MRI Results Update—Officially Injured

Welp, I’m out for the count….

MRI results came back with Grade 4 Bilateral Tibial Stress Fractures. Yes, both legs.

To say I was completely blindsided is an understatement. I had been feeling zero pain and had not gone in to see my doctor for anything other than cramping. But, my buddy Runner Jenny is the sports doctor’s assistant and she had called for x-rays as a precautionary procedure–just to see.

I’m so glad she did.

She was there at the medic tent in San Diego. She saw me screaming in pain; I am not kidding when I said I was all sorts of miserable at the end of that race. Having worked with hundreds of athletes, Runner Jenny knew my situation had to be more than just cramping issues.

I mean, did I like hearing the news that for 6 weeks I could do nothing–no running, no biking, no elliptical? Of course not, but had I never gotten my legs checked, I would’ve kept on running along until I really did feel pain. And I’m pretty sure by then it would’ve been awful and an even longer recovery time.

The doc said while he definitely thinks I need to work on my sodium/electrolytes intake, my muscles could have also been overcompensating for my weak bones. Just a bad combo all around.

I know my personal diet sucks. You guys have heard me talk about it before. I know I need to improve my eating habits. I’ll be talking to my regular doctor about that and potentially adding vitamins as I def feel I’m lacking nutrients (since McDonald’s and In n Out don’t really provide me with any). Maybe even see a nutritionist. All I knows is I have to get myself figured out here if I want to continue running AND if I want to improve as a runner. I think for me, that’s my biggest decision. If I’m okay staying where I’m at, I’m sure I can manage. But if I want to get faster, I need to make some serious lifestyle changes.

That being said, another area of improvement where I think this 6 week hiatus from running will allow me to work on, is my upper body strength. Since that’s pretty much all I can do, I’m gonna work hard this winter so that when the sun’s out my guns are out.

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Yeaaahp, that’ll be me alright…

I’ll focus on my core as well — and this happened before the injury….

I SIGNED UP FOR MY FIRST TRI!!!

So that pretty much means I need to get in the pool. I feel like this injury is forcing me to work on the things I never did when I just ran. Do you believe in signs? Because I kinda think this is a big, fat, huge one right now.

Anyway, there’s the update. Six weeks of no running. I walked the Hot Chocolate 5k this past weekend (having downgraded from the 15k)

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With one of my walking buddies at mile 2 🙂

and I transferred my bib for the Fiesta Bowl 1/2 marathon I was supposed to run this Saturday. My next race is January 17th, Rock n Roll AZ and I’m hoping Runner Jenny my doc will let me do it. I figure I’ll be keeping myself in shape these next six weeks and my expectations for that race will be to simply finish.

I’ll go back for x-rays to assess progress in 4 weeks. In the meantime, gotta put in some work!

Thank you all for your support on Insta and Facebook! Once again, I’m grateful I have this outlet to “talk” about things and have people share their experiences with me. It really helps!

❤ , helly

–How do you stay motivated through injuries? 

–Best upper body exercises?

–Tips on learning to swim? (I don’t know how!)

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44 responses

  1. Oh no!! But yes, I believe in signs and this isn’t going to be a huge set back. Take it from the girl that has had injuries galore! Get in the pool – it’s great! Try pool running, laps, etc. Take a friend, it goes by faster when you have someone else there. You can do this!!!! Sending lots of love and best wishes to you!

  2. Aw, injuries suck! Hope you heal quickly.

    Green smoothies for nutrients? When I was a grad student and didn’t know how to eat, I began drinking Odwalla to get more green vegetables in me. Luckily I liked the taste (even though it looks terrible).

    Love In n’ Out. I wish we had it here in the East Coast. All the Californians bemoan about it.

    **Hugs**

  3. I am so sorry you have this going on. I know how bad it sucks… we have some similarities for sure. I did have much pain ever, but I did learn to recognize the pinch and you will to and you recover and when you start running again. You have some great ideas…the pool and upper body. That is exactly what I did while injured. The pool will keep you very strong!! I ran the Disney Princess half after I got out of my boot, my Doc didn’t want me too, but I was determined. I run/walked, it was a slow race but i never stopped smiling. Hang in there!! make some big biceps and I am cheering for you! It is a hard thing to swallow.

