“Bless Your Heart”

A little injury update for your reading pleasure …

If you are struggling with a common running injury (such as plantar fasciitis or iliotibial band syndrome), it’s nice to read posts of someone who has been through the same thing and how they overcame it. I would venture to say that a busted knee and face, fractured teeth and mild concussions are not super common running injuries (at least not all combined).

Who knew that running was such a contact sport?! [Insert face plant palm here]

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It can also be helpful is to read about how avid running enthusiasts deal with the dreaded time off. When you’re recovering from a running injury, you become very aware that running is indeed a big part of your life (but it is not your entire life). Dealing with the physical pain of the injury is not as difficult as dealing with the frustration of not being able to run (in my opinion).

To make matters worse (or perhaps better), we are currently a non-running household. Daniel is also benched for a little while (he’s got plantar fasciitis w/ some micro-tears in the fascia). I would almost venture to say that it has actually been good that neither of us are able to run. Misery does indeed love company.

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Kidding … kind of :/

So far, so good. I haven’t run in 6 days (but who is counting) and I am surviving! I honestly thought that I would be back running after 2 or 3 days, but it seems that was overly optimistic. I took it totally easy for 2 days. Walking was a challenge because my knee was ginormous.

Not normal …

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My lip was also huge, but I’ll spare you from any more pictures of that. The lip wasn’t affecting my running (or lack thereof). Running Wild had a Halloween themed run Tuesday evening that I hoped to attend (again, overly optimistic) and I was going to go as “Botox Gone Bad.” Clever, yes?

Tuesday I planned to go back to work. I was going to stay for half of the day and see how it went. Tuesday morning I had a really bad headache and when I got to work I couldn’t really focus on anything. I was just staring at my computer screens, but not really processing anything. It was an odd feeling and definitely not normal for me. I don’t usually have trouble focusing.

I texted Daniel and told him that my head was hurting and he suggested that I go to the ER and that they would likely do a CT scan on my brain to make sure that I didn’t have a subdural hematoma (blood in the brain (I had to ask what it was)). Cue anxiety.

The good news is that my brain is fine (aside from whatever case of crazy-head we were already dealing with), but they doctors diagnosed me with a mild concussion. I guess when you fall and hit your face/head on the concrete, it happens. To recover from a concussion you A) get plenty of rest, B) don’t think too hard and C) ease back into your normal, daily activities (i.e., running and working).

I’m just hanging out with the dog. Not running. Not using my brain.

The body is a funny thing. As soon as one area heals, other injuries start to surface. At least that’s what seemed to be the case with my teeth. I know that I mentioned soreness in my teeth earlier, but Wednesday and Thursday I began having extreme sensitivity. I couldn’t even drink lukewarm water without it causing me pain and cold and hot liquids were completely intolerable. This was a major bummer because I was relying on smoothies and frozen yogurt as dietary staples.

I was supposed to see the dentist Monday (after I get my stitches out), but since the pain seemed to be worsening, I called Thursday and thankfully they were able to work me in. The diagnosis there was fractured enamel on my front teeth and also some shifting of the teeth due to the impact of the hit. Apparently my front teeth could possibly die at some point in the near or distant future and at that point, I will need a root canal. Perfect.

Let’s talk about some happier things shall we?

Contrary to how the first part of this post may seem, I am really trying my best to keep a positive attitude. Life goes on all around us, regardless of how we choose to see it. We can choose how to interpret our environment. These interpretations are based on our attitudes. Like the saying goes: Change your attitude, change your life.

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I’m not saying that life is all rainbows and sunshine, but it’s not all doom and despair, woe is me, either. I still feel extremely grateful that it wasn’t worse. All of these things will heal and I will be back running in no time.

Speaking of running! My coach assures me that in one down week (with some light cross training), I will not lose any of the long-term adaptations (VO2 max, lactate threshold, aerobic threshold, etc.) that I have been working so hard to build. There will be a slight decrease in short-term adaptations (mitochondrial content throughout the muscle fibers, enzymatic capacity, APT production (i.e., all the stuff that makes my head hurt because I am not supposed to be thinking)). However, even the short-term levels should be back to 100% within 3 to 4 days of regular training. Woo hoo!

After a few days off completely, I decided to try out the elliptical. The elliptical is much easier on the joints than running and thankfully, my knee didn’t hurt at all on the elliptical. Your body also stays somewhat stationary on the elliptical (no bouncing up and down (i.e., sloshing the brain)) and there is a much lower risk of falling. I am very thankful to have some form of activity to help keep me from going completely stir crazy.

One thing I know for sure is that when I am able to run again (hopefully by Monday … fingers crossed), I am truly going to appreciate every step. Sometimes taking a little break (forced or not) is good! It can give you a new perspective and outlook.

Speaking of this new outlook, I had 3 different people say “bless your heart” to me yesterday! If you’ve seen Steel Magnolias, you know that “bless your heart” is pretty much the worst thing you could ever possibly say about a person. Ha! I know that “bless your heart” isn’t really an automatic insult. It could very well mean “That is a terrible thing that happened and I’m genuinely sorry.” Thanks to this new perspective, I am going to choose to believe the latter.

What’s going on this weekend? Anyone racing? Tell me about it. I need to live vicariously through your miles!

10 thoughts on ““Bless Your Heart”

  1. Oh, I hate “bless your heart”. Being in the South, we hear it a lot…

    I hope you have a speedy recovery. Good call to get checked out when your head started hurting and just take the time off. I agree with your coach, I am sure that a week off won’t make your training completely go bad. With a concussion and all the stitches, you could probably do a lot more harm running too soon… more harm than what you will “lose” taking an extra day or so off. Sorry that Daniel isn’t running either and you’re probably both going crazy being on the injured list!

    Plus, you never know who may fall and get a concussion… and search google… and find your blog and these posts. Really.

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    • So true! It’s always amusing to read the search terms that bring people to the blog. In the grand scheme of things, taking extra time off and easy days is much smarter than trying to come back too quickly. Running will be there. It is more patient than I am!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t hear “bless your heart” out here in California but I will keep your perspective in mind in Savannah this weekend:)

    Not running is boring but it’s kind of nice every now and then to take it easy and remember what it feels like to have rested legs.
    Hope you are better soon!

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      • Right? It used to be named something else but things had gotten stale and I was struggling to find a reason to keep blogging. I was out on a hike/trail run one day and bit it, hard. One second I was running, one second I was eating dirt. I was at least a mile or two away from the trailhead (and my Garmin was fine, it was the first thing I checked LOL) so I hopped up and kept going. Have a pretty great aftershot when my boyfriend and our friend caught up to me. Sitting in a stream, washing off the blood, very nonchalant. Anyhoo, part of the name came from that, part of it came from all the setbacks I’d been having in running (injuries, coaching changes, etc) and my refusal to quit.

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  3. I don’t really hear “bless your heart” either so I’m not sure how to take that when/if someone says that to me…but I do feel your pain!!!!!!! like really. It’s been 3 weeks, 3 FULL weeks of not running, not doing any strength training, not doing any form of exercise and it is killing me!
    I look at my pooch and I couldn’t tell whether my incision area (it’s right next to my belly button) is swollen or my whole belly is just swollen… or I’m just losing all my muscles… I was doing so good with the running, strength training, and yoga so I am definitely bummed that I cannot do anything for another 2 weeks.
    I hope you have a speedy recovery and good luck on your first run!!!!

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  4. My boyfriend is from Mississippi so he introduced me to the “you’re an idiot” meaing behind bless your heart. Occasionally it does mean something kind, but most of the time it means something else. We used to say it about my cat Tucker, when he’d do something particularly daft. He wasn’t the smartest tool in the shed, but what a sweet cat.

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