THE LEG: TWO YEARS LATER
Today marks two years since I busted up my leg/quad/knee whatever walking to Pullman. At the one year mark last August, it was still giving me a decent amount of trouble. Twinging on and off and the like. I was still pretty scared to try running.
Now, though? I barely even think about it. I start my walk and head down the hill toward the river without that fear that I’ll somehow mess up my leg on the hill (going downhill had always been the most painful). I’ve spontaneously started to run (with my backpack on) on some of my walks, barely even worrying about the injury. I am seriously considering trying to get back into running enough to be able to do the Calgary Marathon next year. Like I’ve said, the cardiovascular endurance will probably not be the issue—the only issue might be the injury. But I’m feeling so confident in it now that I feel like I can finally stop using that as an excuse.
So that’s pretty awesome.
Hopefully I won’t hurt it again.
Hopefully I won’t hurt anything else.
I’ve been running (okay, jogging) miles 12 and 13 on my walks on and off for the past week or so, and it’s felt FANTASTIC. I don’t feel comfortable running more than that because I have my backpack with me and running with the backpack is super awkward, but I feel like if I were to try it without the backpack, it would feel even better.
I love running, but I’ve been so wary of doing it ever since I hurt my leg (which has been like two years ago now, haha). But these past few little mini-runs? No pain at all. I hardly even think about the injury.
That makes me want to run more.
That makes me feel like if I were to train (VERY SLOWLY) for it, I could do the Calgary Marathon next year. I used to be able to do 10k runs without any real issues (again, the only reason I haven’t run that far lately is ‘cause of TEH LEG), and I’m sure I could build my confidence back up to that and then do some actual training to get to the marathon level.
This is all assuming I don’t hurt my leg again. And that I don’t hurt anything else.
Hopefully I won’t!
Alrighty, so now that I’ve got my Garmin and can actually walk an accurate 15 miles instead of “15 miles” based on an estimated stride length, I now know that I was shorting my distance by a few miles each walk. This also means that my actual speed is quite a bit slower than I had previously thought.
That also makes walking 100 miles in a day a lot less realistic, because I’d have to go at a pace of 4.17 miles per hour, and I don’t think I can do that. Especially for 24 hours.
So here’s a more realistic goal: walking 100 kilometers in a day. That’s 60.2 miles, and at my current pace of 15 miles per four hours, that’s about 16 hours’ worth of walking (assuming I can keep my pace that whole time, which I suspect I can).
I bet I could pull that off, huh? My only concern is the leg…would that set back all the progress I’ve made in getting it to the point where it doesn’t (usually) hurt on my walks?
Maybe we’ll see.
The LEG, the LEG, the LEG the LEG the LEG
Today marks the one-year anniversary of me screwing up my leg/thigh/whatever. I still don’t know exactly what happened because I never did go to the doctor (I am a responsible adult, after all, living in a country where it doesn’t cost your first-born son to go to a doctor), but I’m going to say that it was a muscle tear. That’s the only thing I can imagine a) feeling like that, b) hurting in the very specific situations where it hurt, and c) taking this damn long to heal.
It’s still not all the way healed. I feel it twinge on occasion and am still a bit terrified to run, kneel, or even just stretch the muscles in that leg. But it is a lot better than it was. It’s finally to the point where I’m not constantly thinking about it. It’s finally to the point where I feel like I can start pushing it on my walks a little bit more.
It would have been great if it had never happened, but I suppose, given how much I walk, there could have been many more worse injuries I could have sustained. And honestly, as I’ve said before, it probably would have healed faster if I’d actually given it a chance to heal rather than pounding it into the pavement for 15 miles a day after two days of “rest.”
Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.
NOW what did I do?
Screwed up my leg again. My knee, more specifically. I was just walking down the hall (because apparently all my injuries happen when I’m just walking like a normal human being) and got this super sharp pain right below my knee cap. Now my knee feels super unstable and it hurts to walk.
I’m not sure what I did, but here we go again I guess.
Edit: now that it’s been a day or so, this actually feels like that runner’s knee I had in my other leg last year. That pain was on the outside of my knee, this is in the middle/lower part of my knee, but apparently that’s where runner’s knee pain is most common.
Edit again: the more I walk on it, the better it feels. Which is weird. BUT I’LL TAKE IT. I hope the pain completely goes away soon, ‘cause there’s no way in hell I’m doing another year of this “pain while walking” nonsense.
Edit yet again: now the pain’s completely gone. Dafuq.
How To Get Over a Leg Injury: Claudia Mahler Style
Step 1: Give injured leg two days of rest.
Step 2: Continue to walk 15 miles a day on injured leg, ignoring pain that is actually quite severe.
Step 3: Shun doctors.
Step 4: Shun the pain. Walk through it.
Step 5: Occasionally push it too far and re-injure it a little bit.
Step 6: Repeat steps 2 through 5.
Step 7: It gets better (mostly?) eventually, so be proud of your completely irresponsible healing technique.
Sweet dreams are made of bees / holy shit, that’s a lot of bees
Mom: You should eat more protein; it might help your leg heal faster.
Me: Okay! *eats entire bag of cheese*
Me: Leg, why aren’t you better?
Me: Do…do you need more cheese?
Me: You probably need more cheese.
Leg: Maybe you could stop pounding me into the pavement for four hours every day, that might help me feel better.
Me: *buys more cheese after 15-mile walk*
I…I don’t do well with moderation.
MY STUPID LEG IS STUPID
I hurt my leg again. Not nearly as badly as the first time, but I can definitely tell this is going to be a setback.
I was out walking this afternoon and, admittedly, was pushing things a bit, trying to get back to my old speed. Everything was going fine and then suddenly I felt this weird sensation followed by immediate sharp pain in the exact same part of my leg as the original injury.
Unlike the first time I hurt it, the pain subsided quite rapidly (the first time it just kept hurting VERY BADLY as I walked). However, I could feel mild pain and a lot of discomfort as I kept going.
That happened at like mile eight; I was able to finish the 15-mile walk, though my speed freaking tanked because I didn’t want to screw things up any more than I already had.
So yeah. This is incredibly frustrating. I felt like I was really making progress and things were finally starting to get back to normal…and now, just by walking, I manage to screw it up again.
Really, I shouldn’t complain too much as it’s definitely not as bad as it was the first time (and honestly, all it’s doing is knocking my speed back down to the point where it doesn’t hurt)…but I’m going to complain a little, because DAMMIT JUST HEAL ALREADY.
I CAN RUN!!!!
So the weather in Moscow today sucked (rain). I went to the UI Rec Center to do my walking because even four hours on a treadmill beats walking in rain.
I did 13 miles walking, and as I was doing so, I realized two things:
1. I had the treadmill set on 0 incline. Ever since I got hurt back in August, I’ve had to have the treadmill set at least at 1.5 incline, because this injury, whatever it is, is strange as hell, and a slightly inclined treadmill always resulted in less pain than a “flat” one. Not today. The flat felt good.
2. In fact, there was no pain. At all. I still get twinges every once in a while, especially when walking, but not today. No pain.
So I decided to stop the treadmill at 13 miles, change my pedometer stride from “walk” to “run,” and gave running a shot.
And it worked! Nothing broke/snapped/died. I ran two miles before deciding to stop before anything did break/snap/die.
In fact, as I sit here writing this, I’m pretty sure every part of my body except my injured leg is sore (probably from trying to compensate for it while running, haha).
So there’s that.
I’m going to try to take it slow—which is really difficult for me—but I will work back up to 10k. I will do more half marathons.
I will do my marathon.
Injury Update: One Month Later
So it’s been a month since I busted up my leg/knee/whatever. It still hurts and seems to hurt the most when I do seemingly benign things like stand a little bit different than normal or straighten my leg all the way out when I lay down or really weird stuff like that.
Walking is a very slow, tedious, fear-inducing process still. I have no idea what I did to it (doctors are for SQUARES), so I don’t know what might hurt it again (or just make it worse).
I guess I’ll just keep…walking? Hopefully it’ll get better on its own.
Pain is just pain leaving the body
More specifically, my leg hurts.
But if you think I’m going to let pain get in the way of my walking goal, you don’t know me.
Hell, I was peeing blood in July due to how much I was walking. Did that stop me? Hell no.
(Sorry, this injury is my life now.)
NO PAIN NO GAIN
I will make my walking goal this year.
Nothing will stop me.
No one will stop me.
Injury? Hah. I will walk through the pain.
Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.
(Sorry, I needed to self-motivate today ‘cause I feel like lazy poops.)
My speed has freaking tanked due to whatever I did to my knee.
It’s really, really frustrating.
Sorry, too frustrated to blog.
I could only do 14 miles today. I might have been able to do 15, but I didn’t want to push things too much.
It all still hurts, but if I walk really slowly and kinda wonky, I can start collecting miles.
I’m so slow, though. 3.86 MPH versus 4.90 MPH at the beginning of last week.
I used to walk 30 miles a day…but then I took an arrow to the knee
Or rather, I took an “I don’t know what the hell I did, it just started randomly hurting” to the knee and now I can’t walk for shit.
Seriously. I was out walking this morning, planning just to do 20 miles because we were going to drive up to Coeur d’Alene this afternoon, and around mile 10 my right knee kind of started to twinge. Every muscle/joint/tendon/ligament/fiber in my lower body has hurt at some point on these long walks, so I kept going. By mile 12, it hurt so badly I was actually crying. Managed to hobble 4 more miles back into town and called my mom to pick me up at Winco.
I have no idea what I did, but it hurts to walk and everything is terrible. And I can’t go to a doctor or Quick Care or anything ‘cause I don’t have insurance in the States anymore.
Edit 1: alright, so it doesn’t actually seem like I hurt my knee. It’s seeming more like it’s a quad muscle thing or a connective tissue thing, though the symptoms I have aren’t really a great match to anything I can find on the internet. Maybe a quad strain or sprain? Maybe a tear? Maybe I screwed up the connective tissue?
I’ll take a day or so off. Maybe two. Then I’ll try a walk again.
Edit 2: man, this turned into a thing.