Friday, January 22, 2016

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!

ONE of these days, I'm going to have this awesome blog post about how everything is great in life and all is moving in the right direction.  Training will be going well.  Personal life even better.  Work life also on par.

Today, however, is not that awesome blog post.


I believe where I last left off, I had just gotten back into training after bailing on IMAZ.  The holidays happened.  Lots of fun, family and food was had.  I got my workouts in every day but was largely unfocused.  I worried I didn't really want to be training this year.  I had a major heart to heart with my coach about possibly not racing pro anymore.  New Years came.  I started to get really excited for QT2 pro camp in Florida in February.  Training started to come around.  And then it seemed like GAME ON.  My head felt screwed on right for the first time in ages, and although I was still pretty unfit, my mind was firing on all cylinders.  If you can get the head right, the body will eventually come.

And then, when I was on a run about 2.5 weeks ago, my back really started to hurt.  I finished the run (which was an easy 5 miler - nothing out of the ordinary) and my back REALLY hurt.  Like knives stabbing me in my back.  Like really limping around.  Grrrrr....

I spent the next 2 weeks going to PT, ART, a chiropractor, getting Graston, etc... all with absolutely no improvement.  In fact it was starting to feel worse.  I was still doing a bit of swimming and riding as these activities didn't seem to bother it much, but running was absolutely out of the question.  Walking without LOTS of Motrin on board was also pretty much out of the question.

I started to become concerned that I might need something like a cortisone shot (cortisone is like GOLD in my book) so I went to see a sports medicine/ortho doctor (whom I randomly picked but who ended up being AWESOME).  Her first words after she examined me were "I think you have a stress fracture in your sacrum."  To which I thought "NOPE!!"  I've never had a stress fracture.  I was BARELY running (max of 35 miles a week).  BARELY training (maybe 16 or 17 hours a week).  Stress fracture not a possibility.  But of course I agreed to a MRI, which I had this past Tuesday.

Yesterday my doctor called me on my way home from the pool and informed me that, I do indeed, have a stress fracture in my sacrum.  Was clear as day on the MRI.

She continued to talk about crutches and calcium and vitamin D and bone stimulators and all sorts of things but I couldn't really listen.  All I could think is:

Big thanks to Meg and Brad Strater for introducing me to this gem.

Seriously, ain't nobody got time for that!  A stress fracture was most certainly not part of my plan.  2016 was the year that things were going to start going RIGHT.  And already, just a few weeks into the year, I was veering off course.


Am I bummed?  Absolutely.  Really bummed.  Especially because now I can't go to camp in Florida and I have to spend the entire winter in Boston (it's cold here, people!).  I absolutely hate just sitting around on the couch and that's what I have to do for the next 4 weeks while my bone knits itself back together.  I think what bums me out the MOST though is this feeling like I just can't get my act together.  SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, WHY CAN'T I GET MY SH$#$T TOGETHER?!  All moving parts going FORWARD.  That's all I ask.  But I haven't been able to achieve that for a while and I'm starting to feel major frustration.  That's just my honest, raw feeling.

I feel like this blog entry, and all my entries from the past year, are yelling quite loudly "woe is me."  Which is really the last thing I want.  I've been seriously struggling in SOME portion of my life for the past 12-13 months, this is most definitely true.  And I don't want to make it sound like it HASN'T been a struggle or paint a rosy picture like social media tends to do.  Life ain't perfect and it ain't pretty sometimes.  I'm no exception.  There have been A LOT of tears over the last year (at one point I couldn't get past 3 or 4 days in a row without tears!) and that's the honest truth.

But the honest truth is also that I haven't lost perspective, of which I'm very thankful.  I coach an awesome woman who is an ER physician, and just the other day we had a wonderful conversation about perspective.  You gain a lot of perspective working in a hospital.  Perspective is a POWERFUL, powerful thing.

I have a very small fracture (that I will admit to being EXTREMELY painful, darnit!) in my back.  I don't have cancer.  Nobody died.  The sun still rose this morning.  I have amazing friends, bosses, roommates, and family and I think they still like me (one more crying episode though and I might be voted off the island).  I still have a roof over my head and food to eat.  I have a job that I absolutely love.  I can VERY much see this picture of a very happy and fulfilling life and I'm very much headed in that direction.  Every single day.  I really am light years ahead of where I was even just 6 months ago.  The key for me, is to keep perspective and to "enjoy" the bumps/hills/mountains, on my way there.  Very cliche, but it isn't really about the end goal, it's about the journey to get there.  And to keep laughing.  I MUST keep laughing.  As powerful as perspective is, laugher is just as powerful.  So when Linsey asked me if I knew how to properly attach a coffee mug to my crutches and John asked me if this stress fracture meant snow tubing was off the list, I laughed.  Really hard.  And smiled.  It's amazing what smiling can do.

So if you need me, I'll be on the couch.  Knitting bones and writing training plans and thinking up ways to make my athletes faster.  I'll probably be watching some Netflix.  Who knows, maybe I'll even read a book (gasp!).  I promised myself I won't push this thing.  I'm REALLY going to let it heal.  I'm REALLY going to give my beaten up, stressed body a chance to REALLY fix itself.  I'll probably take a nap or 20 and get back to sleeping a lot each night...  2016, you and I aren't through just yet!

And now for some pictures.  If you actually read all the gibberish up above, you deserve at least a picture or two...

I got a SNAZZY new bike for Christmas!  AND IT'S PURPLE!  Can't wait until it warms up some and I can cruise around on this puppy.

Who, me?  

I went to the library!  Admittedly for the free wi-fi though.  Next time I go back, perhaps I'll get a book too.  :)

Clayton sandwich!  My sister and bro-in-law, at Christmas.

And my parents.  When I think of all the ups and downs we've been through.  Amazing what parents do for you.  Love you both to the ends of the earth.

Also quite amazing what friends do for you!  These ladies are simply priceless.
In other news, I thought it would be fun to get a pet otter.  My roommate did not agree.

So instead I asked for a weasel.  This was also met with disdain.

FYI, I had THE worst case scenario for this most recent MRI: closed machine WITH my head in first.  Holy claustrophobia, Batman!  I had to go to my happy place.  And promise myself M&Ms.

Hmm...train wreck?  Okay, yea...that sounds about right.  But at least I can laugh about it!  :)


  1. Hang in there. I've had four stress fractures, so I know what it's like to have to sit and wait for things to heal. Take the time to get things figured out and find ways to prevent it from happening again (obviously it took me 4 tries for that!). If you're interested, this blog has great info: I'm happy to answer any questions too.

  2. Oh Beth, I'm feeling for you. I had an athlete fracture her sacrum in a bike crash and I know they are so painful. Sending the most healing and loving thoughts. Xo!

  3. I know what you mean about just feeling like above all, please, can I just get this body together and functional... Bones heal though, way faster than ligaments, and you'll be back at it soon! Free advice from someone who's kinda been there, in a way: get some Symphytum, and whenever it does become time to hang up the SBR, there are so many other great fulfilling new activities to take up and take you cool places out there that you'll wonder why you spent so long finding them :)

  4. I love your new bike. That will definitely be fun.

    Sucks about your current injury. If it helps you, this morning I took my dog Hope for a short run, and tweaked my calf that has been bugging me.

    Running is the WORST!! I hate it. ;)

    Take care Beth, and best of luck.

  5. Oh Beth, we have so much in common...however in an unfortunate kind of way! :( I know just how you feel on all fronts- personal life issues, training/body issues, work, etc. In fact, my pelvis fracture from August of last year is still not healed, which I just found out 2 weeks ago from an MRI. I was completely under the impression that it was healed based on an X-Ray but was still having pain somewhere in the area (didn't know if it was connective tissue, muscle, etc...) Hence the MRI. I had the same reaction to the news that I was still broken, and am now using a bone stimulator and taking more recovery time and pushing the start of the racing season off even further. So while the doc told me I didn't do anything wrong and sometimes bones just don't heal like they should, I can't help but wonder if I didn't return to activity too soon? Why couldn't I be more patient and just give it time to heal? But as much as I love beating myself up about it, I realize that it is what it is and I have to just keep things in perspective- like you said, a broken bone really isn't THAT big a deal and in the mean time there are plenty of things to keep us busy and make our lives better in other ways. Take advantage of the time that we normally complain we don't have and enjoy it for a change! And most importantly, surround yourself with the right people to help you through these frustrating weeks- whoever they are for favorite people are those who also make me laugh, and inspire and motivate me to keep working on the little things (that I normally push under the rug) that can make me better and stronger so that when I do return to training/racing I'm stronger both mentally and physically. Some of the most successful athletes have had some serious challenges to overcome- I don't see that as a coincidence. They're actually tougher for overcoming what they've been through and have gained that all important perspective! Anyway, sorry for the long comment- I just thought I'd share in case you want someone to talk to who really understands...I'm happy to chat :)

  6. Best I can do is give you a virtual hug. <3

  7. Best I can do is give you a virtual hug. <3

  8. This hits home RIGHT NOW but it goes back to exactly what you said. The sun is shinning, the animals are still being silly and the year is still full. I just have to be patient so when it is time to come back I'll be even stronger ��.