Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Alternate Reality

In Too-Close-For-Comfort, Alternate Reality World, this is what would be happening : 

In the Alternate Universe, Hammerhead Sharks can fly! 

Today, I would have been anxiously awaiting an X-ray, scheduled at Mayo Clinic, for tomorrow afternoon. It would be my second visit with the specialist and I would be dying to find out if I could finally get the green light to be off the crutches she'd prescribed for six weeks. 

I would have now, not run since December (give or take a couple testers). In fact, I wouldn't have even been walking on two feet or breathing deeply in yoga. My fitness would be gone. My leg muscles almost atrophied. 

In Alternate Reality, though, I would have stuck it out. I would have pushed aside my doubts and wholeheartedly followed the doctor who had just met and knew very little about me. It would have seemed worthwhile when she showed me the healed bone (or the nothing...since X-rays are pretty much useless for stress fractures) on the scan. 

Crutches would be tossed aside, tentative steps would be taken and I would ever-so-gradually be able to incorporate some walk-running, just as the month of May started to creep in. 

It truly wouldn't have been the worst scenario, but...

I just love The Reality so much more 

Cheers to a blissful outcome

I thought, bounced questions and concerns off others, researched and ended up deciding to follow up with my local doctor. 
The aftermath of that visit, the quickly scheduled (next day) CT scan and the follow-up were nothing but good, better and best.  

They definitively ruled out "any underlying masses" (#gloryhallelujah) and finally saw evidence of the offending stress fracture and subsequent healing. 

Through a series of interesting events (not my story to tell, unfortunately) I was also given some very specific and well-researched instructions, moving forward with the new results. It boiled down to me doing just what I had been. Incorporate some walking and light running. When it hurts, pull back and re-group. If it doesn't, keep listening to your body and proceed carefully. 

I had made some good choices and was basically told to keep them up.  

The reigning Queens of Good Choices

Cross-training, including yoga and aqua jogging, were heartily endorsed. I left with a beaming, stupid smile and knew things were finally...finally settled. 

That was April 4th. I have been able to resume training with absolutely no pain. I'm slower than I was 5 months ago, but I know the speed will come back to me.  I've been overjoyed to join friends back on the streets, run some quiet, solo miles,  and even made the decision to travel to Boston, for the marathon. 

another good choice: NOT running the marathon

With a bib in my hand, the sun shining on my face and a chilly morning facing me, it was not easy to make the smart decision. Somehow, it happened, though. While friends and family made their way to the start line in Hopkinton, I jogged through the crowds and cars making their way around downtown Boston. 

It was four miles I never thought I'd be present and healthy for and I was so grateful for the chance. 

Plus, the next day, when fellow airline passengers spotted my Blue & Yellow race shirt and asked "Did you run, yesterday?!" I could cheekily respond : "Why, yes. Yes I did." 

This left me with also plenty of time to eat an un-healthy breakfast (the joys of not racing a marathon), grab a coffee and join the masses to cheer at the finish line. 

Full disclosure : there were several moments, throughout the weekend, some tears escaped before I could reign them in. The moments of pure joy, pride and gratitude far outweighed any of my silly sadness, though. 

Another bonus? I left feeling just as strong and pain-free as I had when I'd arrived in Boston. In Alternate Reality, had I run the marathon (and, boy, did I almost do it!) I would have surely set myself back for many unnecessary weeks. At one point, this had been a goal race for me. 

Things change. Adjustments need to be made to conform to actual reality. 

I hope to update here more often, as my ultimate running goals have only been strengthened. Feel free to read and join me for next few chapters that don't involve being terrified of a cancerous tumor growing in my bone. 

That's an Alternate Reality we can all, happily wave good-bye to. 
Come. Join me up front.