Jodi's Running Blog

Gotta keep going…

Cooper River Bridge Run 20050

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Tuesday March 29, 2005 at 5:22 pm)

My injury is keeping me out of the race across the Cooper River Bridge this weekend. One of the largest 10ks in the nation, Charleston hosts the Cooper River Bridge Run annually as thousands come from around the region for a beautiful, scenic, and exciting road race. In order to make the best of a disappointing situation, I will be volunteering with the medical team. Hopefully my services will not be necessary during the race, but if they are I figure I can put my medical training to good use while allowing myself to experience the excitement of the day.

The local weather forecast here in Charleston is calling for clear skies and 60 degrees at 8 AM when the starting gun is fired. This is perfect weather for such a race! I have run this race twice – once in colder conditions, and once in 80 degree weather. I’m thinking 60 sounds ideal.

I also have less than ONE WEEK of medical school remaining! After finishing this month of psychiatry, I am leaving for Seattle, then for a two-week vacation in Europe (much needed!). Then, it’s back to Seattle for a while until graduation arrives in May. There is much to which I can look forward, and I do so much anticipate being able to run again in June.

Take care, fellow runners.


Unexpected Ending0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Thursday March 10, 2005 at 11:11 pm)

It appears that I overtrained for the London Marathon, and as a result I developed an exertional compartment syndrome. I was seen by an orthopedist this past Wednesday morning, and much to my disappointment, he advised me not to run for three to four months. I should be able to run at that time, but must very slowly build mileage.

So I wonder…will I ever run another marathon? At this point, I think not, but how much of my mood is merely being influenced by this setback? Every time I train for one, I end up injured. Last time it was two months of physical therapy for a patellofemoral injury. In 1997 I had the infamous “unhappy triad” (tearing the anterior cruciate ligament, medial cruciate ligament, and medial meniscus) injury secondary to landing improperly in the long jump at a track meet. For this injury, I had surgery followed by two months of physical therapy.

I am planning to use this time for reflection. Perhaps I will try swimming, or cycling, or weight training. I know I must exercise. How can I become a physician and not exercise, when that is exactly what I will recommend to my patients? The future is open.

Frustrating Set Back0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Monday March 7, 2005 at 7:19 pm)

I have faced disappointment over the last two weeks. You see, up until February 20th, my marathon training was going very smoothly. I was steadily going on five mile runs x 3 days/week with a medium-length seven mile run thrown in the mix. The fifth day was for lengthier runs, which were also progressing slowly but surely.

On February 20th, my husband, Evan, flew to Seattle early in the morning. On his way to the airport, he dropped me off at the fitness room at my apartment complex, where I had an 11 mile run planned with the treadmill. No one was around, so I had the tv all to my self – CNN rather than VH1 (the choice of many other fitness buffs on most days). I got on the treadmill, started at 6.0 miles/hour (10 minutes/mile – pretty typically where I begin long runs), and after about twenty minutes, the skin below my gastrocnemius but above the Achilles’ tendon began to feel really tight. The right leg felt fine. The sensation of tightness worsened, so I paused the treadmill, got off, stretched both legs for about five minutes, resumed – and within two minutes, that tight, uncomfortable sensation returned. I battled this until I finished a 5k and gave up, wondering what in the world the issue was. I told my friend and fellow marathoner, Josh, that I thought I was having leg edema – perhaps from venous insufficiency. After all, when I stand for long periods of time during the day, the left leg swells, so perhaps this was the issue. That night, I attempted running again, and failed just as quickly – within the first three miles.

Things only got worse. I recognized quickly that the tightness was not from edema, but was muscular, and it was in both legs. I ran several times that week, and even squeezed out a couple of five mile runs with friends, but by the end of the week the tightness was progressing to outright pain, and it was equally tight (and painful) on both sides. Evan biked beside me that Sunday (one week from the onset of the tightness/pain), and I actually managed to finish the 13.1 miles I had scheduled for my run, although it required lots of walking. Still, I thought things seemed to be getting a little better, but I had not run for two days leading up to the 13-miler.

Last week was much of the same story – tightness leading to pain, and pain leading to worse pain, all in that annoying muscle tissue below the belly of the gastrocnemius and the Achilles’. This past Saturday, I bought inserts (Powerstep) for my shoes, hoping that something different might help. Evan biked beside me again yesterday (Sunday, March 6th, and yes – he is the most supportive and most wonderful person I know), prepared to support me through a 15 mile run. I felt badly through the whole run – unmotivated, winded, and hurting legs. At the age of 26, I felt old. The 15 mile run became a 5 mile run/walk experience. I was grateful to Evan for being there with me and for not giving me a hard time, because I was feeling miserable and frustrated. I had a race in six weeks, and this was the shape I was in.

Today the weather in Charleston was gorgeous, so I decided I was going to try that 15-miler again – I wasn’t going to give up on this. Same thing – after two miles, muscle tightness. Stop. Stretch. Continue – by three miles, pain, but now pain so searing that it brought tears to my eyes to take a step or even to stretch. Eventually, my feet began to go numb. I found this alarming – could this be the beginning of a compartment syndrome? I went to visit Mike Aiken again, long-time runner and co-owner of On The Run. He demonstrated to me how to better stretch my Achilles’ tendon, calf muscles, and even recommended better hamstring stretches. He also recommended icing the affected areas, and gave me some Biofreeze to rub on the area before a run. I talked to Josh again as well, and just describing raw symptoms, he expressed his concern for a compartment syndrome as well, especially given the paresthesias in my feet brought on by exercise.

The point of this long-winded tale is that I am confused about my training. I need to do this race. I feel very obligated to complete it, and it is on April 17th. Yet, I cannot continue long runs at this time. It has been suggested to me that I should use an cycle or swim for strength training and cardiovascular exercise while continuing to stretch and ice my muscles. To continue running this week is going to make running a marathon in April next to impossible if my injury gets worse. I will attempt this, but if anyone has any further suggestions, I am open to just about anything at this point.