  4. I’m so sorry Helly, I know how much being sideline sucks, but I think your plan of upper body/ab work to keep you in shape and doing a tri is great. I know its not ideal, but you have a great attitude about it and you will be strong for it and hitting the roads again really soon! Also, thank goodness your friend Jenny was proactive and helped you catch this early, rather than doing more damage!! Hugs ❤

  5. I am so sorry Helly! BUT I am glad you have a PLAN to get better- not only the stress fractures but the diet/cramping issue as well. And you get to have a jump start on your swim training for your tri! So many bright sides to look at. I hate being injured. It sucks so bad, but I am going to try to keep this comment positive! Last winter, I took several weeks off of running and only walked. I want to say it was a little over a month. I have always strength trained regularly, but I even upped the amount I was doing when I wasn’t running and boy did it pay off!!! I got A LOT stronger. I divide it up to chest/shoulder day and then back day. That way I can lift different muscle groups on consecutive days. For chest/shoulder day, I do chest press, push ups, shoulder press, tricep dips, and then of course some ab stuff. For back day, I do pull ups with different grips, lat pull downs, dumbbell row, bicep curls, and of course fun ab stuff!

  6. I’m so sorry to hear this, Helly! It’s crazy that both legs are fractured and you didn’t even feel it! It sounds like you’ve got a good attitude. I hope the time off helps you heal quickly!

  7. What on earl possessed her to do leg xrays? I am still in disbelief. The body is crazy. There was a horse that we were about to buy and then the prepurchase vet exam showed bilateral lameness in it’s front legs. Essentially, the lamenitis canceled out! But the moment that one hurt more? That horse would be down.
    You and I are very much in the same place right now, but you minus the extra upper body of crutching. We are going to be so beastmode in the next few weeks. I am just glad that they are going to get everything under control no as opposed to when you actually did fall apart! I am sorry for some of your plans (you know that I understand that) but it is so exciting that you have these new ones to look forward to!

  8. What. The. Fuck. BILATERAL?!?!! Sweet Jesus. Between you and Suze!!! I’m so sorry my sweet friend. I figured it had to be something “legit” after reading about San Diego but this is NOT what I was expecting. Double dislike. Rest up, Lady. Sending you healing thoughts. Two fold. 😦 xoxo

  9. What a bummer but what a great attitude you have about all of this. And it is a great time to focus on other areas of the body. In fact, strengthening your overall body will make you a healthier runner. I’m so impressed that you signed up for a tri. I seriously need some swim lessons!

  10. I’m so very glad that you finally know what’s going on and can work towards healing up. I definitely believe in signs and think this is one for you. It stinks that you have to stay off your feet for six weeks, but I know you will use the time to be super productive. All of the cross training you are able to do will help you become a more well rounded athlete and an even better runner in the future!

    I’m counting down the days with you until you can run again 🙂

  11. Sorry to hear that bad news but it sounds like you have the right attitude and are not going to let the news get you down. Take it easy and get that rest and you will be back in no time. BTW, I had to learn to swim at age 40 just so I could enter a triathlong…look up total immersion – fabulous book and series of drills that really helped me. I also signed up for private lessons at the local high school – well worth it and was not too expensive…heck, the guy that taught/coached me had barely graduated himself but it worked! Best of luck.

  12. Helly, my nutritional habits are horrible. I know that I keep playing with fire, eating the way I do and not getting injured but one day it will catch up with me. I need to follow your lead and shape up my nutrition. Also, I started swimming when I was pregnant with Callum and I had never been taught how to swim properly before! We always had a pool so I knew how to stay alive in a pool and have fun but I didn’t know any technique. It took me about a week to get the hang of it (after a couple of lessons). Just stick with it. I hope you’ll be able to run AZ. I hope so much.

  13. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear this, but I bet it’s kind of a relief to know exactly what was causing the pain and how to make it better. It sounds like you have some great plans in mind and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for you!

  14. Cross training (tri training basically) has kept me a lot healthier, so hopefully it will be the same for you. I was back to marathon training two weeks after my IM and I’m running a lot of speed with (knock on wood) no injuries and I’m so much LESS sore than I was in other marathon training cycles. It’s amazing and you’ll love it!
    Also, if you’re not taking them, Base Performance has the electrolyte salt and drink. I took so much during the IM since it was hot and the drink was like a magical potion – if you haven’t already, look it up and try it out! Best to you!!!!!

    • My buddy who just finished IMAZ raved about Base Performance and it def intrigues me! I’ll have to look into it. I”ve taken regular S-tabs but don’t think I was taking enough. I’m going to have to practice when I get back in the game. Thanks for you advice–really appreciate it!!

      • No prob!! And I was just accepted on the Base team so I’m super pumped. I already ordered some stuff to experiment with for my marathon!! One of the benefits of the salt is that you put it under your tongue so it doesn’t have to be absorbed through the stomach- much faster!! I’m excited to see how it all effects my performance!!!

  15. Uggh, I’m so sorry. I think all of the things you mentioned though are great ideas, and I am a BIG believer of signs!! I definitely think you should get the nutrition portion figured out!! That will make a huge difference when you are all healed up!! Chin up friend! Xoxo

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