Zion Half Marathon Training: Week 6 (AKA Injury Central)

Hey everyone!  Ugh, I don’t want to write this post.  At all.  If you read this post, you know why.  So here was the plan:


Here was my loooooong week:

Monday:  Rest day because there was no way I was putting those shoes on again.

Tuesday:  My new shoes came and I couldn’t wait to try them out!  10 minutes easy, 10 minutes steady, 5 minutes easy because I was in pain.  After I got home my legs, hip, and groin felt worse than they ever have in my entire life.

Wednesday:  Called the orthopedic doctor, set up an appointment for Friday, and then cried in my office.  Rest day.

Thursday:  Yet another rest day.  My legs still hurt a lot, along with my hips and butt.  I may have accidentally googled “stress fracture” a few times.  More crying happened.

Friday:  I went to my doctor’s appointment where I was x-rayed and then poked all over by the doctor.  After he watched me walk, we had a little talk about everything.  To be fair, he didn’t know my life at all.  Nor did he ask.  In fact, my experience with him was awful and I’m bummed that he’s one of only 3 orthopedic doctors that are covered on my insurance!

Dr:  So sometimes people decide to run a longer distance and they rush into it.
Me:  Oh no, this is my fifth half marathon.
Dr:  Well…sometimes people try to up their milage from nothing.
Me:  Yeah, my last half was in September and I did start running less after that, like only three times a week.
Dr:  Well…this is your first winter here.  How much vitamin D are you taking?
Me:  2 gummies per day!

The doctor definitely judged me for a second and then proceeded to make me watch a powerpoint he made about all the knee surgeries he did that got messed up again because of vitamin D deficiency.  After he prescribed 5 times the amount of vitamin D I’m currently taking, he explained that running in the wrong shoes was probably what caused all the pain and encouraged me to throw my old shoes away (he said the new shoes looked good!).  Finally, he pulled out my X-rays and pointed out a tiny, long crack that ran along my left inner hip bone.  I almost passed out.  He said he couldn’t be sure that it was a stress fracture, but that he wanted to get a clearer picture.  So he said that I needed an MRI as soon as possible and handed me some paperwork with “STAT” written all over it.  After a few hours of attempting to work, I went in for my MRI.  I didn’t exactly know what an MRI was, but I soon learned that I would be laying in a tube for 45 minutes while a machine loudly did random stuff to my torso with magnets.  I was so confused and scared that I worked myself up into a pretty intense anxiety attack.  I couldn’t breathe correctly or stop shaking for hours afterwards.  Within an hour I had the results:


And since nothing bad was showing up on the MRI, my doctor cleared me for exercise as long as I feel comfortable and pain-free!  He strongly suggested starting off by walking in my new shoes and then slowly moving back into running.  But he also told me that he wants to go over my results in person so that we can discuss some things that he noticed.  He said I need to stretch more and that he notices something that may need to be corrected with surgery in the future.  He also cut me off without answering one of my questions to tell me that he ran a 30 minute 10k when he was younger after taking time off from running so maybe I could still run a fast half marathon.  Way to make me feel totally inadequate.

Saturday:  This was supposed to be another rest day since my legs still felt weird, but my friend was in town and we ended up walking around on Cape Woronzof for 2 hours to watch the sunset.  We also had what I would call “Alaskan Fun”, a term I created to explain the crazy weird stuff that people in Alaska do to have fun that couldn’t be done anywhere else.  Our “Alaskan Fun” on Saturday consisted of taking chunks of ice and throwing them onto icebergs that were passing by.  It’s more fun than it sounds, I swear!  Does ice throwing count as cross training?



IMG_4105What our beach looks like with a few inches of snow on it!

Sunday:  Final rest day with lots of foam rolling!  

So overall, it’s not the week I was expecting.  It was pretty emotional and painful!  I learned that my shoes were definitely hurting me, and it’s good that I got new ones.  I learned that my current half marathon training plan will not get me to this race in one piece and I should probably consider one that includes walking so that I can ease back into it.  I learned that my anxiety issues are not totally cleared up.  I learned that my doctor is kind of cold – not only did he cut me off a few times and not smile once, he made a snide comment about how bright my new shoes are.  Thanks bro.  I don’t really want to go back there on Wednesday but I did pay thousands of dollars I don’t have on that MRI that he ordered so I might as well hear what’s on it.  I’m worried he’s going to tear me apart but I guess MRIs don’t lie.  I do know for a fact that nothing is showing up on it that will prevent me from getting back to running and I’m so excited about easing back into it!

Next week I plan on taking some slow and stretch-filled yoga classes (although my dr. wasn’t super excited about yoga) and trying some run/walk intervals on the treadmill using this training plan.  I will be starting in week #7  but think I’ll switch it with week #8 to give myself a shorter long run this weekend so that I won’t have to worry about getting hurt again.  If I’m still in pain after a run interval or two I’ll have to step down to walking only on the treadmill and then using the bike to keep up my endurance (the dr. okayed that!).  My next 6 weeks will be about being careful, making sure I’m feeling strong inside and out, and getting mentally back in the game.  But I’d love any advice on run/walk training plans, ways to stretch more, and tips on recovering from a week off!

28 thoughts on “Zion Half Marathon Training: Week 6 (AKA Injury Central)

  1. Hi Kristenk,
    Good luck with your half marathon training…and for your Doc, all he’s another story!
    Yes, you should try yoga, and good you’re taking more vitamin D as well. I wanted to pass on this info that will help with your walk/run training. http://www.jeffgalloway.com can offer you the best advise! Good luck, and I love reading your blogs.

    1. Thanks! I looked at Jeff Galloway’s plan and he’d have me run/walk 12 miles this weekend which is not possible with how far behind I am! I may try to use him for my next race though if the walk/run thing works out. Thanks for the advice!

  2. Do the yoga even if he wasn’t happy about it. You can never have too little of yoga. It’s benefits are way more than just the poses. Silly man! Glad you got good news though!! It’s reassuring to know that you don’t have a stress fracture. Hang in the there!!

    1. Yes! My legs still hurt a bit and I have no idea what running will feel like when I try it this week, but it feels so good to know it’s not anything serious! And yes, I’m definitely still doing yoga. My doctor is an idiot.

  3. The experience with that doctor sounds horrible 😦 I hate how many medical professionals just can’t/won’t listen to their patients. But good news on the no stress fracture! Good luck with the modified training and hopefully the new shoes will help.

    1. Thanks! Yeah I told my husband about it and he was like “Well yeah, he’s a doctor so of course he talked to you like that”. Ugh. I wish he could have been nice about it!

  4. It’s hard to find a sympathetic orthopedic doctor. Mine just said “stop running” when I was injured. You’ve got to look at the positive here – NO STRESS FRACTURE. Be very grateful for that. Take it easy for a while and do bike or elliptical training to maintain your cardio as you ease back into running. You can do it!

    1. You definitely are right about that! Mine at least is a runner so he understands – he was just so rude that I felt uncomfortable. But I’m so happy my injury isn’t something serious and I can try to get back into running this week! My legs are starting to feel like normal again so I’m pretty excited about that!

  5. Keep taking it easy! That is so frustrating and omg I HATE doctors, I avoid them like the plague! I’ve never met one I like…..they don’t know me or my body. I am sending all my love sweet heart! XOXO

    1. I hate them too! I was so mad at him. But at least he said all good things about the MRI results (actually now that I think about it another doctor read the results and he was just in charge of calling me…) and I can run again soon!

  6. I’m sorry you had such a stressful week but it’s good that you’ve been able to get to the bottom of things. I think yoga and stretching will help, and on the bright side, you don’t have a stress fracture! Keep your head up and keep taking it day by day.

    1. Thanks! I am so relieved that it’s not something serious and I can’t wait to ease back into a new training plan!

  7. Oh man, when you mentioned that long crack he saw on the xray, I thought for sure you had a stress fracture…but then, no stress fracture!!! Phew…roller coaster of emotions there! It sounds like you’re going to have plenty of time to heal and still be ready for the half.

    1. Yeah I thought that too! It was quite an emotional day. I saw the crack too and I’m shocked it didn’t end up being anything serious!

    1. No, he’s actually from a place inside of Alaska Regional Hospital…I hate to even put it on here in case he sees it. This guy had pictures of himself riding bikes and smiling on his website and it even mentioned he is a runner, so I figured I would be good. Turns out that I got the total opposite end of the spectrum of what you got! After he told me I was okay to run I was totally word vomiting all over the phone and trying not to happy cry, and I said “Oh thank god, because my mom was going to make me stop running!” because my mom is pretty mad at me. His response was “If someone told me at your age that I needed to stop running I would have killed myself”. I got really quiet after that haha.

    1. If that MRI was useless I will punch him in the face. It was really traumatic for me and it cost me a lot of money 😦 It wasn’t in his office or even the same hospital so I don’t think he’s making any money off it hopefully. I don’t even want to go back Wednesday but he’s probably going to charge me no matter what I do at this point!

  8. i’m so glad to hear it’s nothing serious! i used a run/walk training plan to build up to a 10k when i first started running. i also used one shortly at the start of 2015 to help me ease back in to running after a long break. i think it really helped, especially when i added my new shoes to the story; i haven’t had pain in almost 3 weeks, and have now eliminated walking breaks on my short runs! stay positive 🙂

  9. Ugh, how frustrating! BUT…no stress fracture! Taking time off is rough and gets you worried about race day but a few down days [or even weeks!] that get you to the start and finish uninjured are worth it, IMHO! Heal fast!

  10. Your doctor doesn’t sound like a very personable guy. Sheesh! I’m going through something similar with a knee and hip injury, so I can totally relate to the stress, pain and anxiety of it all. I just recently had a knee and hip MRI so I should know my results soon too! Good luck on your upcoming run!

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