Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm not done yet.

Here I sit. Once again I am injured. I've gone through all the ups and downs. Sadness, which turned to anger. Anger, which turned back to sadness. Humor, as all I could do was laugh to keep myself from crying. I've had this smiley on my hand for the last week. It's a pick me up. How can I cry if something is smiling at me?

How did this happen? Who in the bloody hell knows. It's was either the combination of shoes that were half a size too short and poor pedal placement on my bike OR my body is slowly deteriorating. For 3-4 months I was training....healthy. No injuries looming. No over- training. I was running pain and injury free. Then one day (almost 2 weeks ago) I went for a 7 mile run. The top of my foot started to hurt. I've never experienced this type of pain before. Since it wasn't a sharp pain I didn't pay much attention to it. One thing I have learned about the fibro and RA is that my body isn't always honest about pain. One thing I have learned from this injury; if it hurts, then stop. Real or false. It doesn't matter. I rested for a day and did my easy 4 mi run the day after. No pain."Ok, good" I thought to myself. I ran again on Saturday, 2 days later for 10 mins to ensure I would be ok to race the next day. Still, no pain. "Yay!"
Race day was here. I ran nice and easy for 15 mins with a few pick ups at the end. I still felt good. I thought to myself "Yay! I finally get to race a run!". I was excited. My 110 HR at the start line was a testament to that. The final 10 second countdown started and I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. Moonshine and I exchanged a quick kiss and we were off! The first mile felt amazing. I finally felt like I was able to fly. My chest got hot and heavy but legs felt light and quick. I knew this feeling would come. I hadn't really done much of any speed work prior. I knew I could hold 180-190HR for a long time. I was only at high 170s. I still had a way to go. Not really. It was going into the second mile and that the dreaded foot pain came back. All of a sudden it felt like someone was stabbing the top of my foot with a f***ing pitch fork. Seriously? WTF!? I ran 1/2 a mile or longer hoping it would go away but it didn't. It got worse, very quickly. Right past mile two I ran off the side of the road. I stood there for a moment and bowed my head and had my first DNF. "F*** My Life!"
So what's the injury? I still don't know. That night I woke up from slumber with excruciating pain. The next day my foot was swollen like a marshmallow and I had problems walking on it. I went to the doctor and got an X-Ray. The bone was not physically broken. I week later came an MRI. MRI showed a possible 1.2cm length wise stress fracture to the second metatarsal with soft tissue edema. My doctor put me in a walking boot and referred me to a fracture clinic. Fracture specialist is not so sure it is indeed a fracture. It's too soon to tell and I still have a lot of edema. He thinks it could possibly be a bruised bone. Either way I'm looking at a 6-8 week recovery time.
What was the cause? I have three possibilities all which could have been a combined clusterf****.
1. I rotate between 3 pairs of shoes. 2 pairs are half a size too small. Usually I size up in running shoes to account for a narrow toe box. The shoes I was running in had a wide toe box so I opted with a snugger fit. This is not a good idea when one foot is almost a full size bigger than the other. It's also not good when the second toe is as long as the big toe. Then let's factor in Gortex socks and or thermal adhesives that I have to wear to keep feeling in my toes. Reynaud's is a b**** to deal with. I'm thankful I had those Gortex socks on race day. If I hadn't been able to feel the pain I could have broken my foot.
Several months of constant knocking can cause bone stress = fracture or bruise.

2. When I had achillies issues last year I moved my cleats on my bike shoes all the way forward. This took off strain from my achillies. It also pointed my toes down. My calves and achillies are healed. I need to put my cleats back.

3. My body maybe shutting down. I've had one if not two fractures in the last two years. I have Reynaud's and am still dealing with the effects of frost bite on my toes a year later. I have tested positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis and am feeling the fallout. I haven't had a menstrual cycle in 15mo, even though all testing shows that I am normal. Normal? Really?

What's the dilly-o now? I've got a bone scan scheduled in 2 weeks. This will show if a fracture is indeed present. But the main reason of the test is to check the density and for osteoporosis. If my density is f***ed at least I know what I'm in for. If my density is ok then my recovery from the fracture/bone bruise shouldn't take longer then the 6-8 week projection. I will be spending a lot of time swimming and aqua jogging in the next few weeks. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. I will either die or become one hell of a tough cookie (peanut butter:)).

I am continuing forward with IMC 2011. I do have time to fully recover and successfully knock out a 12 week training plan. I have recovered from injury before and trained myself into a successful IM before. I have faith that I can do it again. My only goal at this time is to prove to myself that I can once again be an Ironman....even if it takes me all 17hrs hours to do it. Since I have decided to go back to being self coached I will start to blog again :)
Thank you to everyone who has given me hope. Especially you, moonshine. You are my light in my darkest hour.

KitKat - Katie

PS -
If anyone reads this has done endurance events and deals with RA or fibro please send me an email. I'm really looking for hope. My heart is big and my mind is body needs to step up its game.


Jason said...

Sorry to hear things aren't on track. I have Raynauds (primary) and for me it is about symptom management. Mainly affects my hands but when bad includes the feet. It means I dress warm generally for training and where gloves a lot. People do think I'm weird at times. Unfortunately when the weather is below about 10C it often means no road cycling and I have to hit the magtrainer. I used to think inwas just being soft, but after frostbite you do tend to learn the hard way.

My doctor is on the lookout for RA due family history and the Raynauds but I don't have it this stage. For your fibromyalgia are you confident in the doctors who diagnosed you? Just want to make sure for you that they did consider a range of possibilities since you have a known autoimmune problem (the RA) and the fibro and Raynauds are just as they and symptoms of something else.

I will say there is hope. I know a good number of athletes including endurance who compete with RA. Yes it does change they way a couple train in that it they manipulate their training based on how the RA is affecting them. Seems to be about more flexibility and willingness to shift recovery options around and take more if needed.

Good luck.

Kit Kat said...

Thanks for feedback and a light :)

I've seen 3 different docs for the fibromyalgia and 2 for the RA and have been tested for every autoimmune disorder out there. As you know there is no western medicine testing for the fibro - just symptoms. I'm not sure I believe in the fibro. Most of what I've heard says it's all in my head. I tell myself that....maybe just so I can HTFU. Do what works to keep moving forward, right?

Last fall I bought myself a compu trainer. I figured I should treat myself to a nice trainer since I'd be stuck inside for a long time. Did I mention the weather in Oregon sucks?

Rainmaker said...

Just a quick note to say get well! I have full confidence you'll be able to get back in the game soon enough!