Luckily I was able to get an appointment with a wonderful sports med Ortho, who happens to specializes in working with runners and endurance athletes. His first question was: "What are your running plans, and your target races?". It's great to have someone who gets it, and understands the drive. He spent about 30 minutes doing a full exam, going over all of my issues in detail with me.
My X-rays showed that I didn't appear to have a stress fracture (whew!), so my doctor recommended the next step of an MRI to get a better look at what's going on. The results of that came back, and show that I have bone marrow edema within the medial sesamoid with stress reaction. My first thought was "what the heck is that?!".
Basically it's swelling in the sesamoid and bone, without the fracture. So my instructions for the next 10 days are no running and I have to wear a lovely pad on the bottom of my foot to relieve pressure. On top of no running, I also can't do any weight-bearing exercises during this treatment. And since it's too cold and icy right now to ride my bike I'm trying to find other ways to keep exercising. I would do yoga, but that brings me to my other injury...a high hamstring strain (oh joy!).
My doctor gave me a few options for treatment, ranging from continued rest up to pretty intense physical therapy using the Graston technique. Graston is deep manipulation of the injured area with tools that I'm pretty sure we're used as medieval torture devices.
Yeah...those look a lot of fun! I already know I'm most likely going to come out pretty bruised, and it's probably going to hurt - a lot - but the doctor believes this will be the solution to my hamstring issues. With this the therapist can really get into it and work out the scar tissue that's built up over the last couple of years. They'll also do some additional massage and electric stim, and I can't wait to get started on Monday!
Even though I'm injured, I'm really okay with this forced time off. The only reason I'm a bit frustrated is that I've been working on losing my marathon 15 lbs. I've done well so far, and have lost about 5 lbs over the last three weeks. I may look at joining XSport so I can swim and ride the bike, as well as add in some strength training. I'm keeping up with my routine of getting up early on Saturdays and heading to Run Club at Dick Pond Athletics, and helped set up for the Valentine's Day Love Run they had today. It gives me a chance to see my awesome friends, and helps me still feel like a runner.
My hope is that I'll be well on the road to recovery soon. I'm planning to run the Shamrock Shuffle 8K for the fifth year in a row. This is the race that got me to fall in love with running, so I'm crossing everything to be well enough to run it. Especially since they're giving out medals this year :-)! Then I'll move on to training for the Rock & Roll Half in Nashville the last week of April. Now it's time to step up that cross-training!