Saturday, March 12, 2011

Struggling with injury

Basically the nerve doctor in Kansas City was right, I should not run marathons due to a groin injury I sustained when in labor with Lincoln. My left leg (inner thigh nerve system) is damaged and therefore has the endurance of a 65-year-old woman. So after I would say about 15 miles it re-routes all communication to use back up muscles. This throws off my gait and over uses other smaller muscles in my left leg to the point of injury. Basically my left leg stops working completely near the end of the marathon, even if I it is extremely strong due extensive training. It is the nerves that shut down and fail me.

So I'm over three months from the race and I still cannot run three miles without feeling a lot of leg pain and tightness the day afterwards. The last time I overextended my left leg in a race was when I ran the "hilliest 5k in America" only months after birthing out Lincoln. It just goes to show that I can really gut out any race, even when I'm injured. But it also reminds me of when Paula Radcliffe (the World Record holder in the marathon for women) gutted out an entire marathon at the 2008 Olympics while injured and the commentators said, "this is a gutty performance but I really hope Paula isn't doing permanent damaged to herself with this race."

I keep asking myself what is the limit then of my legs endurance. When is the point of no return, after which I really should NOT be running. My leg pain started, I think, when I started into the last half of my marathon training (running 15-20 miles every Saturday morning). The pain was only slight then, however, so I ignored it. I also wonder if I were to invest in regular weekly massage during the last stage of marathon preparation, could I still push through more marathon seasons.

This injury took a year to recover from last time and is especially disheartening because I have dreams to run a 50k trail run someday (which is over 30 miles) and compete in other endurance races (perhaps a half Ironman like my brother Eddie). Today I go in for a 90 minute massage session. If I feel this massage therapist is effective, I'll sign up for a massage every one to two weeks, until my leg recovers. That was the ONLY effective treatment last time, massage along with yoga. It is painful deep massage, that is the only one that works for this injury, but I'm tired of not being able to run. POUT!

On a side note I did run three miles this week and despite injury and being four months pregnant I ran the first mile at around 9:50 and the second at around 10:20. My leg gave out the last miles and slowed to around a 12:00 but my heart and lungs felt totally capable of going much faster.

Cheer me on please!

1 comment:

Kari said...

Sarah, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. :/ I can't imagine having nerve pain like that, let alone running with it. Praying it goes away soon . . .

I know that nerve damage is not the same as joint injuries, but if it gives you any hope, in college I was told by sports doctors that I'd never fully shake my IT tendonitis, that it would always recur. It returned after my first marathon (but much less severe) and I wore a medical band while running my first RCW relay, but I haven't felt it since. Pain-free knees 6 years and counting. I hope your doctor's diagnosis is as short-lived as mine was. Take care, friend.