This morning, I felt really sad, but not about anything in particular.  I had a nightmare last night about today’s MRI reading where they said “Your bones are riddled with fractures!  Try not to get out of the chair for the next 6 months.”  Therefore, I woke up with a vague feeling of doom, but there was something else in there too.  This was in stark contrast to my mood yesterday afternoon, which had me dancing around the house and laughing at nothing – exactly the mood that under normal circumstances would inspire an impromptu 14+ miler.  But that’s beside the point.

I think my funk had to do with the fact that I got to talk to a lot of my best friends from home yesterday, which got me thinking about the things that I miss, including fall in New England.  There is nothing in the world better than the sweet smell of autumn decay that floats on the crisp air on an October morning run, when you can’t decide what’s prettier: the bright blue sky or the orange trees.  More than once I have thrown off my breathing because I couldn’t stop taking deep breaths of air in through my nose, just because it smells so good.  It’s never going to smell good here.  It’s part city and part swamp.  Bah humbug.

Anyway, even though I didn’t have to be anywhere until 10:45 today, I still made it out of my room by 7:15.  Louie had woken me up several times in the night either coughing out of sickness or hacking up something he had tried to eat – I’m not sure which.  He seems fine today though.  I was exhausted, but I decided that coffee and the Today show might cheer me up and let me wake up slowly.  As I sat, the sadness creeped in, totally unexplained.
I went for a walk to Coliseum park, a solid three miles, and that didn’t help either.  By the time I got back it was just about time to go.  I underestimated how long I’d need for the drive over, and a girl got to the reserved patient spots in the parking garage right before me and pulled out her things for class.  I was late, sad, frustrated, and now pissed at this girl.  Campus parking is the worst!

When I got to the office, I checked in, took a seat, and waited.  And waited, and waited.  57 minutes later, I was called into the exam room.  20 minutes after that, the doctor finally came.  What the hell??  Perhaps the ease in appointment scheduling that made me fall in love with this office is due to a complete lack of regard for appointment overlap.  When Dr. Stewart finally came in, he woke me from my boredom-slumber on the exam table and popped in a disc.  Then, something awesome: I have no more broken bones!  Just some inflammation around the site!!  Basically, shin splits.  It’s possible that it was just shin splints all along, but not having a doctor that actually gave a shit, they just did a bone scan which can’t distinguish the difference, and nobody cared to follow up.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that everything evens out eventually.  You could be having the worst year of your life, but hang in there because something good is bound to happen soon.  The thought that perhaps the sadness I was feeling was simply the universe compensating for some good news that was about to come crossed my mind once or twice, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up.  (Yes, I realize that this is borderline crazy talk, but things really do seem to work out this way)

You may be thinking: “Well that is still really shitty” and I guess it kind of is.  I still have to be careful, but instead of staying off the legs, I  just need to make efforts to reduce inflammation and strengthen my muscles.  I will run on them, take NSAIDS, ice a lot, and modify my diet a little bit to increase the anti-inflammatory foods I take in and minimize pro-inflammatory ones.  The treatment for stress fractures takes a different approach, focusing on calcium, vitamin D, and rest.  It is going to be a hard comeback, but I got the thumbs up to register for Boston tomorrow and I’m dedicated to getting myself back into shape, and getting my head back in that happy place that it was this time last year.

My first marathon, October 2011. 5th place in W 20-25

Happy running!

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