A bump in the road to Chicago

Did anyone watch Olympic trials last night for the women’s 800 m? It was insane! A crazy fall resulted in a wild shake-up and an unlikely champion. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch the video!

So… my training…

A lot has happened this past week and I should probably go back to my Colfax training to describe the whole story.

While I was training for Colfax, I started having a weird pain and weakness on the outside of my right leg. I thought it was IT-band syndrome or maybe a strained muscle, but this just felt different. I continued to run on it and tried to put it out of my mind. It worked! I ended up making it to Colfax feeling good and healthy, and never felt the pain once during the race. I ended up taking some time off to recover and everything seemed to be fine… so I just forgot about the pain and moved forward figuring that it had healed itself.

Fast forward to my first 45-mile week of Chicago training…

I started to feel the pain again, but this time in my left leg (strange, right?). I again, choked it up to some IT band pain, since it ran on the outside of the leg. However, I was concerned that it was switching sides and causing a lot of weakness below my knee. Last week it got so bad that I was having trouble running. I figured it was time to see someone about this. I mentioned it to a friend and she suggested that I see a chiropractor, since it was likely in my back (the whole switching sides thing).

On Friday morning I made a trip to a chiropractor. I described the pain and he agreed, it was likely my back. He felt around, poked me on my spine and SI-joint and used some weird hammer thing to push things back into place. His conclusion: I probably have a herniated disc on the L5 joint. Ugh!! He didn’t think it is a running injury at all, but does think that running brings out the symptoms. Probably if I were not a runner, I would go along with my herniated disc as if nothing were wrong and never even notice it.

So… what now?

Well, I am going to see the chiropractor for a few visits to try to get everything back into place. He said that he felt optimistic that this would be a relatively easy fix and that I wont need to take time off from running. If he can’t make the pain in my legs stop, I need to go get an MRI to see if the herniation is really bad or if there is some stenosis (narrowing of the spinal chord… something I very much don’t want as a 29 year old). He did tell me to cool it a bit with the mileage until we get this under control and to go back to 5 days of running per week instead of 6. Since speed work isn’t typically what hurts, I can still do that, but I need to stop if I am in pain.

What does this mean for Chicago? Well… I am not sure. I am going to take these next few weeks pretty chill, since the most important thing is making my back healthy. I might need to rethink my goals a little, and that’s okay with me. At the moment, nothing is changing, but that doesn’t mean that nothing will change a few weeks from now. I am going to take things day-by-day and hope for the best.

I did some trail running yesterday and didn’t feel the pain at all and I am going to do a nice easy workout tonight. Assuming that the pain is not there, I’ll go ahead and do my track workout tomorrow. I’m not too upset about this, since I am confident that it will be under control in the next few weeks or so. Timing wise, I feel like this isn’t too terrible. I am still many weeks away from Chicago and have plenty of time to train.

Long story short, I have no idea what is going on, but I’ll let you know when I know!

How as your July 4th? Any fun adventures over the weekend? I’ll post about mine soon.

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19 thoughts on “A bump in the road to Chicago

  1. So great that you’re running Chicago marathon- you will LOVE it! Hope you feel better, promising that you had no pain during your trail run. Good luck with your training and I look forward to following along!

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    • I’m pretty excited about it! I’m hoping to go for a 3:45, but we’ll see how quick this back thing gets squared away. I think it’s going to be fun to run a major marathon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, me too. I was in a lot of pain after the chiro visit, but I felt a lot better the next day. I’m just hoping that after a few visits he can get all of this fixed up so I can run up to my potential at Chicago.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no, that pain must be so frustrating! It is crazy the kind of ailments running brings to the surface! At least you caught it early and can still run.

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    • It was very frustrating. And it was a very weird pain, too. I would get a lot of weakness in my legs and feel like it was going to buckle out. Hoping it feels better soon.

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  3. It always sucks to have an injury, but it’s also better when you catch so early in your training. I’ve no doubt you’ll be able to run your marathon, and hope that you don’t have to adjust your goals, but hey, if you finish a marathon, that’s winning in my book!

    It was a busy holiday weekend for me, trying SUP, running with my group, racing Monday, and oh yeah, adopting a second dog almost out of the blue . . .

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  4. Ugh sorry for this bump in the road! You sound like you have a good attitude, as you should. It is probably going to resolve very quickly and it is super early. Worrying won’t help, so just going day by day like you are is great. I WISH I HAD YOUR ATTITUDE is what I am trying to say!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Well… since he told me keep running, this seems like an awfully anti-climatic injury. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll get bad. He suspected that I’ve had this problem for a while and since this is the first time I’m getting really bad symptoms, I feel like it should be pretty easy to deal with. I’m just going to be happy to have my legs stop hurting.

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  5. What an annoying bump on the road but hopefully one you can get over pretty easily. You sound really positive about the whole situation so I am feeling really positive about it for you! 😀 Seriously though, since you’re getting worked on and you’ve been able to run pain free since then it sounds like you’re moving in the right direction. It was smart to go see your chiro early on instead of letting the pain linger until matters were much worse!

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    • Yeah, I feel pretty positive because the doc was positive. He told me to keep living my normal life and go running, but to stop if the legs hurt. I’m going back on Thursday, so we’ll see how things go. I’m kind of just glad to know that there is nothing wrong with my legs.

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  6. Sorry for the bad news but you have a great plan and things look on their way to recovery. Just run trails from now on, they are so much better anyways lol.

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    • Haha! Yeah. I wish I had more close by. Kansas isn’t much of a trail haven. I am heading back to the Chiro today, so I’ll see how things are recovering then.

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