March 23, 2008
what a drag it is getting old
By the end of the day yesterday I was walking with a limp. The pain in my hip woke me up this morning for the second day in a row. As I drank my morning coffee I read tale after tale of femoral-neck stress fracture, and I learned that it is not like a regular sfx you just leave alone to heal. Often, folks are sentenced to bed rest while they await the very invasive pins-and-screws surgery that seems to be the tx of choice. Scared me silly, it did.
Still, I decided to approximate some kind of workout (just not a Big one), so I walked briskly 2 miles, then biked 2 hours, which is the longest I've ever spent on a bike. In the early Easter-Sunday morning there was very little traffic, and I found some long straights to charge up and down - "charging" for me being 15-16 mph - so I could get the heart rate up as much as possible. It wasn't remotely like running, but it wasn't like sitting around eating Easter candy either. On my travels I saw a couple of pet bunnies running loose in someone's yard, and heard - but didn't see - a brass band by the river at dawn. They were either on the bank or on a boat, but they were definitely doing the sunrise-service thing. The "workout" left my hip feeling better, but after sitting a half-hour it stiffened right up again, and the limp is back.
The dilemma: if this is a stress fracture, I need to be off it as much as possible, because according to the Internet it can develop into a full break, which has bad consequences, and requires treatment I can't pay for and time off work that I can't take. But if it isn't a stress fracture, I need to xtrain as much as possible so's not to lose fitness while I'm waiting for whatever-it-is to heal.
And of course, the Big Question: at my age, if I have to take significant time off running, won't I lose absolutely everything?
Posted by joe positive at March 23, 2008 11:33 AM
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ACK!!! I hope it is NOT a stress fracture!! I really don't know what to tell you, but that reall stinks. I am highly confident, however, that you could easily take several months off and come back as strong as ever. You have a solid base. While it may fade, you can get it back.
Posted by: mindi at March 23, 2008 12:33 PM
I developed a femoral neck stress fracture from running and had to use crutches for three months to prevent it from cracking beyond 50%, which automatically means it'll keep on cracking until the neck breaks off. Then being able to again run is the least of your worries. The only true way to determine that type of break is with a bone scan, which I realize is out of your price range.
Unfortunately, if it is that type of fracture, you'll have to continue cross training with the bike for a couple of months and then very slowly return to running. That's what I did and surprisingly regained some speed quickly. A friend in the 6:30-mile range suffered the same injury and also came back strong, recently competing in the U.S. National Cross Country Championships. So, don't give up.
Posted by: Anne at March 25, 2008 9:06 PM