Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Weekend & a Bummer

I left on Thursday after work and met 2 friends in Kaohsiung- the big city in the south of Taiwan- and stayed overnight there. I think it's a pleasant and convenient city and I'd like to go back.
Anyways, we left in the morning for Kenting and spent 2 days there. It was really nice- it was actually hot enough to go in the ocean on Friday (although when the sun went behind the clouds it was cold.) The ocean is so beautiful down there. We did a little hiking but it was crowded so we just hung out at the ocean (also found a "closed" beach that was empty and had lots of chairs for sitting- we figured we'd stay until someone told us to leave but no one ever did) and ate Thai food for every meal. It was nice- English menus everywhere, the girl at our hotel even spoke English.
So, it was nice to get away. Now comes the Bummer.
I have been upping my running with a secret goal of doing a marathon in Fong Yuan in early April, which seemed like a fitting finale to my time in Taiwan and a celebration of my "hometown" here. I actually started doing triathlons because my body just couldn't handle too much running, but my running was really good in preparation for my last triathlon (no shin splits or other major pain) and I slowly added mileage and eventually started to follow a program that has you running 3 days a week.
Then I started getting pain in my lower shins that would hurt more after I ran than when I ran. I randomly found a blog that described my exact symptoms and then "turns out it's a stress fracture" (which is when you get a tiny hairline crack from repeated stress- usually in the lower leg or foot- basically from running too much and your muscles tire out and the bone starts absorbing most of the impact.) Then I found a things on runner's world website where you can click where you hurt and find out what injury you have, and sure enough, stress fracture. Finally this weekend I was reading a new book I got that has more about the marathon plan I was following and I started to admit to myself that maybe I have this stress fracture. I even didn't do my long run while I was in Kenting.
Today I went to the bone doctor (gotta love Taiwan- why not go to a specialist for $5 on Sunday afternoon) and just told him I have persistent pain in this one spot- nothing more. "Do you exercise a lot?" he asked. "Um, yeah." "What kind?" I even listed my exercises as swimming, and biking, and some running, to throw him off the track. "Do you run more thank 20 k every week?" he asked. "Yeah." And right away he said it's a stress fracture or maybe just a pre-fracture (they don't usually show up on x-rays.)
So, I'm doing no running for 2 weeks, and then if the pain is totally gone I can try a little running and if it's not, 2 more weeks off. I can still bike as long as it doesn't hurt and of course swimming is fine. So the marathon is probably out- we'll see but I don't want to just fracture my leg more. (It is less scary than it sounds- they're not uncommon among runners and it's not as bad as a real broken bone.) I could do a half-marathon or a 10k in Fong Yuan that same day but that doesn't seem like such a symbolic conclusion to my time in Taiwan. (which will technically end in the summer but the marathon could have symbolized the beginning of the end?) In the meantime I will work on strengthening my muscles and losing a little more weight, both of which will help when I do start running again.
:( I know it's not a big deal and I'm not like super-depressed but it is a bummer, espeically because I was so careful and totally following all the rules about how not to get injured. Oh, well.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Well that's a pitty. I have a friend who cracked some ribs and he went to a herbal store and they sold him some sort of calcium pills for broken bones, he said the pain stopped in 2 days and was feeling better in 2 weeks. Maybe check out a Chinese pharmacy and get some medicine. Or maybe a Chinese foot massage? I had one when I was in Taichung. They told me the pain was good for the circulation..ha ha ha....It's +15 F here now and we have 12" of snow...I can't wait to come back to Taiwan and warm up. My heart and body. :-)