50 State Challenge Map

50 State Challenge Map
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

First 50 state challenge injury!

I guess this wouldn't be a true running challenge if I didn't have my first close call just four weeks prior to my first Half (Austin, Feb. 17).  Every challenge needs a little drama.  I just had mine. 

Last Monday I went on an 8-mile training run and ended feeling a slight pinch in my right knee.  It felt like I had bumped into something.  I didn't think much of it.  I just stretched and went to bed thinking of Austin. 

Tuesday morning I woke up with an intense sharp pain in my knee that almost made it difficult to stand up.  Walking up and down stairs was out of the question.  I had to take escalators whenever possible.  This was not clearly good.  The alarms went off.  I was pissed.

My immediate thought was I just blew my first Half of 2012.  So I made an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor.  Upon observation he said it was most likely a stress fracture.  I was the annoying patient that asked him over and over, "are you absolutely sure??"  He said without an MRI to confirm there's no way to be 100%.  But, he was pretty sure that's what it was.  I asked him about Austin.  He said if it is a stress fracture I'd be off the knee for six weeks and then another six weeks recovery.  Translation:  no Austin.  Reaction:  DAMN IT!

I made the appointment for the MRI.  The waiting around to get the MRI and then the results are the worst.  It gave me too much time to ponder the why.  Why did it have to happen now?  Why couldn't this have happened over Thanksgiving?  Why did I push myself so hard on that run?  My sister and good friend Bill told me to relax and just wait for the results.  Easier said than done.

I got the MRI and my doctor called me yesterday to go over the scans.  The result:  NO stress fracture.  Reaction:  jubilation.  My doctor gave me the green light for Austin on the condition that I stay off the knee for the next 10 days and take Aleve twice a day. 

However, I still wanted to know what exactly happened.  He said he wasn't sure but thought it may just be stress on the knee due to pushing too hard on a run after a week of not running.  I can accept that.

So, that was my close call.  I wouldn't say I'm out of the woods quite yet as the knee is still bothering me.  But, knowing it's not an injury the size of a stress fracture is certainly a relief.  

And now I look towards Austin.

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