorry woman! Keep your chin up!!

Jen Feeny said...

And THIS is why I urged, scratch that, DEMANDED you go get it checked out. Although, for what it's worth, I definitely didn't want you to have to be added to the "2011, Year of the Suck" I have going on. We'll get through this together girl, one Friday lunch at a time. :)

Scarlett said...

I'm so sorry about this injury! That just, well, sucks. At least you have an amazing friend like the Redhead to keep your spirits up and your cross training on fire. Good luck!

Lace Up And Run said...

I know what you are going through....a little. I had been babying a herniated disc in the lower back since August and am now back to running. It SUCKED big time! But when you do get back to that first run, it's sooooo great! And it's amazing how much the body remembers and how quickly it gets back to where it was.

So Sorry you are experiencing this though. No runner wants to be told to NOT RUN!! Ugh!

Nitmos said...

Ouch. Words like "torn" and "muscle" and "Cleveland" are such dirty words and here they all are in this post. Ugh. Heal up.

Unknown said...

Rest up and take it easy!!!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Wow, that sucks! Maybe what Red has is contagious????

Anonymous said...

Sarah I can totally relate to your despondency over your injury, and the complete inactivity resulting therewith. DO NOT put yourself at further risk, dear, just let your body heal and use this time to focus on other pursuits--reading, writing, try some new recipes.

I remembe when my adductor brevis was injured and I couldn't even sit down without pain (forget running). I felt like I'd been dumped by running. As it turns out, this was not the case--running is the most loyal partner you'll ever have--it will ALWAYS be there for you to return to in one way or another.

Perhaps it's just as well I scratched the GMR this year! It would not ahve been the same without you.

Denise said...

oh my gosh! how do these things go so wrong?? i'm so sorry to hear this and i'm sure the pain has been anything but fun. i suffer w/ achilles issues and they are bad by themself! i hope you heal up quickly!

Kittee said...

Just came over froms Reds blog.. YIKES...

I am out with a Torn Tendon in my foot.

If it makes you feel better I would of never dropped out either. I ran a Half in New Mexico injured. Not sure it was wise but it was worth it..

Brian said...

Just found your blog - sorry to hear about your luck. I also ran the half of the cleveland marathon and am just getting back to jogging after an injury there. Try and follow the dr's orders - though it sucks